Creating a Demographic Profile by Zip Code

Once again, a business mapping customer inquiry led me to a new application for MapBusinessOnline. Coincidentally I’d been dancing around this particular solution with a couple of retail chain customers. Let’s imagine you’ve launched a new fast food restaurant in a city where you live and the whole concept has legs.

Your fast food restaurant sells affordable organic sandwiches and light meals in a drive through setting. You’re going to franchise the concept and call it OnGo Organics.  To market your franchise concept, you need to develop a ZIP code based demographic profile that points to the areas around the USA that are most likely to successfully support a new OnGo Organics restaurant location. This process is retail demographic mapping or more simply, demographic analysis. You could think of it as a target market map — developing a map that identifies market targets.

Here at home, with the help of a survey, you’ve realized there are certain factors that  make your premier store a success.  You feel you’ve done well with customers whose household incomes are $95,000 per year or more. And your pretty sure a zip code with a population of 20,000 people is a minimum level sweet spot for optimum customer activity.

In MapBusinessOnline we can establish baseline data to support your map-based market analysis by importing demographic data layers for population and household income into your map view. In the Map Business Online Data Window we choose the Zip Code layer. We click the Choose Columns button in the lower left and create our demographic market analysis view from our All Columns Data options, Demographic Data – Population (2013), Medium Income (2013), and a calculated sum of incomes over $99,000 – the closest Census category to $95,000.  You could conduct the same analysis using Census Tracts, States or County map layers.

Filter Your Data

Still in the Data Window and on the overall ZIP code layer, I click the Filter Button. I added two criteria for a total of three filter criteria with arithmetic modifiers applied. Remember, the analysis is being conducted at the Zip Code level.  I set the filter modifiers like this:

Criteria 1 – General, Zip Codes, Modifier > 0

Criteria 2 – Demographic Data, Population (2013), Modifier  > 20,000

Criteria 3 – Demographic Data, Median Income (2013) Mod > $99,000

The filter result is a report showing the 358 ZIP codes around the nation that are a best fit for OnGo Organics franchises. I then clicked the Create a New Territory button on the Data Window tool bar, and created a business territory map of best ZIP codes across the county. I selected the OnGo Franchise Targets territory (so named) and colored the ZIP codes Red for easy viewing.

I also exported the OnGo Territory data out of MapBusinessOnline as a CSV file for reimport as a city listing. I imported that list and made city target points on the map. One reason I did this was to turn on the city labels, which make it easier to quickly see which cities we’ve set as premium franchise targets. This city view with labels turned on can become cluttered in places like Manhattan. Always consider map clutter before turning on all labels. The user can always associate critical data with each ZIP code label or point label.  In the labels I included extra data like, Commuters Traveling more than 35 minutes, and high % Hispanic population. Two positive factors driving customers based on our study.

In the end I opted for turning off the imported City labels and simply turned on the City layer from MapBusinessOnline’s Add Layer button. Hovering over a city point will reveal the key information a map viewer requires.

I now have a first pass Franchise development plan as a zip code map for business based on the demographic ZIP code profile of one very successful store location. This map can be shared as an interactive web map to solicit feedback from constituents.  Have your non-subscribing map viewers download the Map App which includes a Viewer App. Simply send these constituents an email with a Map Share link and when they click the link MapBusinessOnline launches for them as a view only map.

You can also export a CSV file report of demographic data by jurisdiction and include static images of regional or street level map views. MapBusinessOnline, a geo mapping software designed to make your business quickly and affordably location-aware.

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.

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Contact: Geoffrey Ives (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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About Geoffrey Ives

Geoffrey Ives lives and works in southwestern Maine. He grew up in Rockport, MA and graduated from Colby College. Located in Maine since 1986, Geoff joined DeLorme Publishing in the late 1990's and has since logged twenty-five years in the geospatial software industry. In addition to business mapping, he enjoys playing classical & jazz piano, gardening, and taking walks in the Maine mountains with his Yorkshire Terrier named Skye.
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