August 27, 2013

How Using Maps within Tableau can Deliver Quick Marketing Insights

As marketers, it is vital to know who we are communicating with and understand the effectiveness of our communication. This effectiveness is considered from the goal of delivering a maximum Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI).

Tableau Software’s mapping capabilities make looking at geographic data easier than ever. Using a combination of quick filters and worksheets within a dashboard, Tableau has created a platform to deliver quick insights into how successful a marketing strategy actually is.

Something that a company may want to look at is “What is the correlation between the amount of messages we send each state and our profit?”

Using the “Sample – Superstore Sales” data that comes with Tableau, I adjusted the name of some fields to tailor this example to the marketing question at hand. ‘Order Quantity’ was renamed to ‘Total Communications’ and ‘Customer Segment’ to ‘Marketing Channels’. I also edited the aliases within the Marketing Channels field to ‘Email’, ‘Direct Mail’, ‘Social Media’, and ‘Other’.

Mapping In Tableau

Because I know my data, I know that the western region receives less marketing than any other region, so by using a quick filter I drill into that data.

Mapping In Tableau2

We can see that states who received our Direct Mail message had the lowest profit ratio. By making our crosstab into a filter, we are able to click “Direct Mail” and drill into our western states to see what may have contributed to this low profit ratio.

Mapping In Tableau3

We can now see that nearly half of our western region states that received direct mail messages reported a loss. Now that we have this insight into our data, I may decide to go back and rethink the strategy that was used in each state, or if our strategy was the same for the entire region I may look at how many or which particular messages were sent to each state.

Mapping In Tableau4

Since I created a Tableau hierarchy with ‘State’ under ‘Region’ I can see the state specific data and I immediately notice that California received 4069 marketing communications, nearly 12 times more marketing than Montana’s 341 which could attribute to the drastic difference in total sales and profit.

By combining both visual and textual worksheets I was able to quickly understand my data and focus on potential areas of concern with my marketing strategy. Tableau Software’s intuitive geocoding technology is one of the many core functionalities that make it the most powerful analytics tool on the market today.


If you plan to be at the Tableau Conference Sepyember 8 – 12, make sure you come by and say hello!