Adobe Flash Player Ending this Month! Download the Map App

This is it. December 15th is the day when access to MapBusinessOnline is no longer supported by the Adobe Flash Player platform. For a variety of reasons Adobe Flash Player is ending and all cloud-based software programs that use Flash Player must provide alternative access methods. Read more about Adobe Flash Player ending from Microsoft here.

Adobe Flash Player is ‘plug-in’ software that allowed web browsers like Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and other less popular browsers to run a variety of software programs within a web browser.

Here at MapBusinessOnline, we used the cancelation of Adobe Flash Player as an opportunity to improve our online business mapping software service.  All MapBusinessOnline users should download and install the Map App which will provide direct access to the usual MapBusinessOnline user interface and all the geospatial software tools our users are used to.

We estimate about 90% of MapBusinessOnline users have already made the transition to the Map App based on the newsletter articles and emails we’ve been publishing over the last few months.

The Map App will download quickly. Users should click on the downloaded package and install the Map App.  Windows 10 users will find the MapBusinessOnline launch button in the Windows Start Menu in the lower-left corner of your PC or laptop.  Mac users will find the application loaded in the applications folder.  I drag the launch icon to my Windows taskbar for easy launching every morning.

MapBusinessOnline users will notice several other launch icon options in the downloaded MapBusinessOnline Map App section of the Start Menu or Mac Applications Folder:

  • Compatibility Test – a tool to help diagnose software issues if and when they occur
  • Map Conversion Tool – A tool for ex-Microsoft MapPoint users to convert MPT files to MapBusinessOnline map projects
  • MapBusinessOnline – Click to launch MapBusinessOnline
  • MapBusinessOnline Updater – Use this button to access updates to the software moving forward
  • MapBusinessOnline Viewer – Your non-subscribing Map Viewers can users can access publicly shared MapBusinessOnline maps using this button, In fact, as long as they’ve downloaded the Map App, just clicking an emailed map URL link will launch MapBusinessOnline

Here’s what the Map Viewer should experience.

Start Menu Access to the Map App

Same MapBusinessOnline User Interface

To be clear, after launching from the Map App MapBusinessOnline will look and perform the same as it always has. Saved maps will be located in the saved Open Map Folder – the second button in from the left on the Master Toolbar.

MAKE SURE TO SAVE YOUR CURRENT MAP WORK BY CLICKING THE SAVE MAP BUTTON BEFORE YOU SHIFT TO THE MAP APP ACCESS

That’s because web browsers always cache or store the last session of any user’s web experience. This situation has meant your MapBusinessOnline line map work from the night before would be there in the morning at login, cached in the web browser.  These cached map views were never officially saved in MapBusinessOnline until the user clicked the Save Map button.

That first time you login through the Map App, your map will not be there waiting for you. As long as you saved your work by clicking the Save Map button, your map work will be in the Open Map Folder waiting for you after you’ve logged in through the Map App.

Simply click the MapBusinessOnline icon to launch MapBusinessOnline.  Once again, all saved maps will be found in the Open Map Green File Folder button on the Master Toolbar.  MapBusinessOnline opens as an independent, non-browser software application.  MapBusinessOnline remains a cloud-based application that requires an Internet connection.

For non-subscribing Shared Map Viewers, have your map viewers download and install the Map App.  When you send them an email with a Map Share link, the application will launch as soon as your map viewers click the emailed link.

Once logged in, your MapBusinessOnline experience will be the same or improved through the Map App. Improvements include:

  • Faster data uploads
  • New vector map background options for improved map resolution for general mapping and PDF map print outs
  • Fewer web browsers headaches like Chrome freezes and Internet Explorer meltdowns
  • Drag the MapBusinessOnline launch icon to the Task Bar for a quick launch button

Technical Support is Available

Support for MapBusinessOnline and the Map App is available through Chat, email, or Call-ins.  Click on the contact button on the website or ask a question on the Chat service.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blogs on Radius Mapping, Sales Territory Mapping, ZIP code maps, and general map geekiness.

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged-in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

7 or 8 New Ways to Use MapBusinessOnline Business Mapping Software

MapBusinessOnline is a very versatile tool. You may not realize just how versatile if you came to MapBusinessOnline seeking a specific geospatial solution and quickly satisfied your requirement.

Many new business map users are unfamiliar with online business mapping software altogether. Such users often come to MapBusinessOnline for a particular feature among the many offered. Perhaps one of these:

  • Sales territory mapping
  • Sales planning tools
  • Optimized vehicle routing
  • Customer visualizations
  • Map visualizations
  • Radius maps
  • ZIP code maps

New business map users are generally successful at achieving their goals with MapBusinessOnline. Many users achieve their objectives without requiring assistance.  Others find our chat, email, or phone support helpful in getting things moving.

Once you’ve achieved your goals by applying a particular business mapping feature, remember to consider MapBusinessOnline for other uses. No, we can’t potty-train the puppy or fix the dishwasher, but MapBusinessOnline may help solve additional business problems.

By using the My Templates dropdown option in the Save Map dialogue, as opposed to the My Map option, your business map work becomes available for fast and accurate repurposing. My Template maps are a great way to protect important map work and provide access to those maps for other uses. That complex territory map holds a lot of data that could be pertinent to additional business needs across the organization, such as:

  • Strategic Planning – The C-suite team may want to use your sales territory map as a base map for strategic planning for next year. Open that saved map template and add a few critical text boxes and perhaps a couple of new datasets. Now your company’s strategic plan meeting could include a map visualization session focusing on what’s possible over the next few years
  • Full-Featured Market Analysis – Based on your experience creating a sales territory map, your business can now quickly access market analysis maps of potential new markets for existing or future products. Those same tools used to analyze a territory are perfect for new Market Analysis. Just change how you look at territory maps. Call them area of interest maps and overlay demographic data, business listings, imported customer data, and any other location-based resources. Maps of territories are maps of specific markets
  • Fielded-Staff Planning – Where do your field staff of clinicians and/or technicians start their day? Where are all your customers or patients located? Import the address datasets containing home locations for all your customers and traveling reps. These map visualizations represent your organization’s area of activity. Coverage area maps, overlaid with a list of daily tech visits by address, can open your eyes as to how efficient and effective your mobile team is and could someday become

From Outlier to Company-Wide

Some companies start small. Like when a single salesperson decides to use MapBusinessOnline to organize his or her daily schedule. We’ve got lots of independent Sales Reps using the tool to manage their customer calls:

  • Customer Maps – Import address-based spreadsheets of customer locations and sales activity exported from the company CRM software
  • Territory Maps – Single-use sales reps often create maps of their territory assignments using MapBusinessOnline
  • Optimized Routing – Generate efficient sales call route maps to organize day-to-day travel while controlling company expenses

Eventually, they share a map with a work associate and the news spreads that maps are a great way to expand the use of a CRM and to organize day-to-day travel activity.  Customer maps and territory maps become part of the company sales process. And even folks who leave the company remember MapBusinessOnline at their next place of business. We get these calls all the time, “I used to be a MapBusinessOnline user at a previous employer. I want to bring the same functionality to my new company.”  (And keep in mind, MapBusinessOnline does reward referrals that lead to orders.)

Other business mapping application your company could find useful:

  • Concentric circle maps – Concentric circles – circles within circles – can be used to define delivery and service radii for your customer base. Concentric circles display the demographic makeup of drive time areas of interest created at a specified distance from a central point. These drive time areas could represent store delivery areas, medical-facility patient served areas, or workplace commute zones
  • Coverage area maps – Define and display the service areas your business will support as an overall ZIP code, city limit, or county map
  • Demographic analysis maps – Compare your organization’s collective business acumen with the demographic realities of where you do your best business. The chances are, this information will inform future business decisions as your company seeks to grow

Don’t limit your understanding of business to just spreadsheets and expensive ‘experts.’  Import your business location data into a business mapping application today and start understanding the where and why of your business reality.

If you’ve got data with addresses or lat/long coordinates – you can map it.

If you are aware of a general area where you do business – you can map it.

If your people have a sense of who buys your product – you can look for those customers on a map.

Use your first business map as a jumping-off point to expanding your location-based intelligence. Who knows, your use case could turn out to be a whole new category of business mapping.

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged-in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

 

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Business Maps Add Value to Almost Any Industry

Glancing at our long list of MapBusinessOnline subscribers is like reading a Who’s Who list of North American businesses. Like Elaine Benes of Seinfeld, I don’t want to ‘name names or name names,’ but the list is quite comprehensive. If I search our CRM by a domain name, it’s pretty much guaranteed I’ll find a MapBusinessOnline registration for an existing or former employee of almost any major company.

Such ubiquity is both comforting and inspirational to a salesperson because it speaks directly to the value MapBusinessOnline brings to almost any major industry client. The tool is easy, it’s affordable, and it covers the bases for business mapping software.

Sales Planning & Optimized Routing

For example, lately, I’ve noticed quite a few companies using MapBusinessOnline for routing and sales planning. While this again is no surprise to me, the number of users applying MapBusinessOnline for  routing seems to have shot up largely due to the demise of Microsoft MapPoint.

MapPoint software was packed with much more than just mapping. Microsoft beefed up their offering with low-cost API/SDK development tools that enabled the creation of advanced and very customized routing tools. Many businesses built their routing business models on top of MapPoint. When MapPoint went away, these companies lost that vehicle route scaffolding and had few options that cost less than $10,000 a year to implement and operate.

A few of these MapPoint routing refugees have signed up for MapBusinessOnline, but our tool is not a Fleet Management system or multi-truck routing software. MapBusinessOnline optimized routing tools provide businesspeople with 150-stop routing for one vehicle at a time. I feel bad for ex-MapPoint users who have to find a routing system replacement. MapBusinessOnline will do it nicely for one salesperson at a time. Even our free map viewer allows 150-stop routing. But for routing and tracking multiple vehicle fleets, try RouteSmart.

Murderous Mapping

The term ‘map visualization‘ may sound somewhat redundant. A map is a visual tool, but the idea that location-based business data can be accurately laid over a map of the world for analysis, while not a novel idea, can provide a completely new perspective on any business model.

These murders, committed by the London Strangler and Jack the Ripper were not  solved by a business map.  However, your business problems can benefit from just such a business map. Business maps are eerily similar to the murderous map visualizations depicted in the link above.

As an example,  a convenience store retailer sales for specific products across a city landscape show stocks-outs of specific products dues to unanticipated sales. A thorough analysis of all related products sold reveals some store locations that sell these products are completely out of stock, while others haven’t sold any.

Convert sales location records into a heat map visualization that describes product-sales across an urban area. These map views offers a detailed analysis of product-sales. A basic map visualization can be overlaid with even more related data, including:

  • Demographic data describing ethnic, age, or income-related population statistics by ZIP code
  • Drive time statistics indicating how far a storefront may be from local parks or popular event centers
  • Specific places of business that compete with the product under review – see Business Listings
  • Internal company sales records geocoded by address or latitude/longitude coordinates

In this way, a map visualization becomes map analysis. The ice cream that sells out in three out of four neighborhoods becomes the centerpiece for a new map-based selling campaign. Inventories in non-selling stores can be pulled to support the campaign. Best of all, no one got murdered. At least as far as we know.

Retail Market Analysis & Expansion Planning

The Health of the Nation

Organizations dedicated to healthcare abound in the MapBusinessOnline customer base. Thank God for every one of these businesses. We need and appreciate healthcare workers so much these days. MapBusinessOnline is proud to support thousands of healthcare organizations around North America.

Tracking COVID-19 outbreaks requires patience and diligence. MapBusinessOnline maps enable easy imports of location-based spreadsheets of contacts by address or latitude/longitude coordinates. Further, for true contact tracing, MapBusinessOnline can provide the additional analysis tools necessary to track, log, and follow-up on people exposed to the virus.

But don’t stop with contact tracing. Business mapping tools can combine contact tracing, staff management records, and CDC virus data to provide a theater view of the situation as it unfolds, day-to-day.

Here in Maine, restaurants keep a tally of in-house customers by phone number. In the event of a related COVID-19 outbreak, contact tracers trackback the activities of the infected diners. All eateries involved will be able to reference the phone numbers of diners who later present symptoms and get diagnosed.  People who may have been exposed can then be contacted and quarantined.

By correlating the phone numbers of exposed diners, employees, and other impacted folks, through a map-based spatial search, addresses are quickly compiled. Business mapping tools provide the perfect platform for mapping these exposure events and elevating attention to areas of high risk for the surrounding community.

Business mapping software is especially effective at tracking long-distance exposures – as people travel around the nation. Contact databases can be symbolized and color-coded to reflect contact status, as well as risk rankings. In MapBusinessOnline, a risk ranking calculation could be developed from the contact data that examines the total number of people exposed, the rough time exposed, and compares this to the risk factors of each contact:

  • Number of comorbid medical complications
  • Age
  • Ethnicity
  • Blood type

By indexing these factors, a risk ratio factor can be applied to the map and color-coded accordingly.

The Wealth of the Nation

Continuing our review of MapBusinessOnline supported industries, banks, insurance, and finance organizations use MapBusinessOnline map visualizations for a variety of applications. Some finance businesses use the tool for typical sales planning operations:

  • Customer visualizations
  • Sales travel routing
  • Sales territory management

Banking industry map users turn client map visualizations into full market analysis at just a few mouse clicks. Return on investment-focused bank customers will want to virtually explore the areas surrounding their investment properties. They’ll be interested in demographic characteristics of neighborhoods, housing value statistics, as well as local amenities, among other critical buyer requirements.

Banks like business maps because they make it easy to assess risks and opportunities.

For similar reasons, financial services like to use map views as a way to show clients a fuller picture of a property’s features, benefits, and possible pitfalls. Map visualizations may be lenses of truth for wealth-related industries:

  • Reals estate map users paint a rosy picture of property values and future sales potential
  • Bank industry map users develop cautionary map images reflecting risks and encroaching crime areas
  • Insurance claim users build insurance maps that display storm damage and property values at municipal tax values

Regardless of the picture you want to paint, business maps provide the pallet upon which you can hang your image. A business map may incorporate all kinds of input and order the world to your liking.

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged-in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

 

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

General Guidelines for MapBusinessOnline Territory Mapping

MapBusinessOnline sales territory mapping is easy to use. Our sales territory alignment tools are designed to be accessible by any businessperson. These tools are similar to Microsoft’s MapPoint mapping software, canceled at the end of 2014.

That said, online business mapping software has rules of the road that help build compelling, well-defined sales territories.

Alignment Map Layer

MapBusinessOnline sales territories are based on alignment map layers – ZIP codes, counties, states, and city limits.  There are two ways a user creates territories:

  1. Lasso using a polygon draw tool
  2. Data import of a territory spreadsheet

The user can lasso an area with a polygon tool to gather ZIP codes or other map alignment layer objects.  A user could also import a spreadsheet of districts like ZIP codes or counties. Either way, the user gets a territory based on a map layer.  Read more about sales territory creation.

One territory rule is, territories are created based on one alignment layer at a time. The territory map creator cannot combine State and County or County and ZIP code layers within the same territory.  Thus, if you want to change a State-based territory, to make the state area smaller or straddle state lines, you’ll need to reconstruct that territory out of counties or ZIP codes.

The above noted map layer constraint means, for example, a multi-state sales territory map is better served if the map layer applied is counties or ZIP codes rather than states because that provides more flexibility for area adjustments over time. Like life, most territory maps are not set in concrete. Things tend to change and territories should too.

While this can seem frustrating to a new user, territory creation is a quick process to master and takes just a minute or two to reassess a territory scheme.

A territory map can contain more than one type of map layer-based territory.  You could have an overall territory map that includes both county-based and ZIP code-based territories. That is, you can have two territories based on different map alignment layers, but you can’t have two alignment layers in the same territory. Multi-alignment layer per allowance map can be helpful for businesses that cater to both urban and rural customer-bases like home care agencies or delivery services.

While the software does include draw tools, it does not provide a method for designating highways and terrain features as territory boundaries. This blog describes the challenges of non-alignment layer territory mapping.

MapBusinessOnline does provide additional territory map alignment layers you can add to your map from the Add Map Layers button. Additional layers that can be used for territory creation include Census tracts, MAS’s, school districts, and congressional districts.  Try building territories on the City Limits layer or the Census Tract layer.

Edit Your Territories

MapBusinessOnline includes a list of territory editing tools that make it easy to adjust your territories after you’ve created them:

  • Edit a territory map by selecting a ZIP code, county, or other map alignment layer target with your mouse cursor. Hold down the shift key to select more than one. Once selected, click the Blue Puzzle Piece icon and choose the required action – remove, update, add to, etc.
  • Select the Territory Name and click the associate toolbar’s Properties Gear to adjust territory color, territory name, or to format territory labels
  • Label formatting allows the map editor to add demographic data or imported data, like sales numbers, to the territory flex fields. All demographic segments can be summed into these territory and map layer label fields. For example, a territory made up of five ZIP codes will display the sum of the population for those five ZIP codes in a territory label flex field. You have five flex fields you can add data to. This is a powerful way to display relevant territory data

Here’s a video on editing territories.

Your Map’s Look and Feel

The Map and Data box holds the key to map look and feel when it comes to territories. Hover your mouse cursor over the Territory layer in Map and Data.  Here you’ll find controls over border color and thickness and fill color. Adjustments to label font sizes and color can be made through the Map and Data box. This is where you can make your map appear more professional, or, if you prefer, more whacky and cluttered.

Remember your territory map is just one aspect of your business. Don’t try to solve too many problems with just one map. Read more about making a business map look professional.

Analyze Your Territories

As each sales territory is created, the process opens the Data Window territory view.  This analysis view allows the user to open a simple database management tool by clicking the Choose Columns button in the lower right of the panel. I have written a recent blog about the analysis capabilities of MapBusinessOnline sale territory mapping. It’s an easy database tool to master that provides a wealth of information about your territories.

Territory analysis views allow the map creator and the map viewer to consider their territory’s metrics.  Every company bases its territory measurements on their particular industry metrics. Restaurants like to see the quantities of population and household segments. Retailers like household income data. Homecare agencies and franchises adore the 65-and-up age segments. Large manufacturing concerns may be focused on more industry-specific metrics, some of which you can derive from MapBusinessOnline business listings.

MapBusinessOnline provides access to multiple data layers that may be relevant to your territory analysis. All location-data layers (once imported) can be accessed from the Data Window territory analysis view.  They include:

  • Demographic Data – USA Census demographic data, USA projection data (most recent two years in the list of Demographic Data), and Canadian demographic data
  • Business Listings – NAICS/SIC industry code business listings. These are paid for data downloads using the Yellow Pages Icon button on the master toolbar
  • Imported business data – Typically sales data, this data could be any numeric business datasets available for your analysis

Regardless of the relevant location-data driving your product sales, import this information into your MapBusinessOnline territory analysis view and give the data some thought. Look for trends. Compare an area you are familiar with new areas of interest around the country. Do some analysis. You’ll be a better, smarter human being if you do.

Multiple Alignment Layers Across One Territory Map

Other Pertinent Territory Issues

Upper Limit – The maximum number of territories one can build with a MapBusinessOnline subscription is 1,000. Let us know if you reach this cap.

Color-Code Your Territories – Territory maps can be color-coded based on thematic data, just like any other MapBusinessOnline map layer. These tools are available in Map and Data or by clicking the Three Puzzle Piece icon button on the master toolbar.

Territory Overlap – MapBusinessOnline addresses overlap in the Map and Data territory settings.  Territory map creators can assign specific colors to areas of overlap. Map creators typically apply bright or dark colors that standout and alert the map viewer that overlap exists in the territory scheme under review.

Exporting All ZIP Codes from a Territory – ZIP codes come in two flavors – Boundary ZIP codes and Point ZIP Codes. To export all possible ZIP codes across a territory or all of your territories, you need to import the Total ZIP Code layer available through MapBusinessOnline Public Data.  Read more here.

Several other recent blogs may be helpful as you learn more about sales territory mapping:

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged-in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

 

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5 Helpful Improvements to Location Data Imports Using MapBusinessOnline

Importing location-based or address-based data into MapBusinessOnline is a regular activity for almost every user. Importing data is easy to accomplish.  We try to keep things simple, but importing location data is still a process that entails the following basic steps:

  1. Clicking the “Add to the Map – Dataset” button on the master toolbar,
  2. Navigating to your data target is stored on your machine or network and selecting the data
  3. Processing the data through the import wizard, making sure Address, City, State, and ZIP Code in your imported data appropriately matchup to the application’s location buckets

These steps are straight forward, especially for people who’ve imported their own business datasets into other applications before. Online business mapping software is no different. But to help those who get a little nervous about location-data and address spreadsheets, we published a blog describing how to prepare your datasets for import.

Importing data is critical to the construction of customer mapping, competitor mapping, and sales territory mapping.

The Geospatial Mystique

Mapping and geospatial are technical terms that are practically synonyms. Like the words ‘meat’ and ‘beef’, they refer to the same subject – beef just carries a little more savoir-faire. (Although geospatial was not a word imposed by William the Conqueror.)

Just to de-mystify some geospatial terms for newbies, here’s a glossary of terms that intimidated me when I was but a wee-geo-pup:

  • Compass Rose – A map feature that generally tells the map viewer the North orientation on a map and may include other information, like distance scales
  • Geocoding – The process of importing location data and plotting points on the map
  • GIS – An acronym for Geographic Information System software, better described as mapping software for business and science. Esri.com is the big Kahuna in the GIS industry.
  • Location Data – Spreadsheet data that includes location components such as an address, city, state, and ZIP code columns. Location data could also be spreadsheets with Latitude and Longitude columns, a list of ZIP codes, the infamous ‘little black book’ of 1960’s bachelor fame. Sometimes referred to as spatial data
  • Navigation Scroll Bar – A digital map tool the enables zooming in and zooming out around a center point. In MapBusinessOnline, the navigation scroll bar is in the upper right corner of the map rectangle
  • Radius Search – Within a digital map, use a circle drawing tool to create a circular area within which you can search for data. Radius search is one kind of spatial query
  • Spatial Query – Any map-based search for data within a drawn shape or administrative district like a ZIP code. Read more about spatial queries here. Synonym phrases include spatial search, geo-search, and geospatial query. A common application of a spatial query is an internet search for the nearest Starbucks
  • Map Geek – See your reflection in a mirror. If you find yourself enjoying your map work, it’s you, my friend

Keepin’ it Easy

To no one’s surprise, I’m often import data into a business map for my work. Repeat data imports help you get familiar with how importing location data works. Map users have options when it comes to importing spatial data.

With my COVID-19 map updates, I repeatedly download nearly identical data every other day. The data is very well attributed with address information. I simply download that data to my Laptop and then import it into MapBusinessOnline. Because the data is well attributed, meaning the addressing is complete, accurate, and consistent, I just click Plot and let the data roll in. I don’t bother going through all the address mapping in the import wizard because I know it will work based on my experience. After it plots, I click Done and move on to my next mapping operation.

If you know your data and your map, you may not have to manually map each address component to the import wizard.

Updating Imported Data

Sometimes a map creator may repeatedly import an updated spreadsheet.  The original spreadsheet should include a Unique ID column to enable fast and easy updates with no need to reimport the spreadsheet. Instead, in Map and Data, just click the Edit Gear associated with the layer and the Click Update Dataset from File. Read more about the use of Unique ID Columns here.

This month we updated MapBusinessOnline. The tool now allows the user to update previously imported map datasets without starting from scratch and adding a unique ID column.

  • The Map and Data box now contains a Quick Update button for spreadsheets whose formats have not shifted. A unique ID is not required. Try it.
  • Alternatively, the user can select the Options button, to the right of the Quick Update button to assign any existing column of data that happens to be a column containing unique numeric data

Quick Imported Data Updates

Frequently Imported Data

MapBusinessOnline also includes access to previously and or frequently imported datasets. These could be resource datasets for your business map, whose data components rarely change and are applied for reference on multiple maps.  To quickly duplicate the import of these data sets, choose the From Server option instead of pulling the data from where it is stored on your machine:

  • Click Add to Map – Dataset and then Next
  • Select the lower (third) option labeled From Server
  • Leave the Data Folder dropdown at My Data
  • Select your target data from the set of previously imported data listed
  • Import by clicking Plot

Did it Import Correctly?

I’ve been using MapBusinessOnline and handling technical support inquiries for almost ten years now. In all that time data import problems were rarely due to MapBusinessOnline issues. Still, we realize users need to feel warm and fuzzy about their data imports. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Be aware of how many records you are importing. Just as an import operation finishes, MapBusinessOnline reports how many records have been successfully imported.  It should be close to the number of records you expected. (I say ‘close’ because it’s not unusual to have a bad address here and there)
  • After import, check the lower left-hand corner of the Data Window.  There you will see your total record count noted.  Aside – When you filter or query that data the result will show the query segment count  and the original quantity
  • Review the Data Window view of your imported data. The second column from the left side of the datasheet view describes how well the data ‘geocoded’ or plotted. Green means ‘Great!’ Yellow signifies ‘could be better.’  And a Red X means try again, your data didn’t plot
  • Some day there will be a Jeopardy question, “What is MapPoint software?” Old Microsoft MapPoint data is just that – Old. Some of those ZIP codes have been deleted or changed

Remember, duplicate addresses (or in datasets using ZIP code only geocoding) and ZIP codes will lead to point stacking. Duplicate addresses stack the plotted points, one on top of another, at the exact same location.  Click the stack to get a list of points.  You may have imported 200 data records and only see fifty points on the map.  Look for point stacking.

Being aware of how well your data geocoded saves time in the long run.  We all make mistakes. Common importing mistakes include:

  • Bad addresses or bad address formatting. MapBusinessOnline requires Address | City | State | Zip. Sometimes importing users end up with many bad addresses. Especially if they inherit the data. Just be aware
  • Breakout location components that are stuffed into one spreadsheet field into separate fields – | 19 Norwood Ave Rockport MA | should be |19 Norwood Ave, | Rockport, | MA |. Be especially aware of County and State separations. This occurs most often in CRM or ERP exported data
  • Misleading column headers – Make sure the application knows what the column is. Labeling a column as ST or State works. Labeling it a ‘Preferred State’ might not.
  • Column formatting in your original data can be an issue from time to time. For example, you may want a number to be listed in a territory label field as text and not summed. In this case, your original data format for that column should be Text

Your data may have something wrong that you can’t identify. It happens. Let us know if you’re having data import issues that you can’t figure out. We’re happy to take a look at your data for you. After all, geospatial awareness starts with accurate location-based data and leads to an accurate business map.

In other words, we’re happy to help.

_______________________________________________________

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged-in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, How to instruction | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Does Your Org Need a Business Map?

Our business is going great. We’re even considering expanding. Why on Earth would I need a business map?

Good question.  Usually, online business mapping software requirements grow out of a need to answer questions about your business. The questions that businesses ask, are typically concerned with the future of that business.  Often, these questions are related to where an organization conducts its business:

  • What areas can we add to grow our business to the next level?
  • Where are our new customers going to be located?
  • Where are our best customers located?
  • Which city is the most lucrative city for our business expansion?
  • Which ZIP codes provide the most sales and the highest profit margins?

You can see that almost any type of business might ask these questions. A restaurant, an insurance company, a dentistry practice, a bicycle shop, Ford Motor Company, even a consignment clothing boutique might ask the very same questions about where their business is headed to.  It’s natural to want to map your business.

Sometimes questions about a business’s future are focused on gaining a better understanding of who the best customers really are, in addition to where they are.

  • What demographic categories are responsible for most of the sales of our products and services? And where do those customer interactions take place?
  • What are the top three demographic drivers of product and service sales over the last six months?
  • If I map demographics by ZIP codes, which areas across the nation contain the largest density of our top customer types?

Other questions might be related to critical resources supporting the sale of products and services into specific markets:

  • Which cities manage significant budgets for public-safety related products?
  • Where in the USA is the highest density of medical services requiring helium gas and N95 masks?
  • Which New England cities support gas utilities for home heating and have populations of over 70,000 people?

All the above questions are related to sustaining or growing business. Just imagine trying to answer the question, “Where are our new customers going to come from?” without a business map.

Where Are My Customers?

The answer to the question ‘Where are my customers?’ begins with an understanding of where your current customers reside. A customer address spreadsheet should be easily found in a company’s business system. (If it’s not, get a new business system.) The spreadsheet itself will list where those customers reside. Import that same list into a business map, and the business map will display where those customers live. This is called a customer map visualization.

Importing address-based or latitude/longitude-based customer spreadsheets is easy in MapBusinessOnline.

Once these records are imported into MapBusinessOnline, the ‘where are your customers’ question, becomes a set of points on the map represented by color-shaded symbols. That position occurs within a state, a county, or a ZIP code.  The more customer you show located in an area, the denser those symbols will become. When you are mapping customers, density matters.

A dense area of customer placement indicates at least three things about your customers:

  • A dense array of points indicates many customers are located in a targeted area and may share an interest in your products or services
  • Customer densities can help define possible sales or service coverage areas for your business
  • Customer densities justify investment in new products, more products, or even new stores

In business mapping, we call the visualization of customer densities a dot density map. Dot density maps are a basic map visualization that can start your business on the road to a better understanding of your customer base.

Another aspect of customer density areas is that they can be attributed with demographic information. Demographic data by ZIP code or county may help you define the characteristics of your average customer and perhaps your best customers.

Thus a dot density map displays the customers stacked up in an area of interest, and the ZIP code layer behind those customers might be color-shaded to reflect Median Household Income for the entire area-of-interest. Demographic data analysis software adds a new dimension of relevance to your business map. And that is what MapBusinessOnline can be for you.

A restaurant poised for expansion maybe expanding based solely on the owner’s gut feel that the time is right and that such-and-such a city is the perfect place for the next unique food outlet. But is it? Savvy business managers want data to back up their gut feel. Investing in a new building and opening a new restaurant is an expensive and risky venture.  Knowing beats feeling every time.

Dot density customer maps show where existing customer activity occurs. Such counties and ZIP codes are aggregate-able into areas of interest. And those areas of interest are perfect repositories for demographic data and historical sales data. Demographic data is generally included in a business mapping software like MapBusinessOnline. Historical business data is imported along with your customer spreadsheet. If your business system doesn’t have historical sales data, get a new business system.

MapBusinessOnline includes a comprehensive library of US Census Bureau categories applicable by City limit, County, State, or ZIP code map layers within MapBusinessOnline. Read more about demographic data here.

A Dot Density Map Visualization

Who Are My Customers?

Some business managers know who their customers are, others may not be so sure. But like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, your organization has known their customers all along.

Before you assign random demographic categories to your customer dot density map, ask your people about your customers.

  • Ask your salespeople, “Why do customers buy what we sell?”
  • Ask your shipping clerks, “Who do you ship this stuff we sell to?”
  • Ask your technical support team, “How do people use our products?”

Then consider demographic categories. You may find specific population segments, household configurations, or ethnicities that are most interested in your products and services.

Next, import those demographic layers into your map view and consider the densities of your customer activity and how it relates to those demographic types. Try different segments. Call in customer-centric associates to comment on your map. Dig into it a little to see what makes sense and what doesn’t.  Always include your core existing business areas in your analysis for comparisons. The map data should reflect expected activity in home areas. If it doesn’t, reconfigure your demographic data.

Think about your customer segments. Is your best segment 40 to 60-year-old males? Why is that? And if that’s true, then where in the USA can you find the highest density of 40 to 60-year old males?  Now you’re on to something. Now you’re cooking with gas. Toto too.

Map-Based Market Analysis

For most companies, these basic questions listed above will lead to some soul searching and eventually to some answers. You’ll learn where your business expansion is most likely to succeed.  That’s the whole point of business mapping software – developing map-based market analysis that identifies the best market areas, that contain your best customers, and are most likely to generate growth.

And the answer may very well be that you don’t have to look any further than your own backyard.

Learn more about your options to Try and  Buy MapBusinessOnline.

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged-in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

4 Advanced Territory Mapping Capabilities in MapBusinessOnline Pro

MapBusinessOnline Pro offers a territory alignment benefits you won’t find in other online business mapping software titles.

Both MapBusinessOnline Standard and Pro versions share standard territory creation features such:

  • Easy territory creation through draw tools and data import
  • Simple yet fast territory adjustments  – update, remove from, and add to existing areas
  • Comprehensive data analysis – merging imported business data with demographic data and business listings
  • Territory balancing by numeric values or demographic assignment
  • A variety of map sharing options for communicating goals and results
  • Compelling map look and feel adjustment options to optimize your territory maps

MapBusinessOnline Pro, as an advanced spatial analysis tool, provides a set of territory related features that are both unique and valuable.  Here are four capabilities of advanced territory management that can help your business grow.

Simultaneous Creation of Multiple Territories

While MapBusinessOnline Standard makes it easy to create multiple territories all at one time, by Radius Search, MapBusinessOnline Pro enables multiple territory creation based on drive time searches. The process is easy and fast.

Click the Market Analysis button along the master toolbar. Choose the first operation option called Search and Segment Data. This operation opens the dialogue wizard that walks you through the process:

  1. Either select a dataset already imported or import a dataset of multiple address locations from your desktop and walk through the Wizard
  2. In Pro, choose from driving time or driving distance. If you’ve only got Standard, select the radius for the multiple circle query or radius search
  3. Select whether or not you’d like to place a map object (polygon or circle) around your selected points.
  4. Click Next and Select a Map Layer to query for territory creation. The map layer most often selected is the ZIP code layer
  5. Be sure to check the box that indicates your desire to create multiple territories – as opposed to one single territory. (Please note – If you select a Map Layer the Checkbox defaults to territory creation. If you select a dataset the Checkbox defaults to marketing list creation)
  6. Process by clicking the Create button in the lower right

Territory Solutions for Many Industries

The auto-creation of multiple driving time or distance territories, and/or marketing lists, is a marketing solution for chain retail store analysis, hospital system expansion planning, multiple restaurant businesses, and field service tech management. To name just a few applications that benefit from this geospatial solution. The process is a one-pass operation and takes about five minutes overall, versus a territory-by-territory approach that could take an afternoon.

Bring an Understanding of Your Business to Your Map

Simultaneous territory alignment requires that the territory creator understand a few things about the areas of interest they plan to turn into territories.  Try to understand the most impactful market forces impacting your business:

  • Talk to your staff about how far technicians or customers drive on average  to apply your services or buy your products. Drive time analysis
  • Find evidence of your average customer’s demographic profile. Do you attract high-income earners or low-income households? Demographic Mapping
  • What other products complement your offering? How does that affect your demographic profile? Demographic data analysis
  • Where are your competitors located? Competitor mapping

In the case of MapBusinessOnline Standard, you can approximate a driving time or driving distance by setting a radius distance. Build a couple of manual driving time and distance polygons from a center point out and determine a time estimate that roughly matches a radius. Tweak the distance until you’ve got a circle estimate that fits within your business model. Use that radius to generate your simultaneous territories using Standard Market Analysis, as noted above.

When using MapBusinessOnline Pro or Standard, with multiple driving time (or radius) territories established, assess the analysis component of your Data Window territory datasheet view. Using the Choose Columns button, import your numeric business datasets, add demographic data to flesh out critical impacting elements. Read more about territory analysis.

Easy Region and Division Support

MapBusinessOnline Pro provides the means for the advanced sales territory manager to create regions out of territories and divisions out of regions. Incrementally select the territories you’d like to include in a region with your mouse cursor, holding down the shift key, or through a polygon search tool. Save that Region using a name of your choosing. Do the same selection operation combining Regions and, once again, save that selection as a Division.

The Territory, Region, and Division name assignments, can be adjust in Map & Data or in the Data Window. For instance, a user could change ‘Zones,’ or ‘Areas,’ or even ‘Ducks.’ In Map and Data, target the layer, click the Edit Gear and then click the Edit Pencil associated with the layer and edit the label name. (“Remember Geoff’s last day? Ducks for divisions? What was he thinking?”)

Region and Division support is useful for national sales organizations when developing classic large territory management tiers. Still, other non-sales organizations often apply these tiered territory layers to non-sales applications. Healthcare systems must manage tiered staff such as healthcare aides, clinicians, and doctors. Insurance territories manage  tiers by claims,  finance, in addition to sales.

MapBusinessOnline provides three tiers – territories, regions, and divisions. Additional tiers may warrant a new map if your system is that complex. And frankly, if it is that complex, give some thought to simplifying your model.

Competitor Map

Create Fast Markets Analysis Across Multiple Locations

MapBusinessOnline Pro provide efficient market assessments across multiple brick and mortar address locations. This analysis is called Aggregate Customer Data. A market study using Aggregate Customer Data can quickly compare a list of storefronts or warehouse locations to an existing or prospective customer list.

Customer and prospect statistics are selectable as part of the Aggregate Customer Data query, resulting in an expanded analysis spreadsheet linking customers with stores and displaying relevant marketing data.

In the Market Analysis button, select the Aggregate Customer Data option, which you’ll see listed under the Summarize or Enrich section of Market Analysis.

  • Choose or import the two location-based data sets for analysis.  One selection will be for stores or facility locations. The other selection will be for customer or perhaps mobile locations
  • Select up to three data elements to pull into your market analysis. You can choose columns from demographic data, business listings, or imported business data
  • To process more data elements, run the query again

These three territory mapping program processes available exclusively in MapBusinessOnline Pro, are designed to support organizations that require more advanced territory mapping.

  • Drive time and distance analysis capabilities enable detailed market analysis and customer prototyping for B2B and consumer-driven sales organizations. By conducting analysis based on driving times over a road network, and coupling that analysis with feedback from salespeople, businesses will quickly identify their market characteristics. Such market analysis points the way to a successful expansion
  • Tiered or hierarchical territory mapping organizes sales teams over large areas. Often regions and divisions are organized to support sales managers, directors, and VP’s responsible for multi-million-dollar sales budgets and sales forces numbering in the hundreds of traveling salespeople. Hierarchical territories provide levels of management with clearly defined areas of responsibility that support results monitoring and budgeting
  • Advanced map-based market analysis exposes patterns and trends that might otherwise escape review. New patterns in customer purchasing habits and competitor activity get lost in the chaos of day-to-day business. Map-based market analysis exposes these hidden trends. It’s a wake-up call that you send to yourself

Changes in the marketplace due to the Pandemic or Climate change are going to be drivers of market shifts for the foreseeable future. Invest in business tools that help you develop a flexible company vision that can help respond to what’s to come. Location-based sales territory tools in MapBusinessOnline Pro help us understand the future by showing us what’s happening now and yesterday.

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Capture, Visualize, and Plan through Sales Territory Data Analysis

Customers who invest in MapBusinessOnline often take the plunge because they need to create sales territories.  A sales territory can mean different things to different business people.

Sales territories can represent areas of interest for business planners or coverage areas for traveling salespeople. A sales territory could represent a group of ZIP codes defining the geographic extent of a callout campaign.  Another sales territory might simply represent a finite distance from a central address beyond which a company refuses to do business.

A territory in MapBusinessOnline could represent a crime scene area established by a public safety agency investigating a murder. A territory could even define a medical team’s tracing of an epidemic. Although, who could imagine that happening? (Cough).

A territory could also reference a new area of interest, under consideration, as a company seeks to expand.

OK, you get the general idea. Here’s a typical sales territory map view:

Sales Territory Analysis – Capture the Data

Along with sales territories map views, business mapping software typically includes the ability to manage and analyze related business data that is relevant to the target areas of interest.  This is no small thing and business maps online can have a big impact on your business planning.

With any designated territory area, regardless of how small or large that area may be, a territory creator using MapBusinessOnline can build a data analysis view. The territory map creator can easily import data associated with ZIP codes, counties, or other geographic administrative districts, into the territory analysis view.

MapBusinessOnline sales territory analysis includes access to a full library of demographic categories. These demographic datasets add value to a sales organization’s sales management by providing:

  • Relevant data for sales territory balancing – keeping workloads and compensation fair across the sales team
  • Historic records of sales activity by territory supporting the development of organizational goals and tracking criteria
  • Critical market analysis content that exposes new and potentially lucrative geographic areas of interest
  • Relevant numeric data related to the specific business under analysis – harvest data, resource data
  • Competitor information pertinent to the analysis – MapBusinessOnline business listings are one example

In MapBusinessOnline territories will display identical analysis views for all territories, based on that same base map layer (ZIP code, county, etc.), for that particular map.

That’s why, after I’ve created my territory assignments by geography, whether I’ve imported the territory data or created a ZIP code territory map using the polygon lasso method, I immediately drill down into my first territory and import my analysis layers.  Because once the analysis view is completed for a single territory, all other territories contain that same data footprint.

Visualize the Data – Choose Columns

Sales territory analysis layers will vary, just as your territory applications vary from business-to-business, or department-to-department. But while the data options are many, MapBusinessOnline provides a consistent and easy-to-use data management tool that lets the user quickly layout an analysis scheme for any territory or area of interest.

In the Data Window view of any territory look to the lower right-hand corner and click the Choose Columns button to access this powerful but simple database management tool. You’ll see how the tool lets you access data in the left panel dropdown, and move data selected to the right-side panel. Easily select and move data from one side to the other. Read more details about the Choose Columns button.

All map-based territory visualizations in MapBusinessOnline include this corresponding Data Window view. MapBusinessOnline territory managers and map viewers access the territory analysis view in the Data Window to help assess any territory’s relevant business data.

Filter controls applied to data layers and geographic layers, allow the map user flexibility in this analysis. For instance, a user can filter various ZIP code configurations to determine which areas are more likely to support certain product lines based on Census published population or median income values. Read more about accessing Demographic Data.

Users can conduct filtering operations and then export the results from the Data Window view for use outside of the application.  The far-right button on the Data Window toolbar offers immediate export of any data present in the analysis view.

A Territory Analysis View

Make Better Decisions Using Territory Data

MapBusinessOnline sales territory users access analysis data because it is relevant to the territory’s purpose – to assign sales or field technicians client accountability and to track their results towards their goal.

As mentioned above, location-based records of sales activity by address or ZIP code often are imported into territory analysis.  Sales activity is easily rolled-up by territory or map layer to develop overall all sales goals.

Demographic data imported into a sales territory analysis can help define existing markets and future markets. Demographic categories applied to sales territories most often include:

  • Population – By total overall population or segments by age, ethnicity, or gender
  • Median income – Segmentation of populations by income can be a very effective way for the sales organization to understand which income levels directly support sales
  • Housing data – Often housing activity and values can help assess field service goals and objectives
  • Consumer expenditures – General categories of consumer spending can verify market assessments based on associated data. For example, a territory may show sales activity a population of female teens. Census published Consumer Expenditures data for makeup categories appear to verify that result

Perhaps the critical aspect of territory analysis is the application of tracked business data for existing markets. By importing sales history, insurance claims records, donor histories, or other relevant numeric data associated with client services, a territory map presents a full picture of the supplier-to-customer relationship.

Armed with a visual understanding of where and how customers purchase products or receive services, the supplier can:

  • Plan for customer expansion
  • Consider new market areas of interest
  • Develop competitor analysis
  • Examine critical logistical and financial resources that support customer service
  • Conduct strategic plans for managed growth

While it may feel like a big task to create a territory map visualization of your current areas of doing business, sales territory analysis is not a giant leap from simple day-to-day business processes. Sales territory analysis employs the everyday transactional and location-based data most companies track by through normal business processes. Go ahead, map your business today.

Applied with care sales territory analysis can transform your sales organization’s future vision.

Capture the data – visualize the data – and make decisions based on the data for a more organized and more secure future.

Replace Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline Standard. The industry’s best MapPoint Replacement.  Try MapBusinessOnline – business mapping software for PC or Mac.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

6 Wicked Easy Ways to Create Sales Territories Using MapBusinessOnline

MapBusinessOnline often is purchased as a sales territory mapping tool.  There are at least a half dozen ways to create sales territories using MapBusinessOnline. The first five are available in both MapBusinessOnline Standard and Pro.  The sixth option, using a multiple driving time search, is available only in MapBusinessOnline Pro.

The major territory creation options are:

  1. Lasso the ZIPs – Compile the territories from scratch using a polygon or free form selection tool to select groups of ZIP codes, counties, states, or city limits (Apply only one map layer at a time to a territory scheme)
  2. Incremental Selection – Select a ZIP code, county, state, or city limit with your mouse cursor and create territories through manual selection
  3. Import a Territory Spreadsheet – Import a spreadsheet of territory names and either ZIP codes, counties, states, city limits, or Census Tracts (Include a column for State abbreviation for counites and city limits)
  4. Filtered or Queried Results – Create a territory layer from a map layer query result. Query results display a list of ZIP codes, counties, or city limits that can then be converted into a territory area and assigned a territory name
    1. Filter a list or range of ZIP codes
    2. Conduct a spatial query for all cities within a radius
  5. Create Territories from a Multiple Radius Search – Conduct a multiple radius search and create territories from the radius search results using the Market Analysis tool Search and Segment Data by Radius
  6. Create Territories from a Multiple Drive Time Search – Conduct a multiple driving time or distance search and create territories at once from the multiple driving time or driving distance search results using the Market Analysis tool Search and Segment Data by driving time or distance in MapBusinessOnline Pro

Lasso the Map Layer

Most business mapping software programs enable territory creation by applying a draw tool lasso. In MapBusinessOnline, select a polygon search tool and create a shape on the web map that encompasses the area of you have interest in. Complete the drawn polygon by returning the line to the start point.   Select the map layer you would like to base your territory on – ZIP codes, counties, states, city limits. Now name the territory.

In the Data Window view, which pops up automatically, add or remove geographic data as required using the Choose Columns button in the lower right. You can also add demographic data or imported sales data to the analysis. Once you’ve completed the first territory, all additional territories will include the same analysis data.  Read more about Territory Data management using the Choose Columns button.

The undo button for creating territories is the Blue Arrow at the top left side of MapBusinessOnline. To the right of the Address Bar.

Undo Territory Arrow

Here’s a video describing the process of creating a territory from scratch.

Incremental Selection

Using your mouse cursor, select one ZIP code (county, city limit, state, etc.), hold the shift key down to select more. When finished selecting map layer objects, click Add to Territory.  Select the map layer of choice, in this case, ZIP codes, and name that territory.

Please note the options listed on the left side under Create New.  Use Create New to name a new territory.  Click other options to Edit a territory. See how easy it is to Add to or Update or Remove from a territory?  That’s what we call, “Wicked Easy” in Rockport, MA.  

The above two methods for sales territory creation are the methods of choice for sales organizations. Both processes lead to the same result – a sales territory scheme that reflects the organization’s sales goals and the sales team’s progress toward those goals. The sales territory tools are used by:

  • Manufacturing sales organizations
  • Traveling sales professionals
  • Manufacturer’s representative companies
  • Distribution and wholesale sales teams

Territories from an Imported Spreadsheet

A popular method of territory creation is by importing a ZIP code spreadsheet.  The same method works for counties, but you must include a State abbreviation column.  That’s because ZIP codes are numerically unique, so no state is required. County names are not unique. Think Montgomery County. It’s in three states.

Include a column for ZIP code and a column for Territory Name.

ZIP Code Territory Name
01966 Alfalfa
01967 Alfalfa
01834 Buckwheat
01865 Buckwheat

With your import territories spreadsheet saved to your desktop:

  1. Choose the Create Territories button from the Adding to Maps section of the Master Toolbar
  2. Walkthrough the import wizard, reviewing the preselected data buckets as you proceed
  3. In the third import-wizard page make sure the CheckBox to “Ignore Point-only ZIP codes” is checked on (Read about Point ZIP codes here). Click Next
  4. Click Next to Creating Territories. Verify that the map layer required and the column used to name your territory is correct. Click Create Territories

Once imported, the Data Window analysis view is presented, adjust as in the above lasso approach to include the appropriate analysis layers.

Here’s a video describing the import territories process.

Convert a Filter or Spatial Query Result into a Territory

For whatever reason, you’ve conducted a spatial query  or filtered a ZIP code list. Perhaps you did a drive time query and then filtered the results to include specific ZIP codes with a higher than X Median Income value. Those results, presented in the Data Window, can be turned into a territory.

With the results in the Data Window view, click the Blue Puzzle piece button in the Territory section of the Data Window Toolbar that reads Add to Territory. Name the territory, and there you have it – a fourth way to create territories.

Creating Multiple Territories from a Mass Radius Search

MapBusinessOnline makes it convenient to create multiple territories at one time.  MapBusinessOnline Standard will allow the user to do this using the Search & Segment Data from Multiple Centers option under the Analysis button on the master toolbar.

Using the Search & Segment Analysis option:

  1. Select or import a dataset of points
  2. Choose the radius distance
  3. You can decide to place a circle on the map around up to 200 points
  4. Run the query by clicking Next.
  5. Choose a Map Layer upon which to base your territory scheme
  6. Make sure to select the Create Multiple Territories option
  7. Insert a Text Prefix that makes sense for naming. Click Create

Remember it is always easy to undo a Territory Creation option. Just click the Undo arrow at the top left of the MapBusinessOnline application – to the right of the address bar.

Creating Multiple Territories from a Mass Driving Time or Distance Search (Pro Users Only)

The last method for creating territories using MapBusinessOnline is implemented through the same button as number 5, above. The only difference is it requires a subscription to MapBusinessOnline Pro.

That’s because Pro provides the robust database and analysis tools required to crank out multiple center queries using driving time and distance calculations along the North American road network. That, my friend, is a lot of geodata. So it takes a little longer to process the query.

Initiate this spatial search by choosing the first option in Market Analysis.

  1. Select or import a dataset of points
  2. Choose the driving time or driving distance option distance
  3. You can decide to place a driving time or distance polygon on the map around up to 200 points
  4. Run the query by clicking Next.
  5. Choose a Map Layer upon which to base your territory scheme
  6. Make sure to select the Create Multiple Territories option
  7. Insert a Text Prefix that makes sense for naming. Click Create

Multiple driving time or driving distance territories are terrific ways to generate territories for these business applications:

  • Market Analysis in support of business expansion. Because driving times to a store or service center can directly impact the customer experience, this quick assessment of areas of interest and specified driving times can be critical to accurate market assessments. Think restaurant take out or delivery businesses
  • Retail Chain Store Expansion – The Search and Segment option of MapBusinessOnline Pro market analysis is perfect for retail store chain expansion and trade area analysis considerations. Multiple address driving time and distance queries make it easy to define the primary customer zones surrounding potential store placements.  Add demographic analysis and competing business listings, and you’ve got yourself a thorough analysis
  • Service Area Analysis – The service industry is virtually limitless in scope. Regardless of the service your business offers, driving time and distance analysis lets the user define the customer service area scope, determine staffing requirements, or new service center locations.

MapBusinessOnline Standard and Pro software options both provide tools to define areas of sales or service accountability and can add demographic data and business listings to the analysis.

  • If your business has never implemented sales territory management, prepare to be wowed
  • If your business had territory management through MapPoint, you’ve found your replacement
  • And if your business has been paying through the nose for a fancy sales territory manage service, you just found significant savings

Sales territory management in MapBusinessOnline provides tools that manage additional territory mapping requirements including:

  • Overlap – See the Map and Data Tab to set up territory intersection options that enable overlap. Overlap in MapBusinessOnlne is defined by a bright or obvious color-shade
  • Territory Editing – The same tools that enable territory creation, control territory editing. Add or subtract areas and map object to or from your territories with a few clicks of a mouse
  • Territory Analysis – The Data Window offers powerful analysis view of your sales territory. Access demographic data, imported data, and calculated data columns to define and balance territories by data composition using the powerful Choose Columns button in the lower right. Read more about Choosing Columns.

Through creative use of the MapBusinessOnline sales territory mapping tools a business map user can develop additional ways to create territories. Let us know if you find a new and valuable way to create a territory that supports your unique work process.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web Map access. The Flash-based Web Map link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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MapBusinessOnline Pro and Standard – Affordable Location Intelligence & Sales Territory Mapping

MapBusinessOnline Pro vs. Standard

MapBusinessOnline Pro builds upon the power of MapBusinessOnline Standard. Both online mapping software titles provide location-based business intelligence and powerful territory management capabilities. Read on to get a better understanding of what the differences are between the two versions and how to affordably upgrade from Standard to Pro.

MapBusinessOnline Pro, our most advanced business mapping software version, builds upon the power of MapBusinessOnline Standard, providing businesses with hierarchical territory management and map-based market analysis tools while including all of the functionality of Standard.

Examples of customer applications of MapBusinessOnline Pro include management of large subscription datasets, retail chain or restaurant expansion planning, strategic analysis, and transportation analysis.

Pro provides answers requiring multiple driving time and driving distance queries across multiple center-point datasets. Pro leverages these powerful spatial tools towards enhanced business intelligence and better decision making. MapBusinessOnline Pro’s key features include:

  • Search & Segment Data from Multiple Center Points – Simultaneous spatial querying capabilities across multiple center-points
    • Driving time and driving distance analysis
    • Radius and straight-line analysis
  • Batch Calculate Distance and Time – Origin-to-Destination transportation analysis
    • Analyze driving times and distances across a single dataset or between all points in two datasets
  • Find the Nearest – Identify the nearest points from one location dataset to another dataset
  • Support for Territory Regions and Divisions – hierarchical territory management is supported in Pro
  • Expanded imported location data allowance per map – Import up to 250,000 records per map
  • Data enrichment of imported business datasets
    • Add Demographic analysis categories to imported datasets – population, income, ethnicity, and more
    • Add Geographic data to imported datasets – ZIP codes, cities, counties, and more
    • Aggregate imported business location data by Territory, Region, and Division. Show data aggregation in map object labels
  • Build advanced Map-based Market Analysis – combine the power of demographic analysis with advanced driving time and distance queries for the most compelling and informative business maps available
  • Create multiple driving time and distance-based territories in one pass – fast and easy
  • Conduct side-by-side analysis of two location-based datasets
    • Origin-destination queries for transportation system analysis
    • Proximity searches between points in one or two imported datasets

MapBusinessOnline Pro includes all the capabilities of MapBusinessOnline Standard.

Develop Market Profiles

MapBusinessOnline Standard empowers everyday business users to create customer map visualizations, sales territory maps, route-optimized sales planning maps, demographic map analysis, and field staff management maps.

MapBusinessOnline customers use the tool to affordably access a variety of business analysis types such as competitor analysis maps, strategic planning maps, expansion planning tools, retail store mapping, resource mapping, and to develop situational awareness maps.

MapBusinessOnline Standard is the closest replacement for Microsoft MapPoint available.

MapBusinessOnline Standard key features include:

  • Import and visualize customers and prospects – View customers and prospects against a map. Create fast and easy map visualizations
  • Develop Zip Code maps – Import sales data and color-code ZIP codes by the numeric value of sales or other business data
  • Build heat maps – Describe your imported business data by color-shaded areas of high activity
  • Create and manage sales territories – Establish balanced sales accountability across your sales organization. Share sales territory maps with your team
  • Access optimized routing tools – Leverage your sales territories and customer maps into sales planning tools
  • Conduct market analysis – Create ZIP-code profile maps. Identify underserved market areas. View the demographic make-up of potential markets
  • Access easy and fast Spatial Queries – Read more about easy spatial queries
    • Radius search by address or by a manually placed map point
    • Driving time and distance spatial queries
    • Polygon and free form spatial queries
  • Create Compelling Business Maps – Learn how to create advanced business maps that highlight your business challenges
  • Share You Map Work – Low-cost sharing of your business maps with constituents and stakeholders. Share interactive maps, image files, and even printed wall maps
  • Supports standard import allowance – Import up to 100,000 location records per map

Both MapBusinessOnline Pro and Standard are available with the USA, Canada, or both USA and Canada coverage areas. Review all pricing and features options for Pro and Standard here.

Query Inside or Outside of the Circle

Standard users who consider upgrading to Pro will have their investment in MapBusinessOnline Standard protected through prorated pricing. All upgraded subscription pricing is prorated based on the number of days remaining in the existing subscription.

To get your upgrade pricing from MapBusinessOnline Standard to Pro simply:

  • Click the Subscription button in the application or on the website
  • Log in and choose the Upgrade Subscription tab
  • Scroll down to review your upgrade options and dropdown to select the number of users. Pricing will display.

MapBusinessOnline Team Subscriptions for the Enterprise

Focus your finest minds on a shared map to solve problems with intuitive and easy-to-share MapBusinessOnline Team subscriptions

Either MapBusinessOnline Standard or MapBusinessOnline Pro licenses can be bundled into a Team Subscription.  Team subscriptions let groups of MapBusinessOnline subscribers privately share maps for collaborative map editing.

Any MapBusinessOnline annual subscriber can share maps with another MapBusinessOnline annual subscriber for collaborative editing.  Team subscriptions offer a few extra benefits:

  • Includes an additional subscription license for a team administration management
  • Ability to easily share and reassign subscription access with users. Shift users and map access as team members change positions or leave the company
  • Access Team pricing – discounted for volume. Team pricing kicks in at qty five subscriptions

Also, for Enterprise Customers:

Make sure all your MapBusinessOnline users understand how to secure assistance, should they require it.  Here’s a link describing how to create your first business map.

Support is always available through Chat, Email (Contact button), or by calling (800) 425-9035. Here’s a link to MapPoint related help docs.  Check out our YouTube video library and weekly application blog.  Don’t hesitate to request a web demo. Jason Henderson (email copied above) handles the majority of our technical and sales support. He’s an expert on MapBusinessOnline and can help you determine the most effective path to achieving your mapping goals.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The Map App is a cloud-based service. Once you’ve logged in you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience and provides access to more features than the Web App. The Flash-based Web App link will remain available until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

Value-Added Resellers – Offer the tool to your customers as a reseller. Make money on training and consulting. Contact us with further interest in reselling MapBusinessOnline.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to MapBusinessOnline in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Posted in Business Mapping Software blog post, Sales and marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment