Giving shopping centre owners detailed insight to help them market their centres effectively
CACI offers a range of marketing solutions and information systems to local and central government and to businesses from most industry sectors. Its location planning experts provide advice in a number of areas from retail development opportunities, shopping centre asset management and town centre regeneration to catchment areas and consumer segmentation.
Steve Halsall is a consulting partner at CACI and heads up the Property Consulting Group (PCG). He has been with CACI for two years and was brought in to help evolve its well-established offer in this area. His team works across the public sector and commercial sector (including shopping centre owners, investors, developers and agents) providing advice on retail or leisure-led developments.
Steve explains that CACI has its own location analysis capability (InSite) which underpins all of the PCG analysis work. Some clients, particularly retailers or property agencies, will also licence the InSite software for internal use to support store investments and marketing decisions. PCG’s work is typically delivered in static reports and there is a drive to be constantly evolving the way they deliver output to clients.
“We have an offer for clients called Interactive Bibles that uses Excel with pre-generated maps and data captured from InSite. We wanted to evolve these Bibles and provide a greater level of client interactivity – particularly with the rich map-based demographic and market data that CACI can provide. We wanted to give clients something they could play around with themselves.”
Steve built a business case for extending delivery to include a dynamic online presentation solution and started to look for authoring tools that create Flash-based interactive mapping content. He found InstantAtlas and evaluated it along with other solutions. The ease of use in creating reports, training and support swayed him and CACI is now using InstantAtlas as part of its client offer.
Meeting the need
A good example of the analysis CACI provides is in the retail sector. Clients include: Capital Shopping Centres; Westfield Shoppingtowns and Land Securities. When one of these clients is involved in developing a new shopping centre CACI use its InSite software to establish how large the centre should be, taking into account what is already in the local area. It will also help determine what sort of retailers might be interested in taking space. Once the centre is built, CACI will help to evolve the centre’s offer by collecting data on customer shopping habits. CACI uses InstantAtlas to give its clients a visual and easy-to-use interface to access data relating to catchment demographics and survey responses.
Steve says that Capital Shopping Centres is one of many clients that have been making use of InstantAtlas. “Historically we provided static reports and they really like the depth of the information we provide. What they now have is a flexible report utilising a range of CACI datasets as well as the data collected through in centre surveys,” he says. “As Instant Atlas is web based it makes it easier for our clients to deploy our reports across a range of users and decision makers – from marketing departments to development and leasing teams”.
Steve adds that he has worked with many software providers but he is very impressed with the response of the InstantAtlas support team. “The support team has been very patient and responsive to our team as we improve our knowledge and use of Instant Atlas. This support has been second to none,” he says.
CACI is working with some clients to take the analysis it provides one step further by increasing the level of granularity. It is also testing the idea of allowing clients to upload their own scheme level data through a front-end interface. “The idea is that we avoid duplicating our clients’ data and negate the need to receive commercially sensitive information,” says Steve.
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