This is a serious and important question. Let’s face it. Life is short. Garrisson Keillor quoted from Maxine Kumin, last week on http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org, “Our ground time here will be brief.”
So, if you can turn some of your daily drudgery or just plain business time, as the case may be, into fun then for heaven’s sake do it. Mapping software should be fun.
Some of you come to digital maps intimidated by learning new software, or perhaps you’re only interested in completing a map for a project that’s due. That is completely understandable, and I hope you find our software easy to learn and it helps you complete that project. But, after that’s behind you have some fun with your map tools.
What are fun things to do with maps? Well we believe using mapping software to get new perspectives on your business is fun – visualizing customers or competitors, building territories, and planning sales trips are all fun processes with the right software. But here are some other ideas:
• Import a list of all the hotels you stay at. This means you have to keep track of them but if you travel frequently looking at a map of where you’ve been can be very interesting.
• My father (Rick) never was much of a traveler. He has a home on the coast of Massachusetts. While I was growing up, my Dad restricted his travels to his parents’ home (while they were living at the time) and the family ancestral farm in Maine. We called his area of interest The Rick Triangle. It would be fun to map that.
• Remember to view any map you create against a background of aerial imagery. Imagery can provide a unique perspective for your business or personal maps. I recent noticed Google Maps had upgraded their imagery and found they have displayed my backyard garden in surprising detail. That’s fun.
It Comes With the Territory
Lately I’ve had quite a few customers, faced with building sales territory maps, tell me how much fun using our business mapping software is. This is no surprise to me. Having been in sales management for decades selling mapping software I understand the need and intimidation involved in creating and managing sales territories. I talk to many sales administrators who are tasked with the job of creating the territory maps using software. Once they’ve made the leap and reviewed a few software options, they start actually building the maps. And they often find themselves enjoying the process. I think this is in part due to the nature of digital mapping (it is fun), but it is also related to fact that by applying the right software tools, their tasks – once formidable design problems – have become actually achievable. And better still they look like heroes.
People Who Need People
Digital maps have become background layers for data visualization. These data layers reveal patterns in our business and in our world. I see digital map mash ups posted daily in my social media news feeds. Mapping software makes it easy for a business person to view and analyze demographics with respect to geographic areas. Once you get the hang of it, creating national or local demographic maps that expose opportunities in your retail business future, or perhaps show where your competitors have an edge, can be fun.
For example, if you’re a newly single guy in your fifties (for reasons we shall not go into) and you really want to “get back out there” in the dating world, you can use your business mapping software to import all of the Denny’s restaurants located in zip codes with the highest percentage of 30 to 40 year old single women. Then you can create an efficient vehicle route that saves gas as you systematically dine at Denny’s locations within 25 miles of your Extended-Stay hotel room. Hint: Don’t forget to take the Bluetooth ear piece out of your ear while you eat.
I hope this is proof enough that business mapping software is not only helpful and informative but a lot of fun. Now I’ve got to go find a cheap place to eat…
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