While spreadsheets can help identify and track consumer information, it fails to highlight any behavior patterns within your demographic. Suppose you’re looking to incorporate deeper meaning to your data, having a map visualization help.
A map can provide valuable consumer insight into your business, offering visual insights that otherwise wouldn’t exist with a traditional spreadsheet program.
Creating a location map for your business requires mapping software. While Google maps can include ten different pins on their interface, it’s often limiting for functionality. Choose a program that allows unlimited plugs and locations to accurately track your company’s growth.
Creating a Map from Excel or Spreadsheet Data
Sign up for a free trial once you’ve found the mapping software you’d like to use. The trial period allows users to familiarize themselves with the software without committing to expensive memberships or purchasing agreements. Next, register for an account and begin creating your first map.
Always give your map a unique name relating to the contents shared. For example, if you’re evaluating a new franchise location, the name might be “Potential Franchise Locations” instead of “Map1”.
Upload all information from your Excel files into the software. Users can upload the excel file directly from their computer, connect through a Google account, copy the spreadsheet and paste it into the software, or manually input the information directly.
Adding the Information
Ensure that any data you’re including is location-specific, with a column directly attached to the location. The location demographic will connect all further information to a pin (a marker) that displays directly on the map. When uploading the data, users will have the opportunity to choose the data appropriate for the map, personalizing the company demographic.
Personalizing the Map
Most mapping software offers a few visual components to help business owners deepen their insight. For example, business owners can draw a radius on a map to highlight specific populations within an outlined area. These maps can help optimize marketing efforts, further targeting ideal customer populations for continued growth.
Alternatively, a company can use heat mapping options to find where current consumers are within a geographic location, especially if they hold similar demographic details.
Customizing a Location Map for Your Business
Selecting various columns on your spreadsheet can develop different maps, depending on the overall need. For example, a sales department might want a map highlighting customers within the sales process, from start to finish. They might use a heat map with the sales process to identify underserved areas or a radius map to determine an ideal representative to serve new areas.
For those offering deliveries or logistic services, choose mapping software that offers route optimization or directions. These entries will automatically update, saving your drivers time and energy at the beginning of the day.
Customization also includes changing base layers and functionality on the platform, along with individual map markers or setting a default opening view of the map (including the zoom level). Private data can be hidden from the map bubbles, ideal for sharing (for internal presentations or publishing the content on a website).
Sharing Functionality of a Location Map
A few different mapping programs will allow sharing and publishing through the software. This sharing function can include simplified cloud-based access or posting content online.
Look for a program that offers password protection, keeping private data safe online. Most maps can embed into blogs or web pages using HTML code. To ensure seamless integration, look for software that allows resizing options before publishing.
Offline publications can include quarterly reports, presentations, and marketing evaluations. Time-lapse growth patterns can offer valuable insight when compared simultaneously.
Consider publishing identical maps from different periods to highlight any new growth patterns. These maps can also lend insight into previously unseen target audiences or product trends within the last year. By targeting marketing and sales efforts on current demographics, businesses can capitalize on their financial resources while remaining focused on methods that work.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business building your customer data or a massive enterprise trying to manage your consumer data; having effective mapping software can significantly affect how you interpret your data.
All businesses need to see their data visually to adequately assess current growth projections, understand the marketing efforts, and develop a deeper understanding of the ideal customer. While your company may have determined a specific ideal for your products or services, reviewing the current consumer within your company can cross-reference that initial prediction with the reality of how your business is performing.
Upon review, your business may assess current products and services for growth, culling any items that don’t perform well. Alternatively, having an accurate consumer map may highlight key concentrations of audiences you didn’t know existed from the spreadsheets. After all, the more you know about your business, the better it can perform overall.