Tuesday, July 5, 2022 Jul 5, 2022
88° F Dallas, TX
Commercial Real Estate

How Big Data Can Help Small Tenants Reach Their Customers

For starters, it can prove invaluable to the ongoing success, both during and after the current pandemic, says Weitzman's Marshall Mills.
By Marshall Mills |

A few years ago, at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) retail real estate convention in Las Vegas, the biggest technology buzz surrounded geo-fencing.

In a nutshell, geo-fencing is the use of a virtual geographic boundary that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a “fenced” area.

To show you just how fast technology has evolved to help our retailers, geo-fencing is being supplanted by powerful big data tools designed to help our small retailers and restaurants efficiently reach their customers.

Marshall Mills

The retail industry is making extraordinary strides in the use of a suite of tools that fall under the general category of ‘big data’ —which involves analyzing large data sets to reveal patterns and trends, especially as they relate to human behavior and interactions.

At Weitzman, for example, we have replaced the focus on geofencing with a scientific, hyper-targeted approach based on individual customer interests, which we have found to be more effective.

We collaborate with an agency partner to use big data tools that locate high-interest customers to target for our centers and our tenants.

This approach also allows us all to have access to the analytics to run any report at any time and to refine and improve our targeting strategies and messages continually.

To reach customers in dense areas with a lot of competition—think Frisco or West Plano—interest targeting gives us the ability to reach the frequent and loyal customers who may live, say, 10 miles away but still make a trip to a particular center or restaurant a weekly ritual.

As Texas slowly re-opens during the pandemic, our digital marketing platform allows us to gather data regarding the number of our tenants that are re-opening across the state, the processes and procedures of which they do so, and how this affects the customers, we target and how we target them.

Analysis of data can also direct us to the messages that will result in visits to a particular center, shop, or restaurant.

Big data offers a critical tool that helps our small tenants because, with the proper analysis, we can understand a targeted area’s customer needs in the future. That understanding can prove invaluable to the ongoing success of our small tenants, both during and after the current pandemic.

Marshall Mills is the president and CEO of Weitzman.

Related Articles


DFW Midyear Retail Report: Occupancy Declines in Wake of COVID-19

Market also hit by big-chain closings but comes into downturn from a position of strength.
Solar panels with wind turbines and electricity pylon at sunset. Clean energy concept.
Commercial Real Estate

Renewable Energy and the Future of Data Centers

Yes, sourcing and bringing green power to one’s data center is an admirable and necessary step in the path to a more sustainable future. But, is it enough?
By Michael Lahoud
CRE Opinion

Four Texas Markets Pace the Country in Retail Recovery

Weitzman president and CEO Marshall Mills says DFW, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio markets are all seeing a return to pre-pandemic retail occupancy and leasing numbers.
By Marshall Mills