How to Create a Competitor Map

Recently we’ve had several customers ask how to build a competitor map. As important as this business mapping exercise is, a competitor map is actually quite easy to construct.  Before we build one, let’s explore why a competitor map is important.

Your company is creating a strategy for growth. At least, it better be doing that. To do this effectively you need to know all you can about the competition. By knowing more about where the competition operates you inform your decision-making processes.

Businesses tend to know who their competitors are. They try to keep tabs on competing businesses; what they sell, how much they charge, and how they advertise. A competitor map takes this basic analysis a step further.

By placing a competitor headquarters’ address on a map, you have defined the central operational location of that business. Whether your competitor sell products and services nationwide or just around town, their facility locations speak volumes on how and where they do business. A competitor location adds to your overall situational awareness:

  • A competitor map shows you where their target markets are located
  • A competitor map can hint at delivery times, shipping and transportation costs
  • A competitor map shows you the proximity of your competitor to your best customers
  • A competitor map, appended with demographic data, can describe both competitor markets and labor pools
  • Your business locations on a map compared to a competitor’s locations on a map, expose areas of opportunity and saturation

Use a business mapping software to create a competitor map. Include your business locations, your customer address list and add some demographic data to complete your analysis. Consider including sales territories as well, but only if that adds value to your decision-making process.

Apply MapBusinessOnline market analysis tools to your competitive analysis. Calculate customer potential, and analyze driving distances between store locations. Append demographic data and sales data to competitor datasets using MapBusinessOnline Pro.

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Lastly, any competitor map should include an import list of competitor locations.  This is now easily done in MapBusinessOnline by accessing the Business Listings data (for a fee) which can provide competitor locations, sales and employee estimates, and branch locations.

How Do I Create a Competitor Map?

  1. Gather an address spreadsheet of your key competitor locations. Include branch locations as well as headquarters. Arrange location data into separate columns with headers for: Name, Address, City, State, and ZIP code
  2. In the MapBusinessOnline master toolbar click the Plot Data on Map button.  Browse to your target data and select it. Verify location columns are accurately placed and adjust as necessary
  3. Be sure to choose Company Name or a similar assignment for the name column. Assign columns of your choice to the five label flex field options that display with points on the map. Process the imported locations points to the map
  4. Color code imported points by clicking the Color Code with Symbols button
  5. Repeat the above import process for additional address-base datasets – Your company critical locations, customer address datasets, prospective customer address datasets
  6. Color code and/or symbolize various datasets for quick identification on the map. Append additional information as appropriate to plotted point labels – like your imported business data
  7. At your discretion add background demographic layers by administrative district (typically ZIP code)
  8. Use the Business Listings Yellow Pages icon button on the master tool bar to access Business Listings by polygon or radius, NAICS or SIC code industry category, business name, or by city, state or ZIP code
  9. Share your competitor map with planning associates as required to secure feedback and ideas. Sharing options include: interactive map sharing through MapBusinessOnline MapShare, static image files via email, or simply share maps through the MapBusinessOnline Map App. You can always share your business mapping via web share services like Join.Me or Microsoft Teams

A Competitor Map Generated in MapBusinessOnline

Competitor maps help you understand your place in the market. They improve your situational awareness. Map views that include imported data layers,  extract patterns and expose trends in your business.  Every business has its own particular critical elements. If those elements have location components like address or lat/lon coordinates, add them to the map.

Remember to share your competitor map with trusted associates. They may see things you don’t.

Now you are competing. Doesn’t that feel better?


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After installing the Map App, the MapBusinessOnline launch button will be in the Windows’ Start Menu or Mac Application folder. Find the MapBusinessOnline folder in the Start Menu scrollbar. Click the folder’s dropdown arrow and choose the MapBusinessOnline option.

The Map App includes the Map Viewer app for free non-subscriber map sharing.

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