How to Create a Marketing Business Map

Marketing Maps are a common application of business mapping softwareMarketing maps provide a variety of business perspectives, any one of which holds value to the company creating and using the map.  Marketing maps can identify market potential, define threats and opportunities, or just outline a marketing campaign geographically. But these map perspectives can get a little overwhelming at times, especially to new users of business mapping software or audiences who are not used to viewing maps.

Keep in mind, business maps are a composite of a variety of visual data. As such, these maps can quickly reach a layer-over-load stage if not managed appropriately. In Map Business Online you can bring twenty plus layers to bear on your map pallet. Try to use each layer judiciously.

Here’s a few of commonly used maps layers that add value to market analysis maps:

  • State layer – An MBO map layer, typically with the state fill turned off because this layer is often used for reference and orientation
  • ZIP code layer – An MBO map layer used to designate areas of interest, territories, and for color shaded visualizations of demography or other imported data
  • Demographic data for color shading – included with MBO covering multiple years and hundreds of categories from the Census Bureau
  • Imported user data – customers, prospects and sales reps – anything pertinent to your business that has a location component in the data
  • Imported industry business data – NAICS industry segment data or industry group data – see RealDatasets
  • Imported territory data – spreadsheets of counties, states or ZIP codes – preassigned to a territory name. Territory mapping can at times constitute a marketing map.

Preparing to Create a Marketing Map

When creating a business map for marketing analysis give some consideration to that array of data you have available or can procure.  Look over the data layers to make sure location components exist and are accurately assembled. Look for columns in your data that you can use on the map to create color shadings, point/symbol color codes, or heat map layers.

Think about the reason you are creating your business analysis. What are your goals?  Getting clear on why you want to invest time and effort into building a map can help you create a more valuable map. Keep your goal in mind through out the process of creating a marketing map.

Think about who’s going to view your marketing map.  What kind of viewer are they? Are they patient and inquisitive? Or are they pressed for time and looking to get spoon fed information quickly.

To the Map! Batman

Back at Map Business Online, start importing your data layers. Import as many as you feel are relevant. The upper limit on the number of separate datasets per map is twelve. You can import up to 100,000 records per map. So, try to consolidate like datasets – such as customer files. Avoid importing a bunch of smaller, separate customer files – consolidate.

As you import your files, make them map worthy by adjusting a few things:

  • Assign Readable and Politically Correct File Names. In MBO click on the imported data file in Map and Data and adjust the name of the dataset so it reads well on the map. When your boss is reading your map, you don’t want a weird name to show up on the map. So, change names like: That Stupid Map File I Hate to read something more like YTD Registered Users.
  • Make your map easy on the eyes. Choose a symbol you feel good about and adjust its size so that it is easy to read but doesn’t cover up other stuff on the map. Tweak the colors to match your map view. Avoid bright and obnoxious colors. Loud colors and huge symbols distract from your map intent.

Imported data points are likely to be critical for your map’s purpose. Consider using a key imported data set to color shade a map layer instead of a point layer.  Rather than show all sales for 2016 as points on the map, it might be wiser and easier on the boss’s eyes, if you color shaded the ZIP codes based on imported sales data. Just consider it. It may not work for your map. It’s easy to try in MBO. Ask a colleague what they think.

Save your most important numeric layer for a Heat Map layer. Heat maps are all drama. So, if there’s a layer of your data that just screams, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” save it for the heat map layer. That’s the layer that says, “Hey Boss! See all this color and intensity? Pay attention or we’ll all lose our jobs.” Let the map scream the drama, not you.

Dumb It Down

Most people, when they first build a map, love showing it off. They’ll turn on every layer, with bright colors and thick borders. Their proud of their work and they want the world to know it. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t care. Remember – What’s the reason you built this map? Stay focused.

Consider turning off most of your map layers. Let the map tell a story as your turn on layers for your audience. Let that skunky suck-up point out you’re missing a key layer, and then you just click it on. “Oh, Snap! That’s where those sales are.”

Try to tell your marketing map story by only using a few of the layers you’ve imported.  Keep the others in reserve for follow-up questions or more detail. Remember, too many layers can undermine your map point. Especially if you’re presenting to a larger group. Keep it simple.

Practice your map presentation. Make sure you understand what all those layers represent and how they relate to the geographies you’ve chosen.  By this I mean, if your business uses ZIP codes to define territories, then by all means build your territory maps using ZIP codes. If you import demographic data into your ZIP code map, think about the demographic totals and their relationship to the ZIP code. Population is usually presented as people per ZIP code. Income can be average incomes per ZIP code. Ages may show as the population of a certain age by ZIP code.

Build Another Map

If your marketing map is getting too crowded, you may simply require more than one map to achieve your goal. For instance, your territory map by ZIP code may be critical to the conversation. But you also want to show product distribution and customer distribution by county. It’s may make sense to have two separate maps. Or save your first map as a template, then create an offshoot of your first map for differing views.

It’s easy to create new maps and templates in MBO. Take advantage of the application.

Add Text to the Map

Map Business Online provides plenty of places for your marketing map to describe itself. Text on a map helps people understand what they are seeing.  The MBO map legend is entirely editable. Adjust your data labels to reflect marketing categories and names. Eliminate redundancies in your legend. Delete empty values like other.

Add a map title text to the map – relate that title to your reason for building the map in the first place.  Map titles are located in Map & Data – click the menu edit gear, you’ll find map title control there.  You can also add map notes using the Draw Tools – see the button labeled “ABC.” Best of all, you have five flexible fields associated with all geography layer labels, including territories. The flexible fields associated with map layer labels adds places to aggregate data or pull labels from imported data fields.

Share Your Marketing Map

Maps are for sharing. MBO has a variety of ways to share maps. The most useful sharing technique for marketers is the interactive map sharing capabilities. Publish your map through MapShare and provide your viewers with a marketing map they can review at their leisure. They’ll simply click on the link you send and launch a simple version of MBO. They’ll be able to pan and zoom, query, and route – but they can’t edit the map.

Marketing maps help businesses plan for future growth. Marketing maps are important. Use your best judgement when building your marketing map. Don’t overwhelm the viewer. Experiment with a variety of symbolization and map layering schemes. Treat each marketing map as a small step toward achieving company objectives.

And remember what Don Draper of Mad Men said: “Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And do you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of a road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing is OK. You are OK.”

So now, your map is OK.

Send us your unique business mapping application, we’d love to do a story on it.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

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How Do Businesses Apply Map Business Online?

Considering business mapping? How would you apply Map Business Online in your business? Listed below are a few ways in which business users apply business maps. We’d love to add your business applications to our growing list of applicators. Oh, and one of these “industry examples” is fake news. Can you guess which one?

Banks – Conduct risk assessment and loan portfolios by metropolitan area. Consider critical retail and other business address placements that help define current economic viability by region. Use ZIP code and Census Tract demographic classifications to expose prime house flipping areas and thereby minimize loan risk.

Delivery Services – (Bottling companies, fuel delivery& other services) Conduct optimized route assessments of common routes and route alternatives. Share routes across your traveling network. Develop route avoids in emergency situations. Import stop lists with arrival and stay times assigned. Periodical create business maps of the delivery service network to access growth or new requirements.

Dentistry Firms – Dentists are everywhere, which means they have lots of competition. Competitors maps can help dentist and orthodontist firms plan for market expansion – either seeking new customers for a current location or exploring the idea of office expansion. Drive time queries coupled with demographic analysis can answer questions about which ZIP codes are within reasonable driving distance and contain the highest percent of kids ages 10 to 19, in families with reasonably high income. In short, marketing maps help dentists grow their business.

Field Technician Operations – Assign specific territories or areas of responsibility to each technician in the field. Build sales territory maps. Create resource maps that show technician locations at start of day, include skill set data for color coding/visualization purposes. Assign client rosters to field techs for route development and coverage consistency. Place special notes on the map if there’s a scary dog at that house.

Franchise Company – Build franchise territory maps that define franchisee coverage areas based on population, income or other Census Bureau Demographic statistics.  Display your franchise territories by ZIP code or county or even Census Tracts, depending on how dense you’d like your coverage to be.  Color code sold and unsold franchise territories – Red for sold, Green for available. Share interactive web maps with potential franchisees to help get them on board.

Hospital Systems – Create business maps of critical healthcare services for entire communities. Develop competitor systems maps that help clarify areas for strengths and weaknesses that inform strategic planning. Establish field medical operations that support the elderly across the metro-area through mobile hospice or home care support.

Insurance Companies – Visualize field claims requirements across your geographic network. Establish claim management territories. Show home locations or start of day locations for all agents in the field. Develop portfolio maps that group high risk insurance coverages by ZIP code or County. Consider all location-based assets and risks in strategic planning maps. Color classify critical areas based on a risk index.

Large Enterprise Business – Signed up for an enterprise wide license agreement, multi-national organizations will apply business mapping across the organization, including C-Suite strategic planning maps (competitor analysis, sales territory alignment, full market analysis, and future growth analysis maps.) REPLACE MAPPOINT! Cross-department problem solving groups are set up using team mapping capabilities where collaborative map editing helps leverage and coordinate the best company minds. Sales planning and optimized routing capabilities are provided to all traveling sales people. Call center maps, affordably share maps across a network, help technical and sales team quickly organize their inbound call support.

Marketing Agency – Build business maps that define market potential based on imported business location-datasets. Create customer visualizations that can be developed into map actuals of your clients best performing ZIP codes which can then be converted into best ZIP code profiles. Build really informative maps about your client’s coverage areas, products and services.

Manufacturing Sales Department – Replace Microsoft MapPoint with Map Business Online! Create sales territory alignment maps that clearly define sales territories for a growing salesforce. Use shared sales territory maps a way to define accountability and display sales goals and objectives.  Sales territory maps are great for sharing results and as a center point for sales discussions, inculcating company sales rules and sharing what works and what doesn’t across the sales team.

Music FestivalBluegrass music festivals utilize business maps to visualize where all of the acts are traveling from and their mode of transportation. This helps them plan for local accommodations which are also mapped out. Patron home addresses of more than 9,000 names are mapped to analyze where attendees come from and to help assess the total dollars the festival brings to the state every summer.

Non-profit – Visualize your full donor base based on address databases.  Conduct demographic analysis to define the areas and demographic segments most likely to generate future donations.  Define your operating areas and consider territory assignments to organize field work. Use business mapping to plan your next event – create invitation segment campaigns from imported member data.

Pharmaceutical – We’ve noticed more and more pharma companies seeking business mapping to conduct sales planning with optimized routing. They also like to conduct strategic planning analysis with business maps outlining current and future business retail locations, and competitor maps.  Flu Shot tracking by customer address can provide some critical information for influenza mitigation effectivity studies, year over year.

Rental Agencies – Car, truck, and equipment agencies love Map Business Online for market analysis and sales planning. They’ll also use the tool to monitor inventories of aging equipment by location and in preparation for auctioning.

Retail Business – Drive-time studies reveal the scope of your target audience surrounding your store. Understand how many people in what demographic live within 30 minutes of your establishment. Based on drive-time results invest in advertisements in easily drivable ZIP codes. Connect demographic ethnic, income based, or age-based population segments with product release promotions.

Trades Contractors – Plumbers, electricians, and carpenters need to grow their markets too. Business maps are a great way to track jobs with an eye toward future referrals. Targeted post card marketing can be achieved through ZIP code analysis of homeowner databases. Track ads placed in local periodicals to determine new areas of business possibilities.

Ok. You probably guessed the fake news item above. Here’s a hint:

How do you create a $1 million dollar bank account? Invest $2 million in a Bluegrass Music Festival.

Send us your unique business mapping application, we’d love to do a story on it.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035




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Announcing Map Business Online with RealDatasets!

SpatialTEQ Inc., publisher of, announces the launch of RealDatasets for Map Business Online through a product partnership with a application developer. RealDatasets provides instantly downloadable, popular market data for use in map-based market analysis.

Built to support sales and marketing professionals across all business sectors, RealDatasets for Map Business Online delivers market analysis tools segmented by industry sector and ZIP code location. RealDatasets industry-specific geodata supports both B2B and B2C analysis. This NAICS-based market data can be purchased and instantly downloaded through links found on Map Business Online, and at  MBO users within and outside of the Salesforce environment can access and use RealDatasets.

Data Visualizations for Market Analysis

RealDatasets market data collections are designed to facilitate map visualizations and define addressable markets for any given industry category. By importing RealDatasets geodata into a business map, Map Business Online users will be able to estimate market potential for any business based on target establishment counts, employee size counts, and additional data columns where available.

Popular industry segments are included in the initial offering.  Users are encouraged to request industry segment data not found but of interest..

Define the Addressable Market

A key function of Map Business Online business mapping software is to provide location-based data visualizations that describe existing and potential business. The addition of RealDatasets geodata layers allows full market potential analysis, helping to answer critical business questions such as, “What is the size of our business’s total addressable market for the coming year?”

“Many of our key customers have expressed interest in generating maps with business listing or business category data for market analysis,” said SpatialTEQ’ s President, Geoffrey Ives. “RealDatasets offers a unique set of data solutions for our clients.  The combination of Map Business Online’s generous location data display allowance (up to 100,000 records per map) and RealDataset’s indexed ZIP code-based listings, provide valuable market assessments for practically any business.”

Map with relevant industry data help define opportunities

Business Applications for Map Business Online with RealDatasets

These general business challenges are solved by the powerful combination of Map Business Online with RealDatasets:

  • Identify the total addressable market – Leverage 1,000 industry sector NAICS data layers
  • Marketing Campaign Targeting by Location – Focus Google AdWords or direct mail marketing campaigns on the market areas with the most potential by geographic area of interest, limiting investments in non-productive areas
  • Design Sales Territories – Design or adjust sales territories based on an analysis of existing customers and market potential

Sales Organization Market Analysis Support

Marketing or sales teams using popular sales CRM applications, like can now access affordable and accurate business data from RealDatasets that include location components for easy geocoding and map visualizations. Map Business Online for Salesforce users can build informative map-based market models that describe potential markets and offer critical pathways to marketing and sales success based on actual recent business data.

About RealDatasets

The store provides instant geographic market ​data, for use across a wide array of software applications. Leverage RealDatasets in applications such as, RealZips for Salesforce, Microsoft Excel and most business intelligence tools. Use RealDatasets to identify your total addressable market, competitive analytics, market share analysis, logistics planning, territory optimization, targeted marketing, and sales productivity.

Click the contact us button to share your map tales, request help or ask for technical support.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

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Map Business Online Custom View

In Map Business Online the Manage Map & Data Box provides a myriad of tools that help the map creator edit their business map view. One of theses tools is the Custom View drop down found on the Toolbar at the top of Manage Map and Data. What on Earth is the Custom View drop down used for?

Manage Map & Data is that light blue box the hovers over the west side of your map view when you first open MBO. If you close it, you can re-open it by clicking the light blue arrow tab to the far left-middle of your map screen.

Map & Data opens with Custom View selected by default. You’ll also see the three most popular administrative district layers (Zip codes, Counties and States) listed as map layer options and the map background layer included.

I typically use the Custom View for the maps I make. I use all administrative districts layers quite regularly. So why would anyone use the other Custom View options? Click the drop down arrow and view the various options and we’ll explore each one.

Streets View

The Streets View background option in Map & Data means you will not be including any other map layer on your map. The Street background will be selected – but, you could hover over that layer and choose from the other background options, if you like.  You have a couple of topographic map backgrounds and two satellite background options from which to choose. Click the Map Options Tab to select one.

A map creator who is sharing her finished map with a group of map viewers, perhaps in a call center, might choose Street View. You can still import data points. The shared map will be very basic. Not a lot of distractions or abstract colors, just a typical web map.  Maybe a nice option for a ‘find your closest service center’ application.

Satellite Imagery View & Satellite Imagery with Streets

This is a quick way for Map Creator to generate a map with aerial imagery or satellite imagery (depending on your MBO Zoom Level) as opposed to the Streets map background.   You could choose to have it with or without streets included.

Once again, no administrative district map layers are included. This view also offers a basic map view with minimal distractions for your viewing audience.

Aerial imagery views provide realistic indicators of what on the map might be metropolitan and what might be rural. Adding the street layer provides orientation and transportation details.  I like to use satellite backgrounds for territory maps and other business maps because it easier on the eyes, IMHO.

If I was building a map presentation in Power Point, with multiple slides, I might vary the map background to keep the audience awake. Or insert a picture of a cute little kitten. You choose.

State Views

Here we have the majestic state layer turned on. No map background is provided in this view. A state layer view of the USA is instantly recognizable. For national companies it’s an obvious map view to apply for overall coverage depiction.

Keep in mind, the map layer is configurable. You can adjust the color of the states (which at default is beige.)  Hover over the layer in Map and Data, click the Edit Gear and adjust colors and boundaries to your liking.

Use the state view to make major announcements, or bold and broad statements about business in general. Stuff that doesn’t require gory detail.  Use the Map Title option located in the overall Map and Data Edit Gear.

You could, for instance, color code the state layer states by a demographic category like population or median income. There are plenty of demographic layers to choose from. Use your imagination and dream up a color scheme that is relevant to your business. Don’t forget, you can use Calculated Data Columns to combine demographic layers and color code by that too.  Now you’re on your way to ’employee of the month.’ Congrats!

Counties View

Counties custom view includes both States and County layers. I like this view. Counties are a wonderful map layer at the national level because they add detail that your eye can discern.  Unlike ZIP codes which are crowded and lose meaning at a full national view.

Counties are often used for territory mapping. In Map Business Online the county layer enables the creation of split state territories. In my territory maps, I tend to use State boundaries as a reference layer. That way, if you are zoomed way in somewhere, you’ll see the state boundaries and know where you are.

Counties require states for geo-placement on the map.  That’s because counties are not unique, like ZIP codes. How many Montgomery Counties are there anyway? Too many.

ZIP Code View

The ZIP code custom view includes ZIPs, counties and states. As I mentioned above,  ZIP codes at a national level can make a muddled map. But ZIP codes are also the most popular map layer. Everybody loves a good ZIP code map. Once you’ve zoomed into a region of the USA, the ZIP code layer starts to really shine.

ZIP codes and counties were born to display demographic data. For many businesses ZIP’s and county population or median income data are critical to an understanding of growth potential. Demographic data, included in Map Business Online subscriptions, is often used to balance or optimize territory creation or define market potential.

So that’s pretty much all I have to say about Custom Views. We’d love to know how you use Custom View or Map Business Online in general.

Click the contact us button to share your map tales, request help or ask for technical support.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

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What Map Layer is Best for My Territory Map?

Territory mapping is certainly a popular use case for business mapping software. Territory maps, done correctly, provide a platform for shared business objectives and shared results, potentially driving growth.

Business map territory assignments are applied to many business applications.  We run into a lot of sales and marketing applications for our territory mapping software.  Specific sales and marketing applications include:

  • Franchise territory development
  • Manufacturing sales territories
  • Car dealership territories

To name a few.

But there are customers outside of the sales and marketing sector that require and use territory maps. Political groups, field operation organizations, school bus transportation companies, and home-based medical care organizations, all use territory maps provided by Map Business Online. The list goes on.

For those newbies who have never designed a territory map before, you might wonder where to start. In Map Business Online, territory maps are generally based on administrative districts like ZIP codes or counties. In my opinion, the biggest hurdle is often deciding what administrative district layer to base your territories on.  A customer, facing their first territory map might ask, “Do I base it on ZIP codes, counties, state or something else?”  This is a reasonable question.

To get an answer to that question I would begin by speaking with your sales department. Ask your best salespeople and their managers what type of administrative districts they feel best represents their business model. You may get varying answers, but you’ll begin to develop a picture of your territory structure and its overall extent across the map of North America or perhaps your local area of focus.

State-Based Territories

Usually, states are applied as a territory base layer when the company is a full-out national or international enterprise.  State-based territory sales accounts tend to be large industrial or retail accounts spread more or less equally across the country. There could be a few piles of multiple accounts occurring in local areas but that generally isn’t the rule. Salespeople tend to travel to accounts by plane and rental cars. They work out of hotels a lot.

State-based territories are strictly state-based, meaning there’s not much overlapping coverage and the sales areas of responsibility do not split states into subset sections. Whole states are applied.  State and province-based territories can be applied to one map that covers both Canada and the USA.

County-Based Territories

In cases where state-based territories require portions of a state to be split between two or more salespeople, the territory unit of measure should be moved to county or ZIP code. If accounts are spread out across the country, counties become the better basis for territory management.

In some cases, you may be able to have some territories based on states and others based on counties for covering big, state-sized areas, but for practical and analytical purposes we recommend moving to all counties if you are splitting states.

County-based territory maps tend to be for companies with more regional coverage but with some local coverage. Wholesalers into the grocery market for a region might use counties for their territory layer base.

In Map Business Online, to create state size territories using counties, turn on both the state and county layers. Uncheck fill at the state level. Use the state layer as territory creation guide. Run a polygon along the state line touching all the counties along the line, complete to the beginning, name and save.

Or simply import a list of Counties, States, and territory names to create a territory scheme from a data file. Both methods are valid, and both are easy.

ZIP Code-Based Territories

ZIP code-based territories work well for sales organizations catering to local markets. ZIP codes present a natural break down of opportunities both demographically and geographically. Read more on territory building.

Franchise companies tend to use ZIP codes as their territory unit of measure. Car dealerships could probably go county or ZIP code, but in metropolitan areas, they lean ZIP.

ZIP codes provide an excellent demographic analysis pallet for retail applications. A territory map by ZIP with ZIP codes color-coded by population or some other Census category serves as a nice profile analysis of your best local markets. This means you can select your best performing ZIP codes and develop a template of what your best ZIP code opportunities are across the nation.

Territory analysis by ZIP code

Additional Options

If your business is super local, perhaps located deep in a metropolitan area, you may consider Census Tracts as your best territory base layer. Census Tracts are wicked small, especially in high population areas. I’ve seen home-care orgs use Census tracts to monitor clinician territories, which in metro areas require a lot of subway travel, complicating life in general.

MBO as include MSA’s (Metropolitan Statistical Areas), a Census Bureau designation.  These are city focused marketing areas, similar to Nielsen’s DMA’s (which are pretty expensive to license, unfortunately.)

MBO also included City Limits which can be applied to sales territory mapping, if your business is strictly city or town based. The Music Man would have used City limits to track the towns and cities he conned, especially if he franchised the biz.

The Free Form Option

Sometimes companies want to avoid district based territories all together in favor of free-form territories. These approaches use highways, mountains, and rivers as territory boundaries.  This can be achieved in Map Business Online by using draw tools to highlight areas manually. The territories will display on the map but analysis views are less direct and do not automatically apply to similar areas across the country. Also, drawn lines are less consistent in appearance as the map user adjusts zoom levels, where ZIP code lines, for instance, automatically snap to new zoom level views. Still, free form is an option.

ZIPs Most Popular

For users ZIP code based sales territory maps are the most popular.  ZIP codes offer key advantages to territory mapping users:

  • ZIP codes offer a convenient demographic analysis segment that is easily stacked to define multi-ZIP code areas of interest
  • ZIP codes are easily relatable to the general populace
  • ZIP codes are a unique number – Counties are not
  • ZIP codes are local

Still not clear on how your business territory maps should be set up. Contact us and discuss your business requirements. We speak with thousands of companies and may have solved your problem before.

Click the contact us button to request help or ask us some questions.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

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How to Filter Cities by Population in Map Business Online


This week a customer wrote in and asked, “How do I view only the cities with a population of 10,000 people or greater, using Map Business Online?”

That’s a great question that Map Business Online can assist with. A good business mapping software will provide a demographic data filtering tool. Demographic analysis adds a completely new dimension to zip code mapping, market analysis, and customer visualizations. That’s why the founding fathers invented the US Census requirement in the Constitution – they were all about business mapping.

Remember, George Washington was a map surveyor. Oh. Snap.

We have several ways to approach the city by population challenge.  The first approach involves importing a list of City Points from MBO’s included Public Data library. The second approach uses our City Limits layer available to all full-year subscribers of Map Business Online.

Public Data, City Points

For general MBO subscribers, you can click the Plot Data Button and choose the lower option to Select Data Already Uploaded, in the drop-down choose Public Data.  Then select the Cites and Towns option and import that data which will place 6,715 cities on the map as points.

The Data Window automatically opens and shows you the Cities dataset in a tabular data view. Notice the Population column included in the data.  We’re going to filter the City layer based on the Population column.

  1. Click the Filter Button on the Data Window Toolbar.
  2. In the data selector, where it says Capital, drop down to select Population
  3. In the top Modifier drop down select (>) to indicate “Greater Than”
  4. In the far-right box type in 10,000 for your population guide
  5. Click the Filter button in the lower right

Your Data Window view now shows only 2,903 city records of the total 6,715 cities. You’ll find that noted in the lower left. You can export that list by creating a Marketing List (Colored Arrows button on the Data Window toolbar) to save by name. Then use the Export button to the far right of the Data Window toolbar.

To view only those records on the map, Check the Filter Data on the Map button on the upper left-hand corner of the Data Window. Feel free to adjust symbol colors, size or even color code those records by population using the Three Colored Cannon Ball icon on the Master Toolbar.

Filtering City Limits Data

For full-year subscribers you do have the Add Map Layers button on the master toolbar that includes premium layers like City Limits.  Click the Blue Earth icon and add the City Limits layer to your map. It will now appear as a checked-on option in the Manage Map & Data box and the city boundaries will show on your map.  You will see larger cities at the Nationwide zoom level, and you’ll expose smaller towns as you zoom in.

Open the Data Window and choose the City Limits Layer.  You’ll see the City Limits dataset in tabular form. We now need to add population to this dataset.

  1. In the Data Window view, with City Limits selected, click the More Data option in the lower right
  2. In the dialogue box on the left, drop down to select General, and then below that choose Demographic Data, and then select Population 2017 (2017 data is projection – you could select 2015 data for Census actuals.) Using your cursor select and move the population subject to the right side.
  3. Click Set Data Columns. Now population has been added to your city limits layer.
  4. Click your Filter button again, you will see Demographic Data already and population selected. Adjust the modifier section to show (>) greater than, and fill in the number target of 10,000. Press the Filter button
  5. In the upper left-hand corner once again check the Filter Data on the Map box to view only the cities with 10,000 people or more on the map view

Congratulations, you are an official filtering wizard using Map Business Online. Go forth and filterfy. That’s a thing, right?

Click the contact us button to request help or ask us some questions.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

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MBO Guest Blog Post – Business Mapping Improves Sales

Read our guest blog post at  The 5 Ways Business Mapping Improves Sales. 

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

MapPoint users please consider as your MapPoint Replacement.

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How to Build Your First Business Map

Your boss just informed you that you will be using Map Business Online to build a customer visualization map of the company business. It’s Monday and you have until Wednesday to get that map on his laptop for a business presentation he’s got scheduled for Thursday.

For some of you, your boss may have specified more specific aspects of his required map, for others he just expects you to know what he wants.  Either way, how do you build your first business map?

Where Do I Start?

Make sure you have a registered account at the Map Business Online (MBO) website.  The FREE trial will allow you to build and save two maps and import up to 1,000 location records. If you think that’s good enough, give your first map a whirl. Remember FREE trial printouts will have a watermark that goes away with a paid subscription, but the interactive web map sharing will be there for a FREE trial account.

We recommend signing up for a full year subscription at $299.95 per user per year (for the USA or Canada.). You’ll use your email address to register and to login.

Once you’re ready to start building your map click the Map button on the website toolbar.  This launches the mapping application. The Map button is to the far left, next to the Home icon.

As MBO starts up for the first time say yes to data storage questions. A first-time user of Map Business Online will find the application starts up leaving you at the New Map option. Choose Create New Map using the Default view.

USA subscribers will start their first map as a basic USA wide street map. There should be a Manage Map & Data blue box open on the left of your screen. This box lets you turn layers off and on and by clicking the each layers  edit gear you can adjust the transparency, color, border thickness, and labels associated with each map layer.  Think ZIP code look and feel, but manage Map & Data also controls counties, states and map background.

If you lose that Blue Manage Map & Data box, fear not. Click the Gray and Blue arrow button located on the Left side of your map right in the middle of the left side panel.

Import Your Customer Data

Most new MBO users jump right to importing their business data before they tweak map layers, and because your boss asked you to build a customer visualization map, we’ll do that too.

Click the Plot Data on Map button located five buttons in from the left side on the master toolbar above the map. The Plot Data button icon is a red map tack with a green plus sign. Browse to where your customer data is located, in Excel, CSV or any standard spreadsheet data file format.

Your imported data should be arranged in sensible columns with headers:

Business Name Address City State ZIP code 2017 Sales  
Rick & Nance Hair Salon 19 Norwood Ave Rockport MA 01966 $243
Bobby Orlando Salon 88 Main Street Rockport MA 01966 $239
Walter Julian Doo’s 74 Main Street Rockport MA 01966 $241


  • Select your data source and click Next.
  • Select the desired Sheet in your spreadsheet
  • Make sure the correct columns from your data are assigned to the proper addressing drop downs. Usually this is a simple double-check, but we sometimes assign weird column headings which can confuse a mapping tool looking for words like ZIP or State, or something close
  • In the final dialogue-box you’ll find options for labeling. Choose columns in your data that make sense for your on-map Callout tags. Fill up to five flexible fields with information in addition to addressing. Then click Plot.

The Data Window will automatically pop-up showing your data in a Map Business Online tabular sheet. You’ll see a column on the Data Window left side with colored dots that displays the level of accuracy in your geocoding. Green is great, Yellow is good, and a Red X means it didn’t geocode at all.

You map will now display colored dots symbols at your address locations.

  • If you geocoded by ZIP code only, there will be dots in the middle of ZIP codes
  • If you have duplicated addresses, symbols will be stacked and when selected a list of Named options will appear for selection

To select another symbol, in the Data Window view make sure your data is selected in the data drop down, then move to the right of the drop down and click the down arrow next to the symbol noted there. You’ll find a whole library of options for symbols. You can also reach symbol options from Manage Map and Data. Hover over the layer choose the edit gear and see the Symbol selector under the General Tab.

Color Code Your Data?

MBO will present an option to color code your data layer immediately. You are welcome to do that. You can say no for now and later choose one of the color code options on the Master Tool Bar. Usually that would be the Color Code with Symbols option – three colored balls icon. Try it. The dialogue will walk you through the process with range and symbol options. You can easily click that button again to readjust the color scheme.

Map Navigation

Now that your business data is on the map your might want to understand how to quickly get around on the map. Place your mouse cursor anywhere on the map and grab the map and move it around. You can also double-click to Zoom In. But once a Map Layer, like ZIP codes, is turned on the double clicking selects objects instead of zooming.

Use the Zoom Tools located in the upper right corner of the map view. Push the scroll bar up and down to Zoom In and Out. Use the Back and Forward arrows to Undo and Redo moves on the map.  Click the USA flag to Zoom to the USA view.  And use that Magnifying Glass button on the bottom of the Scroll Tools to turn your Cursor into a rectangle zoom tool. Click it on and create a rectangle on your map to zoom into that area.

Use the Address Bar in the upper left-hand corner of the map view to key in an address, press the Binoculars and Zoom to that address.  Key in an address this way: 19 Norwood Ave, Rockport, MA, 01966.  Keying in a ZIP code will let you Zoom to that ZIP code.

Adjust the Background Map

Now go back to Manage Map and Data.  The bottom check box controls the background. It probably says Streets right now. Try the different options available.  Or try no background map at all. Think about what your boss might prefer.

A Quick Texas Map

Save Your Map

With your map more or less started, save your map view by clicking the Save button on the toolbar – it’s three buttons in from the left.

To share a map with your boss, choose the Share Interactive Map button to the right of the Save button. Choose the public share option.  Copy the provided web map URL and paste it into an email to your boss.  Get some feedback on the map to see if there’s more information desired, or perhaps some editing of the map view.

Your boss may want to do much more with your business map. Remember, with a paid subscription, you can always build multiple maps. Don’t try to solve all the world’s problems with one map. Maps can get cluttered and lose their meaning. But certainly take some notes on your new list of requirements and see what MBO can do to help you get the map you need.

Click the contact us button to request help or ask us some questions.

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

MapPoint users please consider as your MapPoint Replacement.

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4 Emerging Sales Technologies That Will Transform Your Business

This is a guest blog post from TechnologyAdvice

If you transported a sales person from an office three decades ago directly into a desk today, they’d feel like they’d walked into a new planet where everyone speaks a foreign language.

“What do you mean my Rolodex is in my computer?” “Who is this stranger asking to ‘join my “professional network?’”

Technology is changing the sales landscape not just every year, but every day. In 2017 alone, more than 700 pieces of new sales tech arrived on the market. Each promises to make our sales teams smarter, better, and more efficiently than ever. And as it turns out, many seem to be working.

With so many new and interesting products available, it can be hard to know what to pay attention to. To help hone things in, here are four of 2018’s most promising tools. These are the sales technologies we predict will transform the way you do business this year.

Every sales team has a rep with an X-factor that launches them to the top of the leaderboard month over month. And every sales manager would do anything to bottle that X-factor up and pass it out to the rest of the team.

But when you ask that top rep what it is they do that closes so many deals, they typically can’t put their finger on it. That’s where conversation intelligence comes in. This AI tool “listens” to the conversations between prospects and reps, analyzes what works and what doesn’t, then turns the results into actionable data. Using that information, you can train your entire team on what the best reps do.

2. Chatbots

Another smart technology that’s reshaping the sales landscape is the chatbot. On any given week, you probably interact with a few — increasingly, without even knowing it.

There are a variety of uses for chatbots in a sales funnel. Perhaps the most significant is in the discovery process. While traditional funnels call for sales development reps to get on the phone with a prospect during discovery, chatbots let AI take over in these early stages. This alone could reshape the structure of many sales teams, saving time and money.

Despite fears from some professionals that an automated interaction could be a turn-off to customers, the data says something different. More than a third of consumers want to see more companies using chatbots and nearly a quarter say it’s their preferred method of contacting businesses.

3. Location Intelligence

Location intelligence, also known as business mapping software, is a method of uploading data and recreating it in a visual map. It can be used to solve for a variety of challenges sales teams face — everything from ensuring territory coverage to fixing supply chain issues to looking for new or expansion territories.

What makes it game-changing is the approach: visualization.

Sales leaders have access to more data than ever before, which can be transformative. Using data, sales professionals can make smarter, faster, more customer-drive decisions, but only if they understand that data first.

The brain processes images in less than 13 milliseconds, and there is evidence that information transmitted visually helps with better pattern recognition and is retained longer than information presented with words alone. Using business mapping, teams can react more quickly to data. This is crucial in a competitive environment where agile decision-making can make a difference in overall revenue.

4. Personalized Video

Email fatigue is very real and very dangerous to sales teams that rely on cold email as a primary form of outreach. Billions of emails are sent every day, and the average person deletes 48 percent of the emails they receive in just five minutes.

Yet email remains, for the foreseeable future, one of the primary methods to reach leads. The key for emerging sales tech isn’t to create new communication channels, but to reinvigorate the old. But how do you stand out in a crowded inbox?

One of the answers may be personalized video. A variety of tools exist that make it simple for reps with no production skills to make personalized videos and attach them to their emails via an integration with their customer relationship management system (CRM). A lead opens the email and the video plays automatically. It’s an eye- and ear-catching way to cut through the clutter.

You could spend your entire work year just exploring the sales technologies on the market without ever getting the time to try one out. Honing in on these four transformative tools will help you focus on the areas where you can make a big difference, right away. Try one (or more!) out in 2018 and see the impact it will have on how you sell.

Taylor Burke is a writer for TechnologyAdvice, covering marketing and sales. She’s passionate about helping brands become more authentic, transparent, and connected with their audiences.

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How to Color Shade Map Layers in Map Business Online

A commonly used business mapping software feature is color shading an administrative district, think ZIP code or county.  In Map Business Online we call these jurisdiction areas map layers.  These map layer areas include: Census Tracts, city limits, counties, MSA’s, school districts, states, and ZIP codes (5 & 3 digit.)

Map Business Online offers two ways for color shading map layers, like ZIP code mapping, from an imported dataset.

  1. Use the Color Code Map Button (three puzzle piece icon). This process lets you select the map layer you’d like to color code and then asks you to decide on the dataset you’ll use to apply the color shading
  2. Use the Create Territories Button – Import a pre-defined territory or area of interest spreadsheet using the Create Territories button. Your spreadsheet will have a Territory Name Column and columns for ZIP code. (In the case of county) you’d include a County column and State Column)

As most of you know, MBO lets you process color shading from several locations within the application. For instance, the same dialogue for color shading you just used in the Three Puzzle Piece button – Color Code Map – is also found in Manage Map & Data.  Hover over the map layer, click the Edit Gear and choose Color Code Map layer.

These various approaches to color shading jurisdictions gives the MBO user multiple options for visualizing territories and areas of interest by imported data, demographic data, or RealDatasets NAICS industry sector data (coming in February 2018).

Examples of why MBO users color shade by map layer or area of interest:

  • Sales Manager – Color shade by imported sales data to show sales activity by ZIP code or county, answering the question, “Where are my sales?”
  • Franchise MarketerColor-code ZIP codes by franchise availability, answering the question, “What franchise areas are available for sale?
  • Retail Sales Analyst – Color shade territories by population or house hold income, or a calculated result using multiple demographic layers. This process helps to define successful market area characteristics for profiling.
  • Political Analyst – Color-code Census tracts by eligible voting population. Helps politicians to determine which districts to gerrymander to insure future instability. (Did I say that out loud?)
  • County Clerk – Color shade counties to show year-over-year population growth. Helps with tax planning.
  • Marketing Analyst – Color-code ZIP codes based on periodical and newspaper circular add results by retail store to determine campaign success rates.

Color shading by map layer is some times referred to as heat mapping because the map maker could define the color shading in such a way that hot areas of activity are highlighted. In MBO the Heat Map button is used to create heat maps and does so by accessing numeric data in imported point data layers and converting this data to color graphics denoting activity. MBO heat maps have an adjustable color scheme that looks like a tornado map from weather reports in July.

Regardless of what tools you use in MBO to visualize your business data, try all the different approaches to make sure you find the easiest and most informative views for your business audience.  Testing a map view is easy and wicked cheap (very inexpensive.)

Win a $20 Gift Card! Refer a business associate to Map Business Online in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Find out why over 25,000 business users log into for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives or Jason Henderson (800) 425-9035

MapPoint users please consider as your MapPoint Replacement.

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