Large and small businesses seek new perspectives, business intelligence, and improved operations through the application of business mapping software. Enterprises do this for both strategic and tactical reasons. Enterprise mapping enhances business processes across the organization.
For years, corporate America has been well served by Microsoft MapPoint as a tool that provided business maps for enterprise and corporate planning. But with MapPoint’s cancelation, most business mapping services are now cloud-based, easy-to-use and completely affordable. And I assume you realize all that old MapPoint map data is more than a decade old. It’s time for corporate planners to start researching their options for business mapping tools that help maintain a competitive edge in sales and marketing, while improving efficiencies across the entire organization.
Business mapping provides strategic advantages because business analysis supplemented with geographic views can enhance strategic planning with location intelligence. Corporate managers come and go. Strategies tends to shift based on who’s calling the shots – we’ve all experienced this. But location intelligence anchors your strategic decision-making process to Earth-based realities. A zip code will reflect specific sales volumes, Census based demographics, patient activities by zip code, and competitive presence in zip codes – these are realities that don’t shift when the latest Guru shows up. By leveraging that location information across a network of zip codes, strategic direction can be quantified, goals set and progress measured against goals.
Strategic plans based on location intelligence are definable –easily explained to your team. Consider the difference between this:
- Folks we believe you can grow the business by 25% next year by redoubling your efforts.
- We’ve identified our best performing zip codes across the USA and established a preferred zip code profile in areas where we do not currently sell product. By focusing in these specific prospect areas, we believe we can grow our business by 25% next year. Here’s the list of zip codes with the highest potential.
Enterprise level strategic processes that can benefit from business mapping include market analysis, competitor analysis or even business expansion planning. A true strategic plan should always include location intelligence at some level. Virtually any analysis related to customers, facilities, prospects or staff can be enhanced through business mapping.
Communicate Accountability with Clarity
Business maps are visual. They provide a visual assessment of a business plan that can be instantly understood if the maps are created carefully. Business maps are also easily shared and are therefore excellent tools for gathering feedback or simply communicating the strategic or tactical message your teams need to understand.
Business maps drive accountability because they offer real, often physical boundaries that define responsibilities for field workers, teams, and managers. By establishing clear lines of territory control and accountability, perhaps with company sanctioned overlapping highlighted, managers are taking the guesswork out of field work flows. Reduce ambiguity through business mapping.
Business mapping software is applied tactically by large enterprises to effectively manage field teams in operations such as home care staff management, insurance claims management, field technician coordination and basic field sales planning. Corporate departments and teams use mapping tools to visualize groups of customers or prospects for contact or visits. Insurance companies visualize claims, ATM companies visualize bank machines, billboard advertising firms visualize billboard placements. Sales departments across all business create sales territory mapping. The list goes on. Route planning tools are available for folks who travel and to organize field work around areas of responsibility.
By defining coverage areas and territories, business managers assign tasks and objectives related to physical addresses or points on a map. As mentioned above, territory maps help define areas of accountability. Optimized routing drives efficiency. Planned business routes dovetail with time schedules and offer an opportunity to contact other prospects in a defined areas. If your technician gets done early, is there another home he can visit to make his trip more efficient?
Drive time analysis can be applied to explore the proximity of all potential customers or businesses in a target area. By adding a drive time polygon to a business map, a manager can visualize every potential customer within a 90-minute driving time of a facility or store. There is power in that map time-based view:
- Drive time can define sales potential – There are X number of accounts with a 90-minute drive in all directions
- Drive time can limit wanderers – You will get no credit for activity outside of a 30-minute drive time polygon
- Drive time can define coverage areas – We may want to add a sales rep in the Grand Junction area because it falls outside of our usual drive time network
Enterprise use of business mapping is often related to sales and marketing processes. Large industrial corporations and service enterprises use business mapping to supplement marketing and sales processes across their organizations.
Corporate users apply business tools tactically toward market analysis in several ways. Marketing departments segment marketing campaigns geographically, testing various areas by message or offer. Marketers also like to derive campaign results geographically, tracking results for future campaign development in other areas or for other products.
Marketing mapping is really just managing and visualizing huge amounts of address based data sets against a map. Subscription management, marketing agency work, retail sales analysis are all areas that benefit from the application of business mapping software.
Supplemental mapping analysis for large firms that focus on consumer product sales will by enhanced by the addition of demographic data. A business map acts as a database management tool easily merging demographic data categories with map administrative district layers, and even imported business data pertinent only to the user organization. Once again, an easy affordable solution for deriving a multi-layered visualization that helps corporate decision makers move processes forward.
Developing better business processes and new business strategies is just the constant way of things. Business models are made to be broken. Surround your business with the tools to analyze results, expose new patterns, and communicate effectively. Stop delaying replacing MapPoint. Experience and re-experience the power of location-based visualizations.
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