Using Microsoft MapPoint for Various Small-Business Activities

If you are a manager, business owner or marketing consultant, you can use Microsoft MapPoint to help with the following types of activities:
  • Analysing local markets and competition
  • Using demographics to define a market
The exercises in this Test Drive provide a guided experience of some of the ways to work with maps and the MapPoint mapping tools. The scenario revolves around a furniture business in eastern Massachusetts that wants to open a second store location. The practice has hired a consultant to analyse market potential. The consultant will also help select a site that will attract new customers, be convenient for existing customers and suppliers and minimise competitive threats. MapPoint can help with this marketing challenge – every map point displayed using our software can help you identify business opportunities and make better decisions.

You may download the free 14-day trial or use the MapPoint Test Drive to see for yourself how key features of MapPoint can make light work of common small-business tasks. Every map point you display will help you become more effective. It is easy to translate the skills acquired in this Test Drive to other industries where spatial data and mapping can help improve decision making.

To start MapPoint:
On the Start menu, click All Programs, and then click Microsoft MapPoint 2013.

Exercise 1: Defining your local market and competition
To analyse the market potential of a new furniture store, you need to map household expenditures on furniture, based on ZIP Code. MapPoint includes an extensive set of demographic and consumer data that you can use for this task.
  1. On the Data menu, click Data Mapping Wizard.

  2. On the Map Type page, click Shaded Area and then click Next.

  3. On the Data Fields page, select the Add demographics to the map option and click Next.

  4. Scroll towards the bottom of the Divide the data you chose above by list and select Expenditures, household average: furnishings (2007).

  5. In the Show the data by list, select ZIP Code and then click Next.

  6. On the Legend page, change the Legend title to Furniture Expenditures and then click Finish. MapPoint retrieves the data and calculates the ranges and then returns to the default view.

  7. On the Advanced toolbar, in the Find box, type Chelmsford, MA and then press ENTER.

  8. On the Advanced toolbar, click the Zoom Out button twice to get a broader market view.

  9. On the Advanced toolbar, click the Road and Data Map arrow, and then click Data Map to remove the roads and make the data on the map easier to read.
    The darker green areas indicate postcodes with concentrations of adults who spend more of their household income on furnishings.

  10. On the Data menu, click Data Mapping Wizard.

  11. On the Map Type page, click Pushpin and then click Next.

  12. On the next page of the wizard, select the Import data to map it option and click Next.

  13. Browse to the SmallBizData workbook and open it.

  14. On the Choose the sheet or range you want to map page, select the Competitors worksheet and then click Next.

  15. Click Finish to map the competitors to their street addresses.

  16. On the Pushpins page, change the Pushpin set name to Competitors and then change the Set symbol to a blue pin. Clear the box to display field names in balloons, and then click Finish.
    MapPoint clearly shows several areas south of Chelmsford, with high concentrations of adults who spend more on household furnishings, but who do not live close to a competing furniture store.

Leave the map open to continue with the next exercise.