In Map Business Online, we treat areas of interest and territories the same. By that I mean, you use the exact same tools to create an “area of interest” as you would a “territory.” So, what is the difference between these two area concepts in business mapping?
An Area of Interest
I look at an area of interest in the same way a cop looks at a suspect as a person of interest. I’m not married to the idea of permanently declaring that area as a territory, any more than a cop might consider a suspect to be the perpetrator, until the case is iron clad.
In marketing, an area of interest is a roughly defined area that may be a significant source of future business. But that area needs to be fully vetted to determine its real potential and its real extent. Until we know more, it’s simply an area and we have some interest in it.
That interest could have been generated by a sale of a product or service that suddenly occurred from an untapped area for no reason. This happens in business. It could have been the result of a series of inquiries, a few sales calls, or perhaps a change in business ownership caused a stir in an area. Who knows?
A territory, or as often is the case, a sales territory, is a specific geography used to define an area of responsibility. By defining a territory, a business has determined that particular area will be subject to marketing and sales efforts, or perhaps some sort of field support, on a regular basis.
A territory usually includes defined accountability. A specific set of people are responsible for making sure the company conducts a set of activities that lead to inquiries or sales from the territory.
While a territory is distinct from an area of interest as discussed above, Map Business Online handles both area concepts in the same way.
Both area entities are created either by:
- Importing a spreadsheet of geographies (ZIP codes, counties, etc.) and an associated area name
- Selecting an incremental list of geographies until the area is built, and naming it
- Selecting a group of geographies with a polygon of some sort, and naming it
Data Analysis Related to an Area
Once created, your area of interest becomes a repository for associated location-based data. Map Business Online provides a Data Window view of any territory. You’ll notice the data we automatically provide. By clicking More Data, the user may remove or add data at will. This dataset is associated with the territory at hand and becomes the model for all other territories created in that map, using the same base map layer.
In this way, a Map Business Online area of interest becomes a template for new market development across the map field. Usually the same products, activities or marketing approaches work for all areas of interest, meaning your data analysis can be applied anywhere. Share those map views with other marketing and sales associates to explore growth strategies or to solicit feedback.
Territory data analysis gets down to brass tacks. Use imported or demographic data to establish what constitutes a valid territory in your business. Is it existing sales? Or does population by ZIP code hold more weight in your definition of a territory? A lot may depend on whether your business is B2B or B2C.
Once your territories are established, imported sales data and prospect data will be used to monitor progress and establish new goals and objectives by territory.
Remember, in Map Business Online these area views can become a data analysis tool that over lays a wide variety of location-based data:
- Customer data, prospect data or any address based dataset
- Calculated data columns (accessed in Map and Data) that reflect compilations of datasets or ratios between and sums of two datasets
- Demographic data categories included with MBO
- NAICS industry segment data available for MBO through RealDatasets
- Any other location-based data set pertinent to your business
So whether your need is a simple visualization, the development of an area of interest, this years version of a long-standing nationwide territory scheme, Map Business Online will provide the tools to get your area into focus.
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