Here is a consulting firm, Insight, Information & Consulting Services, that focuses on helping consumer goods companies know their customers through spatial analysis. They offer a variety of marketing services and, of course, location intelligence services. I especially like how one of their blog posts describes the power of visualization:
Seeing data from a 1,000 line spreadsheet mapped suddenly allows even the least analytical user to quickly see trends and gaps within the data. We called it making decisions at the speed of sight!
The author, Rick Pensa, then goes on to describe a project where he builds “store level consumer profiles in order to build demographically based merchandise assortments.” This is the type of information that helps businesses understand their customers better. The result uncovered that in certain markets brass hardware sells better than nickel hardware while other markets preferred nickel over brass. Understanding this helps the business create a balanced product mix individualized for each market to maximize sales and stock. On a related blog post, Rick states:
The power of location intelligence has come to category management by leveraging location information your company is already collecting to learn the why behind the what. When you can see threats and opportunities before your competitor sees them, you can act before they react.
The purpose of adding the geospatial component to business analytics is making better decisions. When your data and analysis are good enough, those decisions may cross over the line into predictive modeling. This is good marketing: predicting the market before anyone else!