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Great times for spatial thinking

2012 March 16

I like to think so. Yesterday I gave a talk with this title at the Vrije Universiteit, Geomarketing minor. My guess is that I learn just as much from the preparations and questions, then the students do by listening to my talk; but that is beside the point. As usual, three parts in my presentation.

Social Media and the Hyperlocal. This part has not changed that much since my lecture last year. There was a bit of a shake-out in the mobile location apps and Facebook bought Gowalla (and then disappeared?). Also, I see marketing dashboards appearing with gnip datastreams. Interesting development.

Marketing and Strategy at an international SME. As I asked students beforehand what to talk about, I thought this would be interesting: what strategy schools can be observed at Esri (internationally and in the Netherlands). Sorry if I blanked out a few slides, but I think you understand why that is. I challenged students to see through a firms actions and discover the variety of models that may be at work.

The future of geomarketing. By special request. “Any future is hard to predict, but being ready for it is very important.” There you have your daily paradox. But with all lights on green (and getting greener) location technology, geospatial or geographic information systems are good to go. Shortly mentioned Taleb’s work on how we tend to rationalize unexpected huge events.

In my final remarks II (for students) I mentioned a “be your customer’. In FMCG, I observe a distance to customers that is unheard of in BtoB. I encourage any student to get closer to the user (and the user experience) and not just act on the basis of surveys and reports (often by others).

Interesting to see that education at the VU is very field work driven. Just read something about Harvard turning away from the case study approach. I sense a sigh of relief from Mr. Minzberg!

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