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!

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

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

6 Easy Spatial Searches to Enhance Business Intelligence

Let’s all agree, right upfront, that the term “Spatial Search” is intimidating.

I first ran across the term when I was learning about Geographic Information System software (GIS) at DeLorme in the early 2000s. At the time, I was also busy understanding my new role as a national sales manager and all that that entailed. So, grappling with spatial searches conducted using our low-cost GIS product was about all I could do before giving up and heading home for the day, exhausted.

Fortunately, I’ve grown up a little since then. A spatial search is simply a search for data within a specified area on a business map. That area could be 3-dimensional, and often is in the GIS world, hence the term spatial or ‘within space.’

A Spatial search may also be referred to as a spatial query, a geospatial search, or phrased as a question: “Melvin, How many addresses are there in that circle thingy?”

But for MapBusinessOnline users, spatial searches are just a search for data within a map object or a drawn shape on a digital map. In many ways, a spatial query is the foundation of business mapping software. Spatial searches enable customer maps, territory analysis, map visualizations, and optimized routing. In MapBusinessOnline, these spatial search objects could be any one of these designated map areas listed below:

  • A ZIP code or a group of ZIP codes
  • A County or a group of Counties
  • A State or a group of States
  • A City Limit or a group of city limits
  • A School district or a group of school districts
  • A Congressional District or a group of congressional districts
  • A Census Marketing Statistical Area or a group of MSA’s
  • A radius/circle search
  • A polygon search
  • A free form shape search
  • A drive time search
  • A driving distance search
  • A territory search
  • A Region or Division search (Pro only based on a group of territories)

For this blog, we will not discuss MapBusinessOnline Pro spatial search options, which include the options in Standard.  We can also leave out School Districts, Congressional Districts, and MSA’s as rare search targets. This leaves us with six spatial search options to consider.

Import Data or Choose a Map Layer

To conduct a spatial search, you’ll need to search for something – usually business data. So, create map data from Excel and import it, or choose a map layer like ZIP codes to search. In MapBusinessOnline, you could also search for Demographic Data or Business Listings.  So, get some dataset targets on your map and in your head.

Good. Now read on.

  1. The Radius Search

Let’s begin with the Radius Spatial Search. These are very popular. A map user might desire to find all ZIP codes within 100 miles of a point. A radius search in MapBusinessOnline can begin in one of three ways:

  1. Type an address into the Address Bar (Upper left blank space above the Master Toolbar) following the format noted there, then click the Binoculars to the right. A center point is now on the map at the specified address with an associated mini toolbar
  2. Choose any single point from an already imported dataset. There’s that min-toolbar again
  3. In the Draw Tools select the Point Marker and drop a point on your target center spot on the map. Once again, a center point is now on the map at the specified address with an associated mini-toolbar
  4. You could also conduct a radius search by selecting the Radius Search option in the Search Tools and then placing your cursor on the map at a center point.  Set your radius distance from that center point. Notice the mini-toolbar next to the dropped point

From any of the above point related mini-toolbars, the user can choose to create a radius search by clicking the Circle Button, or in the case of the Radius Search tool:

  • Enter the desired radius distances and process the Radius search
  • Scroll out or Zoom out to see the extent of the search. You will find a new mini-toolbar associated with the circle map object
  • Click the mini-toolbar’s Binocular Icon to search the Radius induced Spatial area
  • Choose the dataset or layer to search and then click Next (only one dataset is searchable for any spatial search)
  • Name the Data Results and view them in the Data window, which pops-up like an old buddy

That, my friends, is a spatial search. Not so intimidating after all, is it?

Under the Market Analysis button in MapBusinessOnline Standard, you will find a pathway to conduct multiple radii searches at once – up to 200 radii. That’s advanced work, but it’s there when you are ready. Here’s a video describing multiple radius searches.  See how quickly one spatial search becomes multiple spatial searches? See, you are a Jedi Mapper already.

2. A Polygon Spatial Search

A polygon search works similarly to a radius search, but  the polygon spatial search has no center point. Instead, the user chooses a Polygon search tool from the Search Tool dropdown and then uses their Mouse Cursor to drag a line across the map. Lift the cursor point and drag again to change direction.  Eventually, bring the last polygon line back to the beginning point. A polygon will then show as selected on the map with an associated toolbar. Click the binoculars to search and save the result, just as you did with the radius search.

A polygon search is a quick way to grab all the data you want in a specified area. Maybe you need a quick list of ZIP codes? Create a polygon and search the ZIP code layer.  A polygon search is an easy way to collect all the ZIP codes within a County. Just follow the county boundary with a polygon tool. Now search the ZIP code layer and save it.

3. A Driving Time or Driving Distance Polygon

This search begins, like the Radius Search, either from a point on the map or in the Search Tools. So, go ahead and either select the Drive Area Search Tool option with its jagged shape or plot an address on the map and select the Drive Time search there.

With Drive Area spatial searches, you will need to specify either Driving Time or Driving Distance search is preferred. Input your time or distance preferences. Also with Drive Time preferences, please realize that you can note the time of day which will bring traffic considerations to bear on the analysis results. Drivetime mouse moves like this are popular with the younger set.

Conduct your query on the data target of your choice. As always, view and export your data from the Data Window that pops up as the query finishes. By the way, the Export Button is at the far right of the Data Window toolbar.

Multiple Drive Time and Driving Time spatial queries are only available in MapBusinessOnline Pro Market Analysis.  Upgrades to MapBusinessOnline Pro from Standard are pro-rated, protecting your investment in Standard and maintaining your subscription time periods. Click in Subscription to find a price and upgrade to Pro.

Drivetime Polygons

4. Freeform Searches

Freeform spatial searches work the same as polygon searches. Freeform allows the user to create a curved shape. So perhaps when generating a quick and easy map object to query Freeform is the tool for you. I prefer polygons, which I’m sure says something about my twisted persona. “Very interesting, Geoffrey. The father’s impact on an impressionable child often leads to a preference for polygon spatial searches, later in life. Take two Wellbutrin and call me next summer. By the way, I don’t take Cigna. You’ll have to pay out-of-network.”

I want my mommy.

5. Spatial Searching of Map Layer Objects

I can tell you are getting sleepy. Let’s lump the Map Layer objects together. Map Layers in MapBusinessOnline are City Limits, Congressional Districts, Counties, School Districts, MSAs, States, and ZIP Codes (both 3 and 5 digit). Anything with a boundary. Map Layers are checked on and off in Map and Data. In the Data Window, you can view the data associated with these geographic layers.  For instance, you can see a ZIP code’s associated town or place name.

MapBusinessOnline lets you conduct a spatial query of a Map Layer Object like a ZIP code by selecting the object with your cursor, or by gathering up multiple map objects with a Search Tool – like a ZIP code radius search.  Once selected, there’s that Mini Toolbar again presenting its menu of services including, a Binocular Search button. Just click that Search Button selecting the layer of Data you want to search.  Save the results if you like them.

Collecting a group of map layer objects like ZIP codes into an area of interest like we’ve described above is very much like, in fact, exactly like creating a Territory.

6. Territory Spatial Searches

Whether you’ve created a territory through a free form or polygon search tool or imported a spreadsheet of territory data, you’ve now got a territory layer in Map and Data. Your map view includes a couple of territory areas color-shaded per your requirements.

Probably the most straight forward way to query all the data within a Territory map object is by selecting the territory with your cursor and once again clicking the Binocular Search Button on the associated mini-toolbar.

Summary Searches

For any map object ZIP code, State, polygon, or drive time polygon, the mini-toolbar also includes a Summary button.  That Greek symbol Sigma (a sideways M) is the Summary Button, which lets the user quickly select up to ten categories of demographic data associated with that selected area or spatial search. The summary button is a quick and easy way to grab demographic data for an area of interest or a territory. “Julie, could you get me stats on population and income for these six ZIP codes?” “Sure, Boss. It’s in your email inbox now.”

Choose Columns

MapBusinessOnline Territories provide even more spatial analysis if you include a view from the Data Window.  In the Data Window dropdown, select the Territory layer and drill into any a specific territory by right-clicking the associated Blue Arrow. Now the data window presents the analysis information associated with that territory. In the lower right-hand corner, click the Choose Columns button. This button opens up a powerful data management tool that lets the user move data in and out of the territory analysis. Read more about Choose Columns here.

Single Territory Blue Arrow Access

Through the Choose Column database management panel, a user can move imported data, demographic data, download business listings, and calculated data columns sums into their territory analysis. In this way, a view of an isolated territory creates a drilled down view of all that territory’s associated data.  Territory analysis is equivalent to a spatial search result. Another advantage of a territory analysis view using Choose Columns is the ability to import and segment multiple datasets at one time in the territory object.

Spatial Search Applications

Any business can benefit from a spatial search. Because any business will occasionally need to answer the question, “Which customers or prospects live within this area?” Example statements by a few sample industries might be:

  • Insurance – I need a list of all claims within the 25-mile hurricane impact zone
  • Restaurant – Can I get all of the deliveries by address that we’ve made to these three ZIP codes since the Pandemic started?
  • Retail – How many single-parent households exist in this neighborhood?
  • Public Safety – We’ll have to notify everyone who lives within 15 miles of that fuel tank.
  • Non-profit – How many grocery stores are there in Scranton?
  • Manufacturing – How many of that car model were sold into this section of Miami last year?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a spatial search or query is all about, at least in MapBusinessOnline. You may run across its other names like Geospatial Query, Spatial Analysis, and Space Cadet. Hold on. Space Cadet that’s my college nickname. Scratch that.

Please access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App: https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Apps.aspx

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The App is a cloud-based service. After you’ve loggedin 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 is still available through this link https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Map.aspx  until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for 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

6 Easy Steps to Your First Business Map

Being new to business mapping is never be an obstacle to creating your first business map. View the challenge of mapping as an opportunity to learn something new like paddle boarding or Zoom meetings.  We’ll help you through the first steps so you’ll be on your way. For most users, MapBusinessOnline is an easy territory map  and a wicked easy radius map.

The MapBusinessOnline platform or dashboard includes three major map control sections that enable map creation and later map optimization:

The Master Toolbar – A ribbon of 23 buttons that you will find stretches across the top of the mapping platform. The Master Toolbar includes the New Map button, a Save button, an Open button to retrieve saved maps, a Print button, and all sorts of map options.  Read about the Master Toolbar.

The Map & Data Box – Map and Data is a light blue box that floats over the map and contains a CheckBox list of all the map layers, like ZIP codes and States. Map and Data also controls any datasets you’ve imported, as well as the Map Background options. Hover over any layer or dataset with your mouse cursor and click the Edit Gear to tweak the look and feel of a map layer. Read more about Map and Data.

The Data Window – The third button in from the left on the Master Toolbar is the Data Window. It opens up a world of easy-to-use Database Management. On the left side of the Data Window, notice the dropdown option. This dropdown provides access to any map layer or imported dataset. Drop down to a layer and view the data or manipulate the data for your business map’s benefit. Read more about the Data Window.

At the bottom of this blog, I’ve listed some additional links to blogs that describe basic processes for map construction for first-timers.  Each link in this blog will contain written instructions and videos that can help you navigate your first few business maps.

Five Basic Steps to a Business Map

  1. Register and download the Map App – MapBusinessOnline is a cloud-based service. You will access the tool by logging in with your email and a password. The Map App is a simple, quick download that includes a button for launching MapBusinessOnline either from the Windows Start menu or from the Mac applications folder.  You can create a Task Bar button for launching MapBusinessOnline from the Map App.
  2. Create a New Map – With MapBusinessOnline launched, use the map template presented by the application or Click the New button on the left of the Master Toolbar along the top of the application to start a new map. Choose your map template, usually the USA, and view your base map within MapBusinessOnline
  3. Use the Map and Data Box to turn on the ZIP code layer or Postal layer for Canada maps. Edit the layer to adjust the fill transparency and boundary lines by hovering your cursor over the layer and clicking the Edit Gear. Turn county and state layers on and off as necessary and edit those layers in the same way as ZIP codes.  By turning these layers on and off, adjusting boundaries, fill-color, and transparencies, you have optimized your map visualization. Think about your map audience as you do this – How can you optimize your map viewer’s experience?
  4. Import an address-based dataset of your business customers or clients and thereby creating a basic Map Visualization of your business data. This process is initiated from the Dataset button un Add to Map on the Master Toolbar. There’s a dialogue included in the process to help you import your business data:
    1. Import a list of ZIP codes with additional columns for sales or other data – Create a ZIP Code Map
    2. Import a list of address points or LAT/LONG coordinates and Create Radius objects around each point – Import an Excel Sheet
  5. Color-code your imported dataset – To represent numeric values or text records in your data, click the Symbol Color Coding button on the Master Toolbar and select your data. Assign symbols, colors, sizes to your critical data column. Import your customer symbols through the options listed at the top of the Color Code dialogue
  6. Save your map as a My Map or as a My Template.  With your map started and gaining form be sure to save it using the Save Button on the left side of the Master Toolbar.  I often recommend saving maps in the MY Map Templates option of the Save dialogue. A template is useful because it protects the map work you’ve already invested.  Open up new maps from your base map Template to address various business issues. Intrigued? You should be.  Read more about Map Templates.

These five simple steps outlined above will help you to create your first Business Map. Most first-time MapBusinessOnline users follow a similar process with their first business map – what we often refer to as a Map Visualization.

Using Drive Time Visualizations to Analyze Shipping Patterns

Now Add Value to Your Map

Below are multiple business map options you can add to your new business map to significantly increase its value:

  • Color-code the map layer areas based on imported numeric data values. Use the Boundaries button on the Master Toolbar to select your imported data and assign colors and ranges based on your data column. Read about Color-Coding map layers.
  • Create a Heat Map – Heat maps use numeric values in your imported data to display location data intensity. Click the Heat Map Button on the Master Toolbar. Select the target numeric value column in your imported dataset. Adjust color and intensity scroll bars as required. Read about Heat Mapping.
  • Create a Territory with the Search Tool – Polygon Search – Select a group of ZIP Codes and save them as a territory. Adjust as necessary by selecting more ZIP codes with your cursor and the shift key. Here’s a blog about Where to Start with Sales Territories. Read more about Editing Territory Maps. Read all about creating Sales Territories in this deep dive blog.
  • Create a Territory from an Excel Sheet – Import a spreadsheet of territory information data, such as ZIP codes and Territory Name. Use the Add to Map Territories button on the Master Toolbar. Here’s a video describing Importing Territories.
  • Optimize Your Map – Use the map adjustment tools in Map and Data to optimize your business map and make it speak clearly to your map audience. Read about map optimization.
  • Use the Summary button associated with Map Objects, like ZIP codes or polygons, to access Demographic Data for your business analysis. Or access demographic data through the analysis panel of any Territory view in the Data Window. Just click the Choose Columns button in the lower right.

Additional recommended reading:

The MapBusinessOnline blog is searchable, as are the Help Docs and the YouTube help videos.  Pretty much every subject we know of is covered in these self-help tools.  But we’re also available through Chat, Email, and over the Phone.

There’s just no reason why you can’t create your business map today! Unless the power is out or there’s a global pandemic, or wildfires, or murder hornets, or something.

We recommend users access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App.

The Map App install 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.

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 www.MapBusinessOnline.com for their business mapping software and advanced sales territory mapping solution. Read what our customers have to say about MapBusinessOnline on one of our review sites. Capterra.com and ShopperApproved.com The best replacement for Microsoft MapPoint happens to be the most affordable.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com or Jason Henderson jhenderson@spatialteq.com

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

The MapBusinessOnline Master Toolbar – An Overview

The Master Toolbar in MapBusinessOnline provides access to most of the basic map functions required to create compelling and useful business maps. If you are new to MapBusinessOnline, perhaps an overview of the Master Toolbar buttons would be helpful.  Or maybe you’ve been away from your maps for a while and could use a refresher. It happens.

The Address or Location Search Bar

First, just above the left section of the Master Toolbar is the Address Search Bar and four smaller buttons to its right. The Address Bar allows user input to search for a ZIP code, an address, or a place. The formatting must be Address, City, State. You must include commas. You are allowed to input just a ZIP code if you prefer.

The Address Search Bar: 19 Norwood Avenue, Rockport, MA

The blue arrow buttons to the right of the Address Search are Undo and Redo buttons for some of the major processes in MapBusinessOnline. Hover over them to get a message stating what will be undone when you click the arrow.

You’ll also find a new Edit Gear here. It’s a short cut to Map and Data options. Click to adjust some of the basic map options around ZIP code type, territory options, and other map functions. It’s a quick way to get your Map Legend back when you accidentally turn it off.

That tiny little black dropdown arrow lets the user make the Master Toolbar disappear and reappear. This dropdown button is helpful when seeking a clean map image capture.

The Master Toolbar

Create a New Map

On to the Master Toolbar now, starting with the leftmost button – New. Click this button to start a new map. Pay attention to the templates offered. While the USA or the USA and Canada are the most popular options, you may find other templates useful. When you click this button, you will be asked to save your current map, if you haven’t saved it yet. Hint: Saving your map is a good idea.

Open

The green file folder button is where your saved maps and templates are stored. When you save a MapBusinessOnline map it is stored here for as long as you are a subscriber and for about a year after you accidently let your subscription lapse.  You must save your map for it to be stored. A Web Map or web browser access will cache a view of your last map. Do not confuse that cached map view in a browser window with a saved map. It’s not saved until you click the Save button.

For Team Sharing and collaborative map editing, this is where you access shared maps between Team Subscription members. Drop down to Maps Shared with Me.

Save

You guessed it.  The save map button. Save your map work either as a Saved Map Template or as a Saved Map. You’ve invested a lot of time building your map and you may plan to create other maps from the work you’ve completed; make sure to save it as a Saved Map Template.

Share

Map sharing is wicked easy in MapBusinessOnline.  This Share button lets you share maps publicly – for view-only maps – and privately for team collaborative map editing.

To share publicly with nonsubscribers, make sure they download the Map App first.  Then generate the web link, checking the Enable MapShare buttons, and paste it into an email. When your nonsubscribing map viewer clicks the link, MapBusinessOnline starts up.

Dataset – Plot Data

Use this button to import user address datasets. There is a step-by-step dialogue process outlined in the plot data process. Importing location data is critical to your business map process.  Here are some important blogs that can help with data import:

Territories

There are multiple ways to create territories using MapBusinessOnline Standard and Pro. Including lassoing map layer objects (ZIP codes) with a polygon tool (see Search Tools), using a drive time polygon, and using MapBusinessOnline Pro to create more than one easy territory at once.

Use the Territories button to import a spreadsheet of territory names and the designated map layer column(s).

Map Layers

There are some supplemental map layers you can select.  This button lists them and lets you add them to the map. Here is where you will find ZIP 3 Codes, a Highway Layer, and City Limits, and more.

City Limits Layer Against State Layer Background

Analysis or Market Analysis

Both Standard and Pro versions include Analysis buttons. Pro has more advanced features including the ability to conduct multiple driving time or driving distance queries at once. Standard does include the ability to create one drive time search at a time and multiple radius search capabilities.

Many MapBusinessOnline users subscribe to conduct market map business or market analysis.

Color Coding Buttons

The next five buttons are all about symbolizing and color-coding your imported data. Circles lets you turn your points on the map into circles of variable size and color based on the numeric values in a column of your imported data. You can even display numeric values as part of the symbol.

Symbols assign icons or images to your data points and then let you color-code those symbols based on one thematic theme. Charts allows the map-maker to match fields of data to Charts or Bar graphs. Great for showing variations in data from day-to-day. Heat Map lets the user assign levels of intensity to locations on the map. Sales activity can be displayed as brighter and more dense shades of color. Boundaries allows the user to color code map layers, like ZIP codes, based on imported data. Color-code ZIP codes, counties, and more based on the numeric values of your data. Some people refer to shaded ZIP Codes as a heat map.

Finally, there is a Clear button to the right of this section of the Master Toolbar that deletes any color-coding or symbolization processed. Undo it!

Search Tools – Business Listings

The Yellow Pages Book icon is for finding, purchasing, and plotting business listings and placing their location points on the map.  MapBusinessOnline lets you search business listings by ZIP code, City, State, polygon, radius search, or by industry and business name. The listings include basic business infographics and contact data. All listings data are exportable.  This is a paid service that starts at $0.15 per listing. All subscriptions provide free Business Listings Credits to test.

Search ToolsMap Object

MapBusinessOnline search tools in addition to Business Listings include a search by map objects or shapes on the map. You can search by radius/circle, polygon, drive time polygon, or by a free form drawn object. Create your object and then use the associated mini-toolbar to affect your search.

Drawing Tools – Text

The drawing tools are similar to Search Tools by map objects. The difference is, that the drawing tools are primarily used to place an object on the map for visual reference. Searching is still possible, but it requires another click.  Drawing tools also include a few more options including a text box, a point placement options, straight and curved line drawing tools.

Drawing tools let the user highlight an area of the map for viewer edification. Concentric circle maps use drawing tools.

Drawing Tools – Distance

This button is a digital measuring line used to quickly display a line on the map with distance measurements, as the crow flies. Select the tool, start drawing. Click your cursor once to change direction and continue drawing. You can always delete and start again.

Print Map

Printing a map to an attached printer for fast 8 x 11-page printouts is achieved through the top option. To save maps as a PDF file for larger print jobs, such as a wall map, use the lower options in the button.

Export Image

Save a map view as a Jpeg or a PNG file. PNG files are good for PowerPoint slides. I use Jpegs and smaller files for emailing. I also use the Microsoft Snippet tool to capture images that include the Data Window, to wit.

Data – The Data Window

This button has a lot of powerful applications. It provides analysis of your imported data and allows filtering and database management of your various map layers including sales territories and imported datasets.

The Data Window enables data editing for both location properties and data record adjustments. Use the Data Window to balance sales territories, view demographic data analysis, view business listings, extract ZIP code data, or to filter and isolate territory views. The Data Window also includes a button for exporting data like business listings, demographic data, or filtered imported data – the far-right button on the Data Window toolbar.

Route

MapBusinessOnline included the ability to create vehicle routes of up to 150 stops per route.  These optimized routes include support for time windows and are exportable in a variety of formats. Users can create one route at a time per map. Routing in MapBusinessOnline is a popular tool for sales planning.

Help

Help is a link to our application help documentation.  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.

Please access MapBusinessOnline via the downloadable Map App: https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Apps.aspx

The Map App installation is fast and easy. The App is a cloud-based service. After you’ve loggedin 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 is still available through this link https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Map.aspx  until December 15, 2020.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for 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

How do I Add Map Place Names to an Imported Dataset?

MapBusinessOnline Customer Request: I need to import a dataset of ZIP codes, with Sales by ZIP code included, and then export a list of ZIP codes that include Town or City names as well as the Sales Data included with the original import.

The above customer requirement includes a couple of aspects of ZIP code mapping worth reviewing in our Business Mapping Software blog.

My solution requires that I first open a MapBusinessOnline new map of the USA using the “New” button on the far left of the Master Toolbar. I choose the USA Map Template and proceed.

Get Your Data Ready on the Map

Next, in Map and Data, MapBusinessOnline’s layer control, I check on the ZIP code layer.  This layer is a Boundary ZIP code map layer.  It does not include Point ZIP codes.  Read more about the difference between Boundary and Point ZIP codes here.  Understanding the difference between the two types of ZIP codes is critical if you require accurate reporting by ZIP. MapBusinessOnline integration with the USPS is a necessary element in successful business mapping.

I also imported to my map the included Public Data set of the complete USPS ZIP codes. This ZIP code point layer, located in the Plot Data dialogue under the From Server option,  including all boundary and point ZIP codes, plus a few extra columns like the sought after Placenames.

Next, I imported a “Customer” ZIP code dataset with sales data that would be typical for any MapBusinessOnline client.  The spreadsheet includes a column for ZIP code and a column for specific client data as noted below:

ZIP Codes Client Sales Data
01966 $719.21
02134 $578.50

You could certainly include more data columns in your data. You could import total addresses (a column for Address, a column for City, a column for ZIP) and include a column for client name, or the number of times visited. So far, no MapBusinessOnline customer has ever exceeded the number of additional columns allowed. Go for it. Expand your data.  Read more about importing customer datasets.

Importing user datasets into MapBusinessOnline is one of the most popular functions of the tool. The results of the import provide a map visualization of client locations with MapBusinessOnline pin orientation providing a color-coded thematic layer.

 

Cities and Towns are Place Names 

In MapBusinessOnline, cities and towns are presented in multiple ways and places. Both the ZIP code map layer and the Public Data ZIP code point layer include a Place Name column. Those place names are cities and towns. In a few places across the USA, a ZIP code place name may not be a town. At such places, a traveler may find only a few tumbleweeds and a dangling broken gas station sign. Pigeon Cove, MA is just such a desolate village, only a few years away from becoming a dogtown. For the most part, place names are towns.

A Boundary ZIP Code Filter

A quick approach to the original client problem above is to filter the “ZIP5Codes” boundary map layer in the Data Window.

  1. In the Data Window dropdown to and select the ZIP5Code map layer of boundary ZIP codes
  2. Click the Filter Button – that’s the funnel icon on the Data Window toolbar
  3. In the left panel of the Filter Window note in the dropdown all the layers available for filtering. Select the imported ‘customer-generated’ ZIP code sample dataset with sales figures.
  4. Select the Sales Data column on the left side and move it to the right side using the Blue Arrow.
  5. Click the “Change Columns” button in the lower right to update the analysis

Now the sales data has been added to the analysis. Place Names, AKA towns, are included too.  You can export the data by clicking the far-right Export Data button on the data window toolbar. Pretty slick.

Point ZIP Code Layer

Now, we still have that Public Data ZIP code layer included in our map.  We could use that layer to develop a more inclusive list of ZIP codes. Remember, the Public ZIP Code layer includes all point and boundary ZIP codes. So, in addition to the usual ZIP5 boundaries you get major military installations, congregate homes, hospitals, and skyscrapers – to name a few of the major point ZIP codes. A Point ZIP code is a place where multiple addresses or offices receive bulk mail delivery to one location ZIP code for distribution.

If I review my business map, I can turn my public data ZIP code point layer on and off and see that I have a few Point ZIP codes in my target area of interest. That’s one of the neat things about business mapping – when in doubt go to the map view.

To query the Public Data ZIP code point layer you need to first create territories or in this case, one territory.  On the Map select all the ZIP codes where you have data. You can do this incrementally by selecting a ZIP with your cursor and holding down the shift key, or by lassoing the group with a Polygon Search tool. Here’s a video on Territory Creation.

Territory Map View

What you are going to do is search that huge list of all ZIP codes – points and boundary type – by territory. This is a spatial search in GIS terminology, so add that to your resume. To conduct that search of the total imported Zip code point layer by your territory or area of interest:

  1. In the Data Window select the ZIP code point layer, labeled “ZIP codes 2020(May.)” Now you’re targeting the entire list of boundary and point ZIP codes across the nation, so you won’t miss any
  2. With the ZIP codes data layer selected, click the Yellow Puzzle Piece Search Territories button in the middle of the Data Window toolbar
  3. Choose from the three reporting options:
    1. Search data within selected territories (Choose which territory to search)
    2. Search data outside of any territory (this is a neat option you may need someday)
    3. Search data inside all territories (Append your ZIP codes 2020 layer with the corresponding territory info.) I choose this third option
  4. Process the report and export the file to CSV format using the far-right Export button on the Data Window toolbar

The advantage of this report is that you can feel confidant you’ve captured all ZIP codes in the USPS system, and you’ve got them assembled by Territory, which can be helpful for sales analysis.

To review, this simple customer request led us to a variety of functions using MapBusinessOnline:

  • Created a new map
  • Imported customer or user data
  • Imported the full ZIP code dataset from Public Data
  • Filtered the ZIP5Code Map Layer
  • Created a territory
  • Conducted a spatial search by territory

A word about accessing MapBusinessOnline

We recommend that our users access MapBusinessOnline via the free, downloadable Map App: https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Apps.aspx  

The Map App accesses the mapping tools just like the web app you may be used to. The install is fast and easy. Since it’s a cloud-based service, once you’re connected through your login you’ll have access to all of your previously saved maps and data. The Map App is a better user experience overall and provides access to more features than the web app.

The Map App includes the new Map Viewer app for non-subscriber map sharing. Best of all, the Map App avoids Adobe Flash Player which is scheduled for cancelation in December 2020. The Map App works for both Mac and PC computers.

You can still access MapBusinessOnline through a web browser by using this link: https://www.mapbusinessonline.com/Map.aspx This link is scheduled to expire in December when Adobe Flash Player support is scheduled for termination.

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 or contact us with an interesting use case, in exchange for a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

 

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

How to Adjust Your Sales Territory Map Using MapBusinessOnline

MapBusinessOnline is often used by business map users to create sales territories. Sales territory management tools in MapBusinessOnline enable territory creation in multiple ways:

  • Incremental administrative district (city, county, state, ZIP code) selection – Pick ZIP codes one-by-one
  • Freeform or drive time/distance polygon tool lasso of administrative districts
  • Excel spreadsheet territory data import
  • Data filtering of the ZIP code layer
  • Other creative user approaches to developing territory areas

Once a MapBusinessOnine territory has been created, map creators have options for adjusting the look and feel of the territory map.  I’ve written about tweaking territory map settings before, but we often discover new approaches to territory management worth mentioning in a blog.  Let’s talk about your sales territory realignment  options.

Map and Data Tools

As with all map layers in MapBusinessOnline, easy territory map adjustments can be achieved readily through the Map and Data box. Hover your cursor over the territory layer and click the Edit Gear when it pops up.

Under the General Tab you will find adjustments for several aspects of your territory map’s look and feel:

  • Line Adjustments – These ‘lines’ are your territory’s boundary. Change their color, make them thicker or thinner. I like darker outlines but that’s up to you.
  • Hide Internal Boundaries – This checkbox will hide any internal boundaries for your territory. If your territory was based on ZIP codes, this checkbox makes those ZIP code boundaries disappear. This creates a cleaner, more focused territory map.
  • Fill Adjustments – The checkbox turns the color fill of your territories on or off. The transparency scrollbar, to the right, adjusts your territory fill from opaque to transparent.
  • Color Code by Data – This option provides the ability to color-code your territories by imported data values or by demographic data.

Use these tools to better define your territory’s look and feel. Make it plain and simple without internal boundaries. Or, reset the territory with no internal fill at all, just a nice thick territory boundary in blue or red or whatever color works best for your map audience.

Map and Data Labels

Also, in Map and Data, you’ll see the Label Tab along the right.  Click into the Label area and explore the options within the map labeling software. Here you will find the ability to adjust text size, text color, text centering, and boldness. Text controls help emphasize key aspects of your map. You’ll also find:

  • Format Labels – Click here to append data to your territory labels. You see you can add up to five flexible data fields. Append MapBusinessOnline demographic data or your imported data. Numeric data will aggregate or sum by territory. Data appending labels are great for sales reporting through map sharing.
  • Color Code Display by Label – This tool lets you color-shade the actual territory label by a color-code scheme.

Use these label controls to add aggregated data values to your territory map or to inform your map audience of demographic characteristics associated with your territory areas.

Where did Map and Data go?

 

Map and Data Territory Options

The Map and Data Territory Options tab let map creators allow or disallow territory overlap. To identify overlapping territories MapBusinessOnline color-shades  those areas with a user-defined color. Map viewers will know that overlap exists for territories when they see a stand-out Bright Red or Black. You decide.  The map viewer can then click on the territory to explore ownership further.

Other Map Layers

In Map and Data, the map user can adjust other map layers (ZIP codes, counties, states) just like the territory map layer adjustments outlined above. All map layer adjustments work the same. Try some adjustments to other layers, keeping in mind that too many layers and labels can detract from your map’s core purpose. Keep it simple.

Adjustments from the Map

MapBusinessOnline users can also access map adjustment tools from the map view. Looking at your territory map, notice the Territory Label.  Click the Territory Label to access tools.

The selected territory label launches a mini-toolbar. It includes six buttons.

  1. Add to Territory – Use this Blue Puzzle Piece button to add or subtract administrative districts from a territory.
  2. Search – Conduct a spatial search for data within your territory.
  3. Summarize – Create quick data analysis accessing demographic and imported datasets.
  4. Zoom to – Quickly Zoom in. Use the back button on the Navigation Scroll Bar to reverse the zoom action.
  5. Properties – Change the territory name, adjust the territory fill color, and access Label formatting.
  6. Delete – You guessed it. Delete the territory.

Tweaking the Territory Scope

To add or subtract one or more administrative districts from a saved territory, click the target ZIP code, county, state, etc. Hold down the Shift Key to select more. When ready, click the Blue Puzzle Piece button. Now select the operation you wish to apply: Add, Remove, Update, Intersect. The Data Window pops up to confirm the selection.

You could also conduct a new Drive Time/Distance or Polygon search around the territory center point and perform the same update. In this way, a map creator could shift their territory construction from simple polygon lasso to a drive time-based query.

Whichever method you use to reselect administrative districts, the Blue Puzzle Piece button makes it happen.

Additional References for Territory Map Management

Here are links for more details on sales or operational territory creations and  management:

Here are two key videos around territory creation:

MapBusinessOnline provides all the tools you require to create or manage your territory mapping. It’s the best replacement for MapPoint available.

______________________________

Are you using the MapBusinessOnline Desktop App for MAC or PC? It’s hipper than Instagram and it comes with your subscription. Read about the latest updates to the Map AppNow with Viewer App for non-subscriber map viewers.

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