The Analytics of Geo-Location

Geolocation and mobile computing are trends that are now in the mainstream so it’s about time to examine what kind of analytics we can get and what we can do with it.

For one thing, Geolocation and Foursquare can be your best friend, especially if your business is brick and mortar, like a restaurant or even a hardware store (though, besides Home Depot, there aren’t that many hardware stores that are fun to hang around in).

Take Havana Central, a New York Cuban Restaurant chain who is a client of mine and who aspires to be the Roger Smith Hotel of local restaurants here. Through my blog I have become known to many in the Social Monitoring sector and have access to many of the best platforms, tools and agencies of choice to work with. One of the tools I use often is Radian6, a Social Monitoring platform that is used by many marketing, PR and communications agencies to monitor “online chatter” and “buzz” for their clients or own businesses. Radian6 is also known as the first “listening” platform to integrate with WebTrends (and Omniture) as well as SalesForce for SocialCRM.

I set up  Radian6 alerts set up on Havana Central that sends email status every 10 minutes  when anyone tweets or mentions the restaurant chain in any way.  It just so happens that I was in the 46th street Havana Central location one evening and received an email alert from a customer who was saying she was in the restaurant – via Twitter.  When I read my email alert from Radian6 I immediately realized the customer was in the restaurant at the very same moment I was.
This is what the alert looked like on my iPhone:



Source:, Posted on: Mar 01, 2010 9:36 PM by KIMBERLY819
Chillin with my girl Yesenia in the city!! Great restaurant Havana Central!! Great Live salsa band!! Oooooooowwwww!!!!
Following: 86 | Followers: 65 | Updates: 270 | Sentiment: Positive

The alert took place in real time – I suggested to the management the customer and her friend should be given free drinks and discounts that evening. That’s all I did – and as we acted in real time- within 10 minutes of the initial tweet – the response was interesting.

The customer, Kimberly819 and her friend got their free drinks.

Later on that night I got another alert – guess what this one said:

Name: KIMBERLY819 Posted on: Mar 1, 2010 1:07 AM
Followers: 66 Following: 87
What a GREAT night at Havana Central!!!! My new favorite spot!!

That got me thinking … if we could do something like this – foster customer loyalty – that easy (hell, just give the lady a free drink) what would happen if we gave everyone who tweeted at one of Havana Central’s 3 locations a free drink?

I used analytics to figure it out. How often could Kimberly819 happen and what would it mean to Havana Central in increased revenue? I found on first pass, exporting Radian6 data from a “River of News” Widget I set up for the restaurant alerts that at least 20 times in the last month a customer tweeted they were in one of Havana Central’s locations – though in retrospect – that number is way, way too conservative – I put it more at 100 times a month, at least, and maybe even double that – if we take every variation of announcing “I’m at Havana Central”.

Radian6 – Tweets & Facebook announcements of presence at Havana Central

Source: Radian6 – Tweets & Facebook announcements of presence at Havana Central

For those customers who have linked their Foursquare accounts with Twitter and Facebook the numbers are even higher with about 5% of the total conversation recorded as having happened at one of the restaurants  – and I can swear the number is closer to 10% as we get 2 or 3 tweets a day from people who are announcing they are at one of Havana Central’s locations.

Radian6 – Alerts with Foursquare check-ins included

Source: Radian6 – Alerts with Foursquare check-ins included

Suppose we go with the higher number (around 60 individuals a month say “I’m at Havana Central” in one slang way or another) and estimate a typical loyal customer will return a certain number of times and spend a certain amount in per visit – we can get a approximate ROI number.

I’m going to make a deduction the a typical “rewarded customer” we find via Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook might spend $300-$500 a year at the restaurant in addition to anything else they might have spent there if they had not been rewarded. I was told by Jeremy Merrin, one of the owners of Havana Central that the number might be considerably higher than that (add up all those blueberry mojitos and live Latin dancing, etc)– but I’ll be conservative, just to be safe.

One possible result is increased revenue of close to 30K a month – over a year that could mean as much as 360K – just by making someone’s visit a little bit friendlier and better for them.

Check out Marshall Sponder’s blog  –