Map Business Online Blog

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

Consider the Business Map

A business map extrapolates strategic intelligence from location-based business data. Often, the resulting maps are simply a business data visualization of customers, patients, donors, members – you decide – against a map.  This map visualization reveals patterns and trends in your business data otherwise invisible to human analysis. To get to the point where the business map user is able to view their data against a map involves much preparation on the part of the software provider and a little prep for the map user as well.

Business Maps Are An Amalgamation

Consider a business mapping application.  We usually see a business mapping software as a whole thing, but the tool is really made up of an array of component applications.

A basic and critical component for a business map is the base map.  The accurate background map is created by map data providers who collect and compile the geographic data in a variety of ways.  In some cases they drive the streets of the world taking pictures and collecting data that helps make the street topologies accurate, connected and informative.  These maps are formed by overlaying a variety of imagery and vector layers and then deciding how the layers and lines fit together and how they interact.  The zoom in and out capabilities of a web map are made possible by hierarchical databases that store certain information in certain data layers and serve them up to you the viewer, in just the right way and at just the right time. For instance, the map service makes sure the zip code labels display in an organized and uncluttered fashion no matter what zoom level you are at. Imagine what a USA map would look like if all the zip code labels were turned on at the nationwide view. Spoiler alert – it’s a wicked mess that’s barely readable.

Base maps cover a lot of ground – like, all of it – and base map data is always changing so updates are critical. MapPoint users know this only too well because Microsoft abandoned map updates years before they canceled their business mapping product and user started searching for a MapPoint replacement.  Street and highway data requires constant massaging so that the optimized routing functionality, often included in a business map, can function in a way that drives operational efficiencies.  One-ways and two-ways, bridges, turn restrictions, speed limits, and accurate road classifications all impact the ability of a vehicle routing tool to actually lower fuel costs or improve route times.

Over the base map layer business maps usually include administrative layers like zip codes, counties, cities and the like.  These administrative layers are often managed by third party data providers that assure accuracy and provide data feeds into your business mapping software.  One of the most common business mapping customer requests is for a zip code map.

Geocoding

What about the ability to place your spreadsheets on the map? The process of importing your location based data is called geocoding and it’s usually a web service provided by geocoding providers. Geocoding is what makes those visualizations of your business data so powerful by assuring accurate placement based on addressing or lat/lon coordinate placements. Geocoding services depend on constant data updates because addresses change, road names change, and new roads are always coming into being. Geocoding enables a map side data presentation in spreadsheet form, which can enable a variety of map filtering operations useful for data segmentation into usable chunks; for sales visits, marketing campaigns, and various types of business analysis.

Such services provide the basis for a working business map, but there’s so much more required to support effective map use. The application requires map file management tools, printing and sharing functionality, map symbology options so you can color code your data, a routing engine and a help library.  And never forget the value of drawing random shapes and objects on the map for territory development, area analysis, and data segmentation by geography.

Is It Easy-to-Use?

A business mapping application must combine all this functionality in such a way as to be relatively easy-to-use by the typical business person. And guess what?  Not everyone learns or uses the software in exactly the same way.  What is wicked-easy to most, may be brutally difficult for some users. And as it is with democracy, so it is with mapping tools, you simply can’t please everyone all the time. All business mapping software attempts to be easy-to-use. Some are better than others. It’s a personal preference thing, and a personal capability thing.  As with all things technical, patience helps. Take your time and use the help tools.

Bleeding Map View

Preparing Your Business Data

With your business map prepared and purchased, the business map user must also prepare. You should come to the business mapping application with an orderly dataset of business data.  It should reflect accurate addressing or lat/lon coordinates, but any location placement such as zip code or state centroid points will work. Your spreadsheet should be clean with no superfluous commentary or title info in sections above the data.  For best results, import only column headings and data to the mapping application.

Open Your Mind

You should bring both an open mind and a list of questions related to the geography of your business.  Questions like:

  • What is our current area of business operations or sales coverage?
  • What is the value of our sales when measured by territory or area of interest?
  • What’s your ratio of customers to sales people or patients to clinicians?

Or perhaps consider conducting an exercise like this:  Import your sales records to the map.  Color code zip codes to reflect Census median income levels by zip code. Determine your sweet spot for sales by median income per zip code. Now determine how many zip codes exist with your sweet spot median income value that show minimal or zero sales from your company. Ask yourself, “Why?” How can we grow sales in those sparse areas with high income?

Keeping an open mind allows the map visualizations to inform you in ways you might not expect. Imagine you came to your mapping session looking only for areas where you were selling less than or more than the competition. That’s a valid analysis. But if you have an open mind, you might notices areas where you and the competition are not selling at all.

Try a variety of approaches to building your business map:

  • View your business by zip code, county and Census tract. Which one best represents your business?
  • Perhaps a county or zip code based demographic analysis by commuter, renter, or occupation Census data might reveal something new about your business? Try different categories.
  • Do you subscribe to industry groups that might share or sell industry related location-based data? Get a sample of the data and import it into your map, sit back and think about what you see.

Business mapping applications were not developed overnight.  These map applications have undergone years of iterations and adjustments as location technologies have been developed since the 1980’s. Today they’ve become web-based and more affordable. Take the time to learn how to use your business map. Try different approaches. Explore various map backgrounds, demographic data categories, and geographic districts until you feel you understand your business more completely than you did before you used a business map.

Because considering a business map is really about considering your business and that deserves a considerable amount of consideration.

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, or g2crowd

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How Do I Plot Incremental Points Using Map Business Online?


Map Business Online users from time to time, desire the ability to plot points on the map manually.  Most often user will import location enabled address spreadsheets and throw multiple, perhaps thousands of points on the map all at one time. Alas, sometimes business mapping software users do not want to import data, they just want to create points on the map manually.  This could be for a variety of reasons:

  • They only have one or just a few records to map
  • They view manual placement as faster
  • They are not comfortable with spreadsheets

Incremental point plotting can be easily done with Map Business Online. It is a Plot, Save and Edit process.  You can insert an address through the address bar or you can grab the Plot Point tool from the Draw Tool options.

If you plot using the Address Bar in the upper left hand corner of the application, make sure to input your address like this: “10 Main St, Rockport, MA”  The commas are emphasized to make sure you use them.

When you enter an address and click the binoculars a point is placed on the map and a mini-toolbar appears near the point.  You have to save the point by clicking that red Mappoint Save button on the mini-tool bar. This initial mappoint placement process will create a dataset called Locations.

If you use the Draw Tool Add Location button to place your point, the new location will be added to your Location data set too.  You’ll note an address is not viewable in the Data Window. Instead you’ll have lat/long coordinates.  You can add address information later, as required.

Whichever way you plot points, you have to choose to either create a new data set or add to an existing dataset. Just follow the add data dialog.  MBO will automatically create a dataset called Locations. You’ll see the new dataset in the Map & Data check list, and you’ll find it in the Data Window view. As you add new points, if you choose, you can create new datasets. It’s up to you.

To edit data locations in Map Business Online you have options. One is to click a point to activate the Mini-Toobar. Choose the Edit Gear and do what editors do.  Use this method of editing to change the symbol set of your added point or points.

Users can also open the Data Window to edit data. Simply select the dataset and hover over the left hand column of the data – those Green and Yellow dots. You’ll see a Pencil Icon pop-up. Click that to Edit location information or field content.

Don’t forget to look up common operations in the Help documentation if you have questions.

Business map users add data to Map Business Online for so many reasons. For the most part it is to simply visualize where customers, staff, or business locations are located.  Additional points may be added to create some sort of comparison or highlight.
MissBruce
In Map Business Online a user can add up to 100,000 records to a map. Remember you are currently limited to no more than twelve datasets per map. That’s why we recommend consolidating like datasets.  Don’t use up you dataset allocation on small quantity datasets that could be combined into one import.  You can always symbolize and color code like dataset points by a category in your data for differentiation on the map and map legend.

Simple data imports and comparisons in MBO turn your business map into competitive analysis, market analysis, expansion plans, a customer map, or operational maps.

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, or g2crowd

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Who Put the Business in Business Mapping Software?

New customers to Map Business Online often ask questions about customizing their business map data layers for their map viewing audience or their team shared-map editors. It’s natural that before you jump into a new technical product you want assurances that tool will work adequately for your team.

The truth is Map Business Online is rarely customized by our software developers for specific customers. If it is customized it generally involves creating an entirely new hosted product that entails a larger business opportunity for both Map Business Online and for the customer. It’s not cheap but could be a winner for the right opportunity. Don’t hesitate to ask about such customizations.

However, Map Business Online as released is in fact very customizable by the business map customer using the tools already provided. This means the application is designed to give business customers plenty of opportunities to customize their maps up to support their specific work flows. It’s kind of what we’re all about. We made Map Business Online to be a mapping software that can enhance your work in a variety of ways.

Templates
Firstly, the new MBO map administrator or creator can establish customer mapping that represents their basic business data visualizations and save them as a template for their users start from. This is especially effective for team sharing applications where you can pro-actively share a map, complete with imported data layers and geographic map layers, for your team to use as a starter map for more detailed work.
Import the data you want, keeping in mind that any data you import will be shared with your team and anyone they share with. If you don’t want someone to see it – don’t import it. Once you’ve got the map to your liking, save it as a MyTemplate map. Then go through the sharing process with your team or map viewing audience, as the case warrants.

Map Templates allow you to control what your editors and viewers start with. They also allow you to build a baseline map for your own future work. Perhaps you build a monthly map out of data that only changes once a year? In January you might build the template map and thereafter open a monthly version from that template.

Import a Unique ID Column
Or maybe you reimport a monthly dataset that’s usually pretty close to a previous release and you don’t want to have resymbolize and re-color code your data every dang month. If you have a Unique ID number associated with your data records you can use that upon import to set up more automatic updates for later work.

Your unique ID must actually be unique to make this work. No duplicates allowed. But if you do this upfront it will allow an easy button click to update the data. To update hover over the Map & Data Tab’s imported data layer and click the Edit Gear. You’ll find the update data buttons at the bottom of the dialog page. Test it out to make sure it works for you.

The nice part is that you don’t have to resymbolize and reclassify your data ever month. Combined with the saved template map work flow MBO processing just became what we New Englanders call, “wicked easy.”

Edit Your Data Map Side
Yes you can. Once you’ve imported a data layer you can edit the data on the map. I know I’ve talked about this before but it is important. In the Data Window, by hovering over the left hand column of green and yellow locator dots, you can choose to edit your data’s placement on the map or your data’s actual data records. This is beneficial for updating a few records, or to add a few new records.
If I was going to add a whole bunch of records, I’d boot up Excel, make my changes and update my data through reimporting or through auto-updates. But that’s me. You just need to know you can update your data on the map if you want to.

In fact, Map Business Online let’s you create entire new datasets on the map by adding new addresses. So you could set up a work flow where a user inspects an imported dataset, record by record, and culls out certain data records based on sales activity or patient acuity, and turn those data points into a new dataset on the fly. Pretty cool.

Generating Reports
In Map Business Online the business map user creates territories or areas of interest out of geographic districts like zip codes, Census tracts, or counties – to name a few. Once you established a sales territory, for instance, you’ll end up with a Data Window spreadsheet describing your area of interest by zip code or county or Census tract. These market analysis results can be appended with other data. So, for instance, you could add:

• Data from data you’ve imported like counts per zip, or sales per county
• Data from included MBO Demographic Data like population, income or ethnicity to name just a few
• Calculate column results – this advanced work can be done in MBO. It’s in the Map & Data Tab

The resulting dataset can then be exported as a CSV file report for use outside the application. And from within your MBO spreadsheet you can now generate summation reports for export as well.
Once you understand how Map Business Online transforms simple map data visualizations into a market area of interest or sales territory you’ll begin to understand how to generate report information applying the tool to your own specific work flows.

Enhance your work flows with business mapping software. Release your business data from boring and hard to access silos and let it soar above beautiful maps enlightening your overall business processes. Leverage the power of location in your business data and expose your next strategy. Or just create a zip code map.

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, or g2crowd

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Five Steps to Creating a Valuable Customer Map from Business Data

Business mapping software is all about the data visualization of your business data. Business owners and sales managers are deriving business intelligence and strategies by viewing their business data against an accurate base map. So, what are the best ways to start building a useful business map?

Customer mapping starts and ends with your location based business data spreadsheet:
1. Include Addresses – Create an Excel spreadsheet of your business data that includes address records. Don’t skimp on the address data. I know, you’re a busy person and zip codes should be good enough. But if you’ve got addresses in your data, use them. Create columns in your spreadsheet for address, city, state and zip code. Alternatively you can use latitude and longitude coordinates, which are even more accurate.

By using full addressing you’re providing your business map with the most realistic visualization of your critical business locations. If you simply list zip codes, you’ll get multiple business data points located at the same location. That’s not your business reality. Keep it real, bro.

2. Include Additional Data – Include with your imported business location data any pertinent information that informs your business decisions. Perhaps include a column showing sales associated with each location. Does each customer falls into a certain category or type: retail, industrial, government? On your map you’ll be able to color code based on the data types or numeric ranges included in your additional data columns.

3. Consider importing your own symbols – Perhaps customer logo images or product jpegs will help you’re your business map quickly communicate critical data to your business map audience. Medical maps often use medical symbology to reflect clinician disciplines – A stethoscope image for doctors, life saving symbols for nurses, and a tooth for the dentist. Your map should quickly communicate to your map users. Make your map sing to your map viewers.

4. Define Coverage Areas – Areas of interest, sales territories, and medical coverage areas can be easily displayed as a function of an imported location data sheet. If zip codes, counties or even Census tracts define your coverage areas, you can include a column in your data that defines those location segments. For instances, a list of zip codes for an entire home care coverage area, with another column for any preassigned CNA’s, will provide a coverage area map that displays the designated accountable nurse managing each zip code area. The zips will be colored according to the map legend or key.

5. Double check your data – I know. It’s you. You never screw up. But the old adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’ still applies. Make sure you don’t leave empty records where information should go. Glance at your addressing data – does it look right? No weird country abbreviations are included by mistake, right? It happens. A lot. Take your time and double check that the data you are importing is solid, location based information. Your map and your map viewers will thank you.

The Wrap Up
Your location based data sets are the key elements in deriving new perspectives on your business from business mapping. So think it through. An excel spreadsheet of zip codes doesn’t tell you much about where your customers are versus where your competitors are until you import them onto a map and visually absorb the information. You’ll be amazed at what a zip code mapping tool, like Map Business Online will do for your perspective.

Imagine going on an automobile trip around New England with your family for a week. Would you bring just a spreadsheet of all the planned stops and use that to navigate and determine driving times? No way. Your significant other would significantly kill you. A travel map can help pull a family through a vacation and ready them to face the next crisis in their personal drama called life. Wait. Did I say that out loud? Well anyway, it’s the same with a business map. Turn that spreadsheet into a data filled business map and start viewing your business strategically.

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, or g2crowd

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Map Business Online and Your Data Security

For good reason both large and small businesses are worried about data security. It feels like we read about data breaches in the news almost every day. While at the same time, desktop software is steadily giving way to web-based or cloud service software because cloud services require less infrastructure, software updates are automatic, and these online tools are usually much more affordable. How can a business decision maker reconcile these two trends and feel their business data is safe and secure?

Data security at its most fundamental requires that business managers remain both cognizant and vigilant. We must stay aware of the challenges facing data privacy and be on guard for missteps and violations. Part of data vigilance is making sure certain business data sets are never uploaded to shared applications – on the desktop or the web. Personal data like social security numbers, credit card account numbers, and patient identity data are all extremely private and should never be used in a business mapping application. Make sure your business’ super sensitive data is never released for business analysis. Be vigilant by establishing and adhering to strict rules around your sensitive data management and make sure all employees and contractors adhere to your policies.

Map Business Online Data Protections
Here at Map Business Online, a web-based cloud service, we take data security very seriously. Our customers come to us from health care, financial services, national retail chains, franchise organizations, and a host of other vertical markets. So whether we’re talking about HIPAA concerns, bank accounts, credit card data, or just business intelligence, our customers share a strong desire to keep their business data well protected. Our customers depend on our data security vigilance.
MapBusinessOnline.com is a business data visualization tool. Data visualization is the core value of business mapping software. So, if you are using a businessmap, you are using it specifically to import business data onto a map, usually to develop shared data visualizations for constituents, clients, and employees.

Map Business Online collects certain personal information such as your name, e-mail address, and postal address, in our registration processes, to improve the services we offer to you, to communicate with you about Map Business Online services, and to provide effective customer support when needed.

When you plot a database on a digital map using Map Business Online we process the data on our servers. We extract only the data columns that you designate to be used on the map. We delete original data files immediately after the designated data has been extracted. We store selected data columns for you in our access-protected-database in encrypted form.

Encryption

Any and all data that is imported into Map Business Online is encrypted. Not all Cloud services provide encryption. Map Business Online applies best practices, standard data encryption algorithms that work at the account level and make routine business mapping sessions extremely difficult for evil doers to access.

Cloud Hosted Services

Software products typically offered as a Cloud or web-based service are served over the Internet by a cloud hosting agent. Map Business Online is hosted by Microsoft Azure, out of Atlanta, GA. Microsoft Azure is reliable, advanced, fast, and provides security compliant protocols that protect client software platforms and assure general security compliance for hosted applications. This means applications served up over the Azure cloud can comply with specific industry security requirements. Read more here: Microsoft Azure

Azure is one of several large and secure hosting agents available in the USA. Any of these cloud services spend a great deal of time and money making sure all of their services are secure. Map Business Online engineers comply with Azure policies and recommendations to assure hosting services remain secure across all transactions.

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Protocols

MapBusinessOnline applies Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols to all business mapping web sessions specifically to protect user security across all transactions. SSL ensures that all business transactions, be they e-commerce or data analysis related, are kept private. Look for the S after HTTP in web URLs, and check for the Pad Lock symbol on any website to make sure SSL security settings are in place. Click the Globe icon to the left of our URL text to read about MBO security settings. Read more about SSL security protocols here: https://www.globalsign.com/en/ssl-information-center/what-is-ssl/

Map Business Online requires that all users logging into the application use their email address and a specific password. Your password prevents random users from accessing your account and viewing your maps and imported data layers. In fact, Map Business Online software engineers and employees cannot access your maps or view your business data. We have metering tools that let us monitor how much data you’ve imported, how many maps you’ve stored, how many routes you’ve developed but we cannot access your maps without security keys and software development.

The only way evil doers can access your saved MBO maps is if you provide them with your login credentials including the correct password. MBO does allow for shared web maps, and shared business map URL’s include password protection options. We encourage all business map users to share maps and imported business data only under password protection. And, if your data is not for public viewing consider not sharing it at all.

We can’t claim that Map Business Online is not 100% secure from privacy and data violation events. No cloud software service or desktop software can provide that level of protection. But through vigilance and through the assignment of proactive controls over your data sharing activities your business can remain confident that your business is at minimal risk of a major data breach through our business mapping services.

We encourage your feedback, questions, or suggestions about data security or any other business related matter.

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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Predicting the Future with Business Mapping Software


As a business manager I’ve always wished I could predict the future. Visualizing the next big thing could greatly improve my business decision making. But the reality is I can’t just dream-up where all my new customers will be next year. I need something more scientific to do that.

Map Visualizations Better Than a Ouija Board
As it turns out, business mapping software may be just scientific enough. I can start by importing a spreadsheet of current customer addresses and visualize where all my customers are located today. This is sometimes called customer mapping. Customer densities appear – areas where our customers tend to congregate on the map. That map now clearly defines where our customers are located and, more importantly, where they are not located. And where customers are not is where I predict they will be in the future.

I can add to my map view a simple demographics by zip code layer that displays population gradations by a selection of zip codes. Now I can consider where large populations are concentrated and where our current customer densities are light. Knowing that our product offering is applicable to almost any sales and marketing organization I can safely assume that areas where we are not doing business is related more to customer awareness than to geographic eccentricities that might preclude the use of MBO. It’s like selling toilets to town residents with no plumbing, you know they want toilets but they haven’t got the hook ups yet. Fortunately I’m in the mapping business.

Maps Inform Good Business Decisions
So my business decisions will be focused on areas where we think we can sell more. Those decisions might include:
• Hiring a sales calling service to focus on a few target areas of high population densities where we see low MBO user densities
• Launching an advertising insert into the local papers in those low density areas to generate some interest
• Set up a MBO roadside hot dog stand manned by scantily clad male and female millennials during the B2B weekday lunch hour in those low density districts

Expansion Planning
But I’ve got large business customers that require more face-to-face time. A few traveling sales people might be just the ticket to land some big companies and drive more respectable testimonials. So we’ve interviewed several prospects and they’ll be coming on board shortly. To accommodate their sales capabilities and manage their time we’re tapping into Map Business Onlines’s sales territory mapping capabilities. We’ve developed three sales territories by county across the Eastern USA – the Mississippi East Region.

We used counties because states boundaries didn’t adequately represent large business proximities that correlated efficiently with our new sales peoples’ home bases. By basing our territories on counties we can divide states where necessary preserving a map visualization balance between estimated windshield time and sales compensation coverage.

As we planned our expansion we used MapBusinessOnline to estimate drive times around key metro areas. Each targeted metro area included at least four major businesses that were qualified MBO leads. We imported a list of additional business addresses by metro area that we secured from an online business listing service. Drive time polygons were used to query those lists and saved results, or MBO marketing lists, were turned into optimized multi-stop vehicle routes.

Traveling sales people will plan their weekly schedule using a metro area hotel as the central point. All qualified businesses located within a given drive time polygons will be targeted for calls. Any businesses with significant potential within a one hour drive time of the original scope of call is a fair target, at the sales person’s discretion, because we don’t want any more windshield time expended without special permission from corporate.

Share Editable Maps
A shared and editable business map will be created, saved and shared with the team of account managers. The map will show:

• Sales territories by county
• Metro drive time targets
• Prospects color coded by call status and with hover-notes showing the number of potential users

Each week, using shared map editing capabilities, the new account managers will update our shared business map. Account managers are accountable for their own territory updates – this is written into their contract. They edit their maps daily or weekly as long as updates are complete by the day of the monthly sales meeting. If during the meeting we have to waste time speculating about whether an account had been visited or if the data was up-to-date, that account manager will suffer a demerit. Five demerits and they are back to selling roadside hotdogs.

Once a quarter a business decision will be made to hand off accounts to the inside sales team and create new market areas of interest for the traveling account managers to target. Leads from happy customers tend to drive a large percentage of new target development. And it’s a fact today that customers, once set-up, do not want to spend a lot of face time being glad handed by outside sales people.

We’ll follow this process until we feel we’ve saturated our territory scheme. At that point we’ll either move the focus west or drive deeper into detail and setup territories by zip code by metro area. Either way, even though we can’t peer into the future we can plan our way forward and create our own future using business mapping software.

Isn’t it time you developed a work flow that includes location intelligence and business mapping software? The Quija says, “Yes.” The Eight Ball say, “Decidedly so.” And Madame Marie is busy selling roadside MBO hotdogs.

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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Are Your Business Map Users Edit Worthy?

Map Business Online business mapping software is being applied by larger and larger organizations. Call volumes are way up, especially with demise of Microsoft MapPoint as businesses seek a MapPoint replacement. We recently added collaborative mapping or Team Editing, which means multiple map users can be organized into teams which share maps for co-editing purposes. Price breaks kick in at quantities of five or more users. At those higher subscription volumes buyers get the added benefit of team account management – which is basically set-up for shared subscriptions and editing privileges. Account managers can move members in and out of teams for collaborative/shared map editing. How cool-aborative. (Apologies.)

Why Shared Map Editing?
You’ve heard the phrase, two heads are better than one. Well this age-old concept applies to strategic planning through maps too. Collaborative map editing leverages the ideas of multiple map editors. Your company gets the benefit of team collaboration when solving location-based business challenges:

Sales territory management collaboration encourages greater accountability across the organization and assures data updates happen in a timely fashion. Share sales goals and objectives and publish periodic results through shared maps.
Collaboration on operational maps ensures cross-department assessment of business challenges such as balancing cost savings strategies against customer service tactics. Get accounting and sales to share responsibility for the same problem
• Shared map editing can bridge the time gaps left by 24/7 operating schedules as teams of editors have the ability to update map data and assure the most recent data gets shared to the most important map audience
Market analysis maps can be collaborative too, bridging the gap between agency and client in a visual way. Tweaking demographic map views and market areas of interest can lead to faster solutions for campaign development and management
• Collaborative maps are a great way to share updated business information with teams of free viewers. Map editors keep the shared data fresh and accessible for your field of map viewers. Fresh data leads to better and faster decision-making.

Edit Worthy or Free Map Viewer?
Creating a team of map editors means your business needs to decide who will be on each team. How many of your employees are map edit worthy? This critical decision will determine how much you spend on subscriptions per year.

Each full year subscription provides team editing subscribers with the ability to share up to 200 FREE MapShare sessions per month. These are free interactive web map sessions designed for non-editing map viewers. You, as a map editor get to share 200 sessions at no charge with your map viewing audience. They can pan/zoom, query, filter, export and route – but free viewing users cannot edit the map. If you require significantly more map views than available with the subscription, we can provide expanded views for a reasonable fee. For most businesses the free MapShare allowance is more than enough shared map views.

So, a prospective buyer of Map Business Online should consider how many of your map users are editors and how many are map viewers. This will significantly impact your initial pricing. Who on your team is edit-worthy? And consider that you can always purchase a subscription for up and coming editors a little later.

Another consideration, as you estimate free viewership requirements, is that people do not click on maps as much as you expect them to. Sure, at first your shared map might get a whole bunch of clicks as people test the link (and we do not count first launch views in hit/click calculations). But in the longer run, you’ll find people click on these links only when they have to. You’ll have a few map geeks that really love the map and for the rest it’s a big yawn. Evidently they’ve got better things to do. So don’t over think your free MapShare requirement. To encourage use, make the free map view part of your process.

Enterprise Business Mapping Requirements
Businesses of all sizes have limited resources. Your business may have serious and heavy-duty GIS map capabilities that they pay big bucks to support. And the chances are good that if your business does support advanced mapping applications your department’s requirements are on a list of to-do’s waiting for approval or for somebody to get the time to provide you with a map. And don’t ask to tweak it after it’s been presented if you value your current head placement.

AAA Rated: Affordable – Advanced – Accessible
Business mapping applications like Map Business Online let you break through business silos and access your business maps now. You need location-based services applied to your department now, not next month. And you’ll need to be able to test different map views – adjusted demographics, various zoom levels, Census tracts vs. zip codes. Don’t let your business decisions wait for maps that may never show up. Access maps, demographic data, marketing analysis, territory views and customer maps today and tweak them all you want.

Business maps supplement a variety of business processes like customer relationship management (CRM), order processing, logistics planning, and many other sales and marketing work flows. Take advantage of Map Business Online’s low price point, its ability to implement shared map editing, and our recent integration with Salesforce.com.

You’ve found an affordable business mapping solution published by a company on the move. Just check out our press releases since January – MapBusinessOnline.com Press Releases.

____________________________________________________________________________
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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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.

_____________________________________________________________________________
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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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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