Do You Map Demographically? Updated Demographic Layers in Map Business Online

Great business mapping software includes the ability to create maps based on demographics. Demographic data lends itself nicely to map views because the data is often collected in relation to location. Census data is the primary source of the demographic data layers available in Map Business Online as demographic mapping software, and most Census data collection occurs at the residential address level.

This means your demographic data is easily visualized on a map in terms of five or three digit zip codes, Census tracts, Metro areas, counties or states. Pulling Census demographics into a map view moves your map out of the realm of visualization and into the realm of market analysis. It is one thing to see where all of your stores are located, but an entirely different thing to see where stores may be located in relation to your optimum demographic segment.

NEW! Updated Demographics
General Census data categories now represented in Map Business Online include population, income, ethnicity, gender, housing, employment, occupation, payroll by industry, race, and travel time for work. These categories are broken down by various criteria providing a wide array of options for your demographic analysis. For example, you can breakout household income by zip code.

Know Your Map Audience
Always consider your map audience. Who are your map viewers? Is this analysis map for company decision makers on your perhaps your executive board? If it is, what are they interested in seeing on a map?

In my experience, a big wig has two maps he or she is genuinely interested in:

1. A high level map with not too much detail, that provides a succinct and obvious USA view of the sales per marketing area of interest. Keep it simple and obvious. Remember the C-Suite loves money.
2. A focused map that clearly defines specific areas and layers of interest and supports the overall presentation. Your map should not be cluttered but should speak directly to the issue in question. Don’t try to get fancy – impress with less.

Avoid cluttering the map with extraneous stuff, keeping in mind that what the boss wanted a month ago may no longer be forward-most in her mind today.

Demographic Map Options
Demographics can be added to your map analysis by administrative district across the whole USA. This means you establish a demographic map by zip code, county, state or some other administrative district layer and applying across the whole map. If you require regional maps, simply zoom into that area of interest and save that map view. A population map of the Northwest USA by county can display a point array of your restaurant chain’s drive-through locations while color coding the population levels by county to indicate where new locations might make sense. You’d be focusing on highly populated counties with now drive-through locations.

Alternatively, you can conduct sales territory mapping or build areas of interest (AOI) maps, based on administrative districts in specific areas, and then add multiple demographic layers for analysis. In this scenario you use your business mapping software’s selection techniques to gather a limited group of zip codes or counties together to create an AOI or territory. Then you could add several layers of demographics to further define your AOI.

A homecare franchise organization might create several AOI’s or territories by county. Each individual franchise territory might be defined such that it contains no more than 1.5 million people over all. And your sweet spot customer happens to be of the 80 to 84-year-old male and female demographic. So your customer mapping might pull in general population, plus two layers of 80 to 84 year olds – male and female. Now you can see at a glance whose AOI population is approaching or over the 1.5 million overall. And you can easily determine how many 80 to 84-year-old grannies you’ve got as a target market. Initiate the robo-calling! They love that.

Ah! Look At All the Lonely People
Population studies apply to thousands of disciplines. There’s many good reasons why studies are conducted that analyze ethnicity and race. It’s not all gerrymandering (he said cynically.) Medical, retail, education, non-profit and many other industries use demographic data, and demographic maps to inform their strategic plans as they consider future growth or expose patterns in the population for enhanced decision-making.

The beautiful thing about Map Business Online is that this data is up-to-date and freely available with a 90 day or an annual subscription. And, any of these demographic data layers can be queried and the results exported for use outside of Map Business Online. Export that franchise AOI and keep a copy of it on file with the contract. Export that sales territory map data and keep a copy of it on file with Loretta’s sales records. Export the creepy single female by age analysis you made of Austin, TX and keep it in your glove compartment for the next time your wife kicks you out.

Your Path to Glory
Business mapping by demographics is sexy if you construct your map correctly. If you’ve discovered Map Business Online and no one else in the office has, you’re going to be envy of the office at the sales meeting on Friday. Enjoy it. Revel in it. And resist the temptation to poke fun at your pathetic nemesis this one time. Armed with business maps that sing, your promotion and pay raise is probably just weeks away, depending on your demographic.


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