Map Business Online Blog

Read about business mapping and how it can help your business succeed.

SpatialTEQ Announces MapBusinessOnline.com Available on Salesforce AppExchange, the World’s Leading Enterprise Apps Marketplace

LOWELL, Mass. – March 26, 2015 — Map Publisher SpatialTEQ Inc. today announced the release of MapBusinessOnline.com (MBO) for Salesforce users – business mapping, sales planning and sales territory mapping for organizations and professionals using the world’s #1 CRM. MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4.4 (MBO) will be accessible to licensed subscribers of Salesforce via the Salesforce AppExchange. MBO for Salesforce provides a complete array of business mapping software tools designed to support the sales and marketing mapping needs of the retail sales, industrial sales, healthcare, financial and other vertical markets.

MapBusinessOnline.com for Salesforce users enables direct integration and easy transfer of contacts, prospects, and opportunities from within Salesforce directly into Map Business Online business maps. Business data can then be visualized, searched, segmented by geography or filtered, and exported back to Salesforce for campaign work or other projects. Salesforce users with sales territory assignments by zip code, city, county, or state will be able to easily import those records into Map Business Online for sales territory creations and management enabling shared map views and queries by territory. Salesforce users will also have access to MBO’s shared map editing tools for collaborative business map creation and editing across designated teams of MBO subscribers.
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Geoffrey Ives, vice president of sales for SpatialTEQ said, “MBO for Salesforce users is designed to enhance sales productivity and drive down fuel costs through optimized sales planning. Franchisors, and general sales organizations will create and manage sales territories that expand upon Salesforce sales funnel accountability practices, further driving accountability to every sales organization. And Salesforce marketers will gain access to geographic visualizations and analysis of customers, prospects and competitors for use in developing effective campaigns.”

About Map Business Online
From the creators of BusinessMAP, http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive mapping software for Macs and PCs since 2010. Design, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Create and manage sales territories that drive accountability into your sales force. Access optimized multi-stop routes to control travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.

About Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce AppExchange is the world’s leading enterprise apps marketplace that empowers companies to sell, service, market and engage for the Internet of Customers. With more than 2,200 partner apps and more than 2.4 million customer installs, it is the most comprehensive source of social, mobile and connected cloud apps for business.

Salesforce, AppExchange and others are trademarks of salesforce.com, inc.

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Answering Business Questions with Business Mapping Software

I like to occasionally update our blog audience on the reasons why more and more businesses are using Map Business Online. Organizations use business mapping software for a variety of reasons and many of them surprise me, even after seventeen years in the mapping biz. One question I get a lot is:

• “How many people have used Map Business Online?”

A Tool for the Masses
Since we released MapBusinessOnline.com in 2010 over 25,000 people have logged into the program. At that number our users represent a very wide variety of industries. Healthcare, banking, and general sales & marketing verticals lead the pack. But we also get a lot of calls and emails from insurance companies, franchise organizations, delivery and service organizations, and retail sales companies. MBO users sell pools, schedule doctors for home visits, manage inside sales teams, organize Wal-Mart shelves, provide marketing advice, manage car washes, sell restaurant franchises, and clear vegetation. The list never ends.

In general, these thousands of users are creating customer maps, prospect maps, and competitor maps – fundamental visualization of business data. ‘Seeing is believing,’ as the saying goes, and location-based data visualizations will expose threats and opportunities you may have missed, especially if you haven’t been using a business map. Often, a company middle manager or administrator gets the idea to map Excel data for views on a map and that view, when shared, generates interest at many levels within the organization. They might be answering questions like this:

• “How many people making more than $175,000 a year,live within 30 minutes of our proposed new retail store?”
• “How many 50 to 55 year-olds live within 30 minutes of our proposed fitness facility?”

Business maps communicate business realities quickly and effectively – especially when viewed against additional data, like demographics by zip code. When carefully crafted business maps are a great way to get the boss’ attention focused on competitive realities, potential markets, or strategic plans.

Comes with the Territory
I discuss and demo Map Business Online’s sales territory mapping process multiple times each day. Companies new to MBO come to us with various levels of experience in territory management. Some are MapPoint refugees looking for a MapPoint replacement (Microsoft MapPoint was discontinued late last year.) Others are brand new to the concept and need to start from scratch by easily grouping sets of zip codes together based on demographic data or some other business factor. Still other companies use advanced territory mapping tools and just want a simpler, less expensive alternative. They can import their existing territory schemes and start sharing interactive MapBusinessOnline.com sales territory maps at extremely low costs. Sales territory maps answer questions too. For example:

• “Where are the overlapping zip codes between sales person A’s territory and salesperson B?”
• “Did territory A results come within 95% of her sales goal for Q1 2015?”

Companies use territory maps to assign and encourage sales accountability. Sales territory maps provide a platform for sharing sales objectives and results. Sales territory clarity drives sales activities and sales activities drive conversions. Companies with clearly defined sales territories sell more products and services.

Route Planning Software
Many businesses apply business mapping software to their mobile work force. This is where things get really interesting. An independent sales representative could use MBO for basic sales planning. She might use the tool to answer the question:

• “Who am I going to call on next week in Cleveland, OH?”

A mapping tool lets you import your customer base and then search that list by spatial or geographic query, saving the results for record keeping or multi-stop optimized route development. Delivery and service organizations expand on this concept by answering questions like:

• “Where are the closest fuel supply points to my list of delivery customers in southern Nevada?”
• “How far is the closest hospital from my highest risk patients?”
• “What is the distance from zip code center to zip center across my entire market area?”

Each company we speak with has a unique set of business circumstances and work-flows they want to accommodate with business mapping software. A bus company has traveling vehicles just like a hospice care agency but their business realities are completely different. Mapping tools can help a bus company efficiently pick up all the kids in each neighborhood with minimal stops. In school transportation it’s all about efficiency and safety. That same tool can help a hospice organization determine where every resource is scheduled to be right now so the entire organization can accommodate the latest crisis. Hospice agencies need to be ready when ten patients require critical care in the same half hour.

In the end business mapping software provides a set of features that are designed to answer critical questions quickly and communicate those answers effectively. These tools are applicable to a broad set of business situations but they must also be technologically accessible. In other words, when the company needs a business map, almost anyone in the organization should be able to create one. Maps don’t need to be expensive or complex for most organizations. We must remember a fuel company is in business to haul and sell fuel – not to build road maps. A retail marketing company is in the business to conduct market analysis – not to build the greatest GIS map of all time. Business maps should be relatively easy to access and apply for anyone capable of building an Excel spreadsheet and operating a web browser.

This is why we like to answer this question:

“How can business maps help you be successful in your business?”

And the answer is, try a business mapping tool like Map Business Online and find out.

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Find out why over 25,000 business users log into MapBusinessOnline.com

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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A Multi-stop Route Planner for Your Business Work-flow

Map Business Online provides optimized routing tools for businesses with employees who travel in vehicles. The actual multi stop route planner is launched by the Car Icon on the toolbar. MBO business mapping features can be applied to vehicle routing in ways that support many different business work flows.

At a high level MBO routing functionality encompasses these major functions:

  1. Identify and Save Route Stops – Import and filter data to determine the routing stops desired by geographic area, drive time area, or other filtered analysis
  2. Create Optimized Routes – Use routing tools to select start and finish locations, and generate optimized or non-optimized routes
  3. Share Generated Routes with your employees or driving constituents
  •  Push printed or saved PDF files of turn-by-turn directions to drivers
  •  Save map views of proposed routes
  •  Share interactive web maps with associates and let them generate routes on their own

Import Your Data
Typically multi-stop routing starts with a list of stops. Import your company’s potential routing destinations as a customer spreadsheet, a prospect list or some other database of addresses. There’s lots of help documentation, videos, and blogs on how to do this in MBO help. The Help button is in the top right hand corner of the map application. MBO videos are here on MBO YouTube.

You can certainly assign addresses one address at a time using the address bar in the upper left corner of the map. That’s an incremental process and takes a lot longer than exporting a list from your business system or CRM and map plotting your business data into Map Business Online. And for SalesForce.com users it gets even easier through our direct integration tools.

Once you have your list imported into Map Business Online don’t forget to symbolize it to help you quickly visually identify locations critical to your work flow. You could, for instance, highlight locations requiring immediate deliveries, or patients that need to be seen today, or customers who haven’t purchased in six weeks. You decide, based on your work flow.

Filter Your Data
“You can’t route to all the people, all the time.” – Abraham LinkedIn
Well maybe Abe LinkedIn never said that, but still, the basic concept is true. And for that very reason you’ll need to filter your imported data to decide what deliveries are going to be made today, or what accounts a sales person will call on tomorrow.

Map Business Online let’s you filter by radius (circle search), by polygon, or by drive time/distance. These are geographic or spatial queries that enable a quick scan of your data within a circle or a polygon that you can save as a subset list of your overall data. You’ll be able to create routes with up to one hundred stops per route – a significant time savings in route work flows.

Further, in the Data Window you can create additional spatial queries or search by other factors. Maybe you want to route to all stops in one zip code, or in one county. That would be another spatial query. But you could also search based on information embedded in your imported data – for example, create a list of all customers with total sales reported at less than $1000. You could choose to visit only patients without the Flu. Filtering your data could even help the Grinch decide who is going to get Christmas presents on time this year.

By exporting these results and saving associated files you can keep a file of your delivery stops for any given day. Thus you can use your Map Business Online searches as back-up for work flow activities.

Route It
Once you’ve created a routable list of target addresses, you can choose how to route to your destinations. You must decide which order you want to travel in – an optimized order or in the order of your dataset. You could simply selected each destination incrementally – one stop at a time. And you need to decide where your route starts and where your route will end. Round trips are also an option.

Consider start and final stop assignments, perhaps it’s usually your home that you begin and end your routes from? If that is so, create a Favorite stop in the Route Window for your home address. But you can always insert your home address into the Address Bar to the top left of the map and the hover over that point on the map and incrementally select it for a start. Always look for the small Car icon to add stops to routes.

From the Data Window any list you’ve developed can be automatically converted into routes stops with one click – See the Car & Data icon towards the right of the Data Window toolbar. Once those stops have been assigned to the Route window you can still grab stops and change their order – just select them with your mouse and drag up or down the in the list of stops.

When you are ready, click the Route button to create turn-by-turn directions, mileage and time estimates. Consider loading a free print-to-PDF tool to save directions in a PDF file format like www.cutepdf.com. This is great for sharing route directions.

In addition to turn-by-turn directions, route results will include total time and mileage estimates. All route calculations are based on the background map data used within Map Business Online. The software considers road classifications, speed limits, turn restrictions, one-way/two-way rules, and many other factors in determining which turns to make, what times will be, and how far you will travel.

Read about sharing route functionality with MapBusinessOnline.com’s free MapShare functionality: MapShare

MBO optimized routing tools are used by package delivery companies, technical service organizations, home healthcare organizations, and sales planning professionals. These tools supplement customer mapping, retail mapping, sales territory planning and many other business intelligence tools.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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SpatialTEQ Expands Demographic Data for MapBusinessOnline.com Subscribers

LOWELL, MA (March 10, 2015) — Map Publisher SpatialTEQ Inc. today announced the release of MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4.3 – business mapping software with comprehensive demographic data for sales, marketing and territory planning professionals in the U.S.A., Canada and the U.K..

The MapBusinessOnline.com 4.4.3 release provides an update to previously installed demographic data layers for both the USA and Canada. USA demographic layers now reflect 2013 Census Bureau updates. MBO Census derived demographic data layers are available automatically to all existing MBO subscribers using USA map data. MBO also includes Census Tract and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) boundary layers for convenient Census tract maps and sales territory maps based on Census geographies.

For Canada map users MapBusinessOnline.com has been expanded to include the following additional Canadian demographic data categories: age, education, employment, ethnicity, income, housing units, minority, population, occupation, and race.

Demographic data in Map Business Online can be used to build USA county, state, zip code, or Census tract maps that display density, age, and category breakdowns by age ranges, education, employment, ethnicity, gender, households, housing units, income, population, race, and travel times.

MapBusinessOnline users apply Census data to nationwide demographic analysis maps, specific area-of-interest maps, marketing areas, and sales territory mapping. Multiple demographic layers can be appended to area map datasets and exported for use outside of the mapping application. Sales territory map views allow demographic data to be totaled by category enabling territory optimization by population, income, or other categories. Demographic maps can be built using state, county, zip code, zip 3, Census tract, MSA, and city limit geographies.

MBO demographic data is applied by thousands of businesses across a variety of major vertical markets including advertising, banking & finance, franchise sales, healthcare, insurance, retail, general sales & marketing, and manufacturing.

About Map Business Online
From the creators of BusinessMAP, http://www.MapBusinessOnline.com has been providing sales & marketing professionals with affordable and intuitive business mapping software, retail and customer mapping software for Macs and PCs since 2010. Design, edit, and share maps that reflect your business. Create and manage sales territories that drive accountability into your sales force. Implement shared map editing. Replace discontinued Microsoft MapPoint with MapBusinessOnline. Access optimized multi-stop routes to control travel costs. No other map software solves so much for so little.

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

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Yet Another GDUI – Family Time and How it Relates to Mapping

For many of us, purchasing the latest software or gadget means we’ll be getting an exciting new headache along with that new feature, function, or service we’ve been craving. There’s almost always a serious learning curve associated with trying a new video streaming service, putting a battery in the new TV remote, or simply making that first call with your new cell phone. For me, anyway, the process of learning yet another User Interface (UI) can be maddening.

Nana
It reminds me of when my Grandmother used to get really mad. She’d say things like, “I’m going to blow up his GD lawn mower. You’ll see.” Or “That toaster’s not worth a GD nickel.” As a rule, my Nana utilized all the usual swear words on a regular basis, but in the heat of the moment, for some reason she’d go all acronym and the GD shortcut would prevail. Mind you, my Nana was the sweetest women in history. You just didn’t want to cross her. And she died long before any GDUI came close to impacting her life.
Aleda
It’s not that Facebook’s settings are difficult to master, or that Google Plus is particularly complicated to set-up, it’s more that there are just so many of these GD UI’s in our lives today and each new UI is completely unique. These UI’s are the creations of genius software devs asserting their unique vision of how a device shoould work. You must know what I mean? Every time we buy a new piece of equipment or sign up for a new web service there’s a new protocol to learn.

Family Time
This is especially true around Christmas, after you’ve purchased a new TV or streaming tool for the family. Christmas is supposed to be a festive time; a time for relaxation and family. Yeah, right. You’ve just thrown a major chunk of cash (or credit) at some new widget and now you have to make it work. Things are going to get dicey in paradise.

“But Daddy,” your five year-old daughter says ever so sweetly, “It’s Christmas and you said we could watch F[w]ozen today.” You, lying on the floor in an unbelievably uncomfortable and hideously twisted position that makes you look possessed by the devil, trying yet another configuration of the Blue Ray player paired with the Samsung TV all while holding the dog’s stinky dirty pillow over your face so you can swear like Nana did, “I’m going to throw this GD Blue Ray player in the GD trash can.” Which your little girl hears only as a series of muffled oomfs and arghs, but really, you know you’ve damaged her now. There’s years of therapy in her future, and more UI’s for you in yours.

I’ve got to hand it to my Dad. At 82 years old, he still manages to set up new software programs, tweak the TV remotes, and reconfigures Mom’s phone so the political donation callers can’t get to her. Of course, now I can’t get to her either but we take our UI victories where we can find them. Here’s a link where you can read about more GDUI’s baddesigns.

Back to Business Mapping
At Map Business Online, we understand you have a lot of GD technology on your plate. Who needs more? We sincerely believe our tools are intuitive and are fairly easy to adjust. I am including here a few tips that might help as you embark on yet another dance with a new GD web-service. I use these approaches regularly, so you should be able to as well.

Importing Business Data
Map lists of addresses as spreadsheets that have separate columns for address, zip code, city and state. Do not use the rows above your business data for anything but column header names. Some people have notes or titles in their first few rows. Don’t do that.
• You can import multiple datasets and control them from the Map & Data Tab. You can actually import the same data multiple times, which lets you symbolize data from the same dataset in various layers with varying symbols.
• To update your imported data layers consider using a Unique Record ID column in your data. Then you won’t have to delete reimport and resymbolize your data visualization

Changing the Way Zips, Counties, or States Look from Map & Data
Map & Data is the blue box in the Pacific Ocean or usually to the left of the map view. If closed it sits along the left side of your map. It controls your data layers. In the Map & Data Tab place your cursor over a Zip Code layer (or any other administrative district layer). Click the Gear Icon that pops up and consider that light blue dialog box that opens. Here you can control the following things:
• Zip code transparency – You can make the layer transparent to view the base map street data through the zip codes
• Zip code boundary line thicknesses and coloring – thicken and darken lines for better referencing
• Zip code color choices – change the non-selected zip code default from light green to purple, if you like
• Zip code labels – You control when zip code labels show up as you zoom in, the label size, and any additional data (like demographic data) that you may want to add to the label (which is wicked cool)
• Zip code call outs and zip code Territory labels can be edited here too
• All of these edits can be applied to state, county or other admin layers. They are not just for zip code maps

Basic Map Navigation Tips
• To pan and zoom on the map I use the “Zoom in/out” button (magnifying glass icon) at the bottom of the Scroll/Zoom tool in the upper right corner of the map. It’s fast.
• There’s a convenient Blue Back Arrow button there too, to move your map-view back a few steps.
• And, also in the Scroll Bar section, you can click on the American Flag to zoom to a contiguous USA wide view

Data Window Tips (Spread Sheet Icon button to the right of the Tool Bar)
• The Data Window gives you a spreadsheet view of your imported data in MBO. If you select a row in the Data Window it selects the corresponding point on the map – so there is connectivity between the data view and the map view
• The Data Window tool bar has many filtering tools. It’s also where you can rename or delete marketing lists and territories – see the White Pages Blue Check-Mark icon to the right of the tool bar.
• To append demographic data to territories and marketing lists click that Add Data button in the bottom right. All of your Data Window views are exportable – even the demographic data

Edit Imported Data
• Select an imported mappoint on the map and use the little tool bar that pops up – click the gear to edit properties and data fields
• In the Data Window place your cursor over the far left hand column, click the Pencil that pops up and begin editing
• Add data to MBO. Drop down on the draw tools under the ABC icon – select the bottom option Map Pin or MapPoint and touch the map. Choose to add to an existing dataset or start a New dataset. You can get to the same editing function by adding an address in the Address Bar – white space upper left corner above the map. Enter an address and click the Binoculars to place a point on the map – notice the little toolbar again

The Map Legend or Map Key – That’s the box that explains your map data to your audience
• The map legend appears when you import data or create a territory or market area
• Remember you can edit the Legend. Click the circle in the upper right of the legend and edit or remove legend layers.
• If the Legend disappears, open the Map & Data tab, click the Tool Bar gear and look towards the bottom of the dialog box to re-enable the Map Legend

Various tips and tricks
• Where ever you can assign a symbol to a point on the map you can access the Symbol library. In the symbol library you can scroll way up above to the top of the symbols and find the import tools for importing your own symbols.
• Filter your map view by state – Use that mushroom looking button on the right of the Map & Data toolbar

Be sure to contact us if you have any other questions about our GD mapping application.

_____________________________________________________________________________
Let a digital map help you learn about your business

Contact: Geoffrey Ives geoffives@spatialteq.com (800) 425-9035, (207) 939-6866

MapPoint users – please consider www.MapBusinessOnline.com as your MapPoint Replacement.

Please read customer reviews or review us at Capterra, g2crowd

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