Marketing Fire Safety

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48 September 2016 London Fire uses demographic data, maps and analysis to reduce residential fires By JOHN KOBARDA and PAUL VOEGTLE PAUL VOEGTLE – LOCATION ANALYTICS SPECIALIST, ESRI CANADA Several years ago Fire Chief John Kobarda of the London Fire Department in Ontario reasoned that a fire department is really no different than a private company. After all, fire departments offer a service (public safety) to customers (the public), and reg- ularly engage in marketing (fire-safety communications). Could firefighters, then, borrow strategies and tools from private-sector marketers? Marketers in the private sector have been tapping into the value of demographic data and location-based analysis for years. By gathering information such as what people buy, what they like to do, where they live and how much they earn, marketers can deliver deep insights to companies eager to better understand their mar- kets. This marketing strategy – known as demographic profiling – helps companies anticipate the needs, wants and desires of existing and potential customers. By combining this demographic data with maps and applica- tions, companies visualize information in a geographic context for even richer insights. Key decision makers can analyze the informa- tion and decide how to market and sell products and services that are more likely to connect with specific segments of the population Marketing FIRE SAFETY A heat map depicts risk of residential fires in London, Ont. Red areas indicate high-risk areas, while numbers represent the demographic profiles in a specific area.

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