Create a Competitor Map to Support Decision Making

Acme HVAC Controls, distributor of HVAC Control Devices, has a lot of competition. HVAC is a mature industry. The market is settled and tight. The installation and repair customers know what they require and they buy largely based on relationships and reliable part deliveries.

Still, Acme management smells opportunity. “We believe we can grow either through merger or through expansion into two new coverage areas.” Consequently, the company pulled their management team together for a business analysis session at headquarters. The time has come for high level decisions regarding the future of Acme HVAC Controls.

Problem: To adequately assess the HVAC market place Acme HVAC Controls needs to visualize exactly where all competitors are currently located and their general sales coverage areas. It would be helpful to view all current Acme customer locations (with sales values) as well as some of the more lucrative target accounts Acme hopes to win over through their expansion effort. In short, Acme requires a competitor map.

Over the past month, the President of Acme has gathered numerous datasets of information to support the planning meeting. Most of the data was already available through the IT Department and Sales Department:

  • A current customer address dataset with columns for the last three year’s sales by account
  • A list of potential target accounts by address – exported out of the CRM as a CSV file

Finally, the boss had a sales associate spend a morning on Google compiling an address dataset of competitors.

Solution: Find a low-cost, easy-to-use business mapping software and import the above noted location based datasets into a USA map view for color coding, symbolizing and analysis. Focus on the competitor locations looking for areas not saturated with distribution, and with labor demographics that support immediate hiring needs for the expansion.

How to Create a Competitor Map Using MapBusinessOnline

  1. Gather an address database or Excel spreadsheet of your key competitor locations. Include branch locations as well as headquarters. Arrange separate columns with headers for location data: Name, Address, City, State, and ZIP code.
  2. In the MapBusinessOnline master toolbar click the Plot Data on Map button
    1. Browse to your data and click Next. Verify location columns are accurately placed and adjust as necessary
    2. Choose Company Name or a similar assignment for the name column
    3. Assign columns of your choice to the five label flex field options
    4. Process the imported locations points to the map
    5. Color code points by clicking the Color Code with Symbols button
  3. Repeat the import process for additional datasets – Your company branch locations, customer address datasets, prospective customer address datasets
    1. Color code and/or symbolize various dataset for quick identification on the map
    2. Append information as appropriate to plotted point labels.
  4. At your discretion include background demographic analysis by administrative district (typically ZIP code)
  5. Share your competitor map with planning associates as required to secure feedback and ideas
    1. Share as an interactive web map through MBO MapShare
    2. Share as a static image file via email
    3. Share live MBO business mapping via web share services like Join.Me or Skype for Business

At the planning meeting Acme decision makers used their competitor map as a guide to establish five likely new locations for Acme branches. The competitor map served several specific purposes that helped drive the decision-making process forward:

  • The competitor map made clear where customers and prospects were under served
  • The competitor map showed definite areas of distribution saturation, in fact it seemed to suggest closing one existing warehouse location that had been under performing
  • The map stimulated or inspired unexpected suggestions as the team noticed patterns they had not expected
  • The map helped to establish next steps in the planning process including exploring possible locations for new branch locations

Your competitor map will make sense only to your business.

Thanks to business mapping software, Acme HVAC Controls is moving confidently into the future after solid decisions were made based in part on awareness of their competitors in their existing and future marketplace.

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Popular MapBusinessOnline features

Build fast map visualizations of your business data

Map business data from various sources by street address, city name, ZIP code, or latitude and longitude. Plot 250,000 or more locations on a map at once. All you need to start is a spreadsheet with business data.

Visualize business data on map with various symbols

Assign specific symbols, colors, and sizes to your data points on map. Choose from a wide variety of symbols or create your own. Visually define customers and prospects across multiple locations using symbols color coding.

Emphasize customers density with heat maps

Highlight market areas that generate more business. Visually compare map areas for business potential. Select from a variety of heat map colors and options.

Color code maps by ZIP code, county, or state

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Display business data against demographic maps

Categorize geographic areas by population or household income. Explore new markets, business patterns, or social trends against color coded Census maps for business and competitor analysis.

Share business maps

Create interactive maps and share with friends, colleagues, dealers, customers, prospects or vendors. Share territory maps. Email saved JPEG and PNG files or embed map files in PowerPoint presentations. Includes PDF export for larger print formats.