RESEARCH BRIEF: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on Marketing Mix

by Melissa Brenes-Bastos,

By combining conventional marketing techniques with geospatial methods enables users to picture the spatial distribution of data in maps -such as the distribution process, the market diverse- also complementing it with statistical graphs and diagrams will link marketing and GIS. (Musyoka, Mutyauvy, Kiema, Karanja,  & Diriba, 2007).

The main focus of this research is on GIS application for the marketing mix (4 P’s), which refers to the main element on a marketing strategic plan. Hess, Rubin & West (2004) research and present some ways in which GIS can support the activities of the four elements of the marketing mix.

  • On the product component Hess, Rubin & West (2004) mention that, this element involves the link between the product attributes and the consumer characteristics, the consumer characteristics are geographic distributed, which suggest that the design and market of the product will be based on geographic data. Hess, Rubin & West (2004) also mention one application of GIS for a product is “to discover where products are selling well and what characteristics of consumers in these areas drive the demand”. (208) Using the same analysis, it can be found what product characteristics make then unattractive in low sales areas, this type of information can be used for marketing product decision such as line-stretching, line-fitting, line-modernization and features. (Hess, Rubin & West, 2004)
  • On price Hess, Rubin & West (2004) mention that geography can influence the price of a product, -for example you expect to pay more for gasoline next to a interstate that in a small town-, how proximity to other similar products, discount complementary availability, competing with products or services and other merchants, wholesalers, retailers near can affect the price of a specific product.
  • Place (distribution) is according to Hess, Rubin & West (2004) one of the first areas where GIS is used for marketing mix application, examples such as address retail location, distribution centers, fixed delivery routing and flexible delivery routing can be found on GIS applications for place.
  • For promotion according to Hess, Rubin & West (2004) the most important issue is to successfully intergrade internal and external information using GIS. The internal and external information of promotion refers to the approach the company will use for the specific product or service, such as personal selling, international selling, local selling, sale promotions, telemarketing, direct mail, spam, product placement, among others. (Gillespie & Hennessey, 2007)

Some research articles founded about the GIS application on the marketing mix are; Geographic Information System (GIS) market in retail sector (M2 Presswire, 2010), Computer-savvy retailers plot your habits: National Edition (Bradbury, 2005), DSS implementation in the UK retail organizations: A GIS perspective (Nasirin & Birks, 2003), Methods for evaluating agricultural enterprises in the framework of uncertainty facing tobacco producing regions of Virginia (Halili, 1999), Put your firm on the map (Talsky, 1996) among others.


  • Musyoka, S.M, Mutyauvyu S.M, Kiema J.B.K, Karanja F.N,  & Diriba D.N.  (2007). Market segmentation using geographic information systems (GIS). Marketing Intelligence & Planning. Vol. 25 No. 6.
  • Hess, R., Rubin, R. & West, L. (2004) Geographic information systems as a markting information system techinology. Decision Support Systems. Vol. 38 No. 2, PP. 197–212.  Available at:
  • Gillespie, K. & Hennessey, H. (2007) Global Marketing. South-Western, CENGAGE Learning. 3rd Edition. Ohio, US.
  • M2 Presswire (2010) Bharat Book Bureau: Geographic Information System (GIS) Market in Retail Sector 2008-2012. ProQuest Document 446114794
  • Bradburry, D. (2005) Computer-savvy retailers plot your habits: Geographical information systems replace catchment maps and pins. National Post’s Financial Post & FP Investing (Canada). LexisNexis Academic. Web. Available at
  • Nasirin, S. & Birks, D. (2003) DSS implementation in the UK retail organisations: a GIS perspective. Information & Management. Vol 40, No. 4. PP 325–336. Available at
  • Halili, R. (1999) Methods for Evaluating Agricultural Enterprises in the Framework of Uncertainty Facing Tobacco Producing Regions of Virginia. DLA; Digital library and Archives. ETD number etd-02082000-10550006
  • Talsky, G. (1996) Put your firm on the map. Accounting Technology. Vol. 12, No. 11, PP 37-40. ProQuest document number 214019607