REVIEWER: Wendy Cobrda, president and co-founder of Earthsense, LLC.

BACKGROUND: Incorporated in 2007, Earthsense, LLC is an applied marketing company headquartered in Syracuse, New York, that blends market research and database marketing principles to make consumer insights actionable. From brand strategy and product development to effective marketing or customer management initiatives, Earthsense provides the knowledge to support green decision-making, from strategy to execution. Earthsense sponsors Eco-Insights, the largest consumer study of its kind, focusing on motivations and barriers for why and who uses green products.

PLATFORMS: We use personal computers running Microsoft Vista 64 as well as Windows XP.

PROBLEM SOLVED: With more and more companies introducing green products to the mainstream market, not just the niche green market, companies are being forced to rethink their go-to-market strategies. While green suddenly seems ubiquitous, the focus on sustainable business practices is actually a relatively new area for many. Earthsense fills a need for a green customer-centric, location-based identification tool, as none exists today. This critical gap makes it difficult for manufacturers and retailers to maximize their ROI when marketing their green products to what can be highly targeted audiences. Until now, there has been no way for companies to determine the “who, what, where and the why” of their potential green customers. Eco-Insights, an in-depth customer survey at the product level, creates profiles of green buyers of specific product categories and retail chains. However, we knew that location-based data integration was critical to make the data truly actionable for our clients. We designed our survey so that we had statistically reliable results (60,000 respondents, annually) and we turned to Pitney Bowes Business Insight to provide location intelligence data and analysis to integrate with the survey data.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: By enhancing Eco-Insights with PSYTE, we are able to extend our knowledge about our respondents and use that knowledge to find more people who fit the same profile. Using PSYTE U.S. Advantage, PBBI’s neighborhood segmentation system, we can now pinpoint by block group which neighborhood clusters people fit into, thereby gaining additional insights into customers’ demographics, psychographics and lifestyles. Using MapInfo Professional, we are also able to visualize and analyze the data and identify patterns and trends that would otherwise be overlooked. When PSYTE and MapInfo Professional are combined with the Eco-Insights data in this way, it creates a location intelligence powerhouse that is immediately actionable for a variety of applications including, but not limited to: site prioritization and location; trade area and customer profiling; target marketing list generation. PBBI location intelligence solutions help us organize our data in a way that makes it very easy to execute. We can now describe which consumers lean green - or not - along with their environmental and purchase behaviors, as well as the most effective ways to reach and market to them using different media. Every person surveyed is geo-coded, which provides the critical location link to the survey data.

STRENGTHS: By integrating PBBI location intelligence solutions into the information gleaned through our Eco-Insights survey, the data becomes more dynamic and actionable. As a result, we can provide our manufacturing and retail clients with the valuable insight and tools they need to confidently and strategically market green products to the right customer in the right location.

WEAKNESSES: By design, the commercially available segmentation systems are optimized for particular industries, not particular data sets (be it research or customer databases). That makes it difficult to consistently show dramatic discrimination between neighborhood types - regardless of which system you choose to use. We anticipated this issue when we chose to work with PBBI and developed proprietary methodologies to build upon the PSYTE system and deliver more nuanced segmentation incorporating the “why behind the buy.”

SELECTION CRITERIA: The most important part of any purchase is the relationship with the vendor. PBBI is consistently helpful, incredibly responsive and most of all, fun to work with. We also liked that PBBI had a tool that allows the easy import and analysis of Eco-Insights data. While other vendors have tools, MapInfo MapBasic allows our programmers to write our own routines to manipulate the data to our specifications.

DELIVERABLES: With MapInfo Professional and PSYTE U.S. Advantage, we can easily integrate location intelligence into our Eco-Insights survey data, enabling clients to gain vital insights: who their ideal green customers are, where they live, work and play, and the most effective method of marketing to them. We also use AnySite which works in conjunction with MapInfo Professional 9.0 to produce reports and maps to prioritize areas for product category development, market prioritization and direct mail/FSI targeting.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We’ve been most impressed with the eagerness of the support team to work through any challenges we have, and we are most appreciative of their creativity. Since the Eco-Insights research is unique - with detailed profiles of over 100 supermarket, discount, drug and club stores, for example - the team has been quite supportive of our efforts as well.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation for PSYTE is straightforward. However, even with a strong background in segmentation analysis, AnySite is a little tricky to navigate. But once you understand the approach, it becomes easier to create the exact output you need.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight

One Global View

Troy, NY 12180

(518) 285-6000    

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