Our solution AddressTools is an award-winning suite of functionality that is native to Salesforce CRM. Off-the-shelf, verify global address data, standardise your addresses for integrations and use native functionality including validation rules and lookup fields to make the most out of your CRM address data.
If you’re deciding between AddressTools v Google Maps API that Salesforce offers out of the box, this article is for you. We hope it sheds light on when it’s the right option for you to buy AddressTools versus the right option for you to use the Google Maps API that Salesforce offers.
First off let’s have a quick glance at some broader reasons you might choose to buy AddressTools or to use the Google Maps API.
3 reasons to choose AddressTools
- Verify address data at the point of entry and in batch jobs
- Includes an address status field so you can see and report on cleanliness of data
- Populates a County field and ZIP+4 Code* as default
💡 *We have a whole blogpost about ZIP+4 Codes: why you need them and how to get them
3 reasons to choose Google Maps API
- Free and included with Salesforce
- You don’t require or rely on any address and/or accurate address data
- You don’t need to understand, report on or act upon the quality of your address data
Let’s dive deeper into a few key factors we’ve introduced here, starting with arguably the most important.
Need answers quickly? We provide a bitesize summary at the bottom of each section.
Quality of address data
Google Maps API does not provide verified address data. Google Maps API makes it easy to enter addresses, but it does not provide any guarantee of ensuring proper addresses are captured.
As ServiceObjects explains, “The Google Maps API uses spatial interpolation to return results for an address that may or may not be valid, or even exist.”
Let’s take a look at a US example: 9011 Marymount Way in Goleta, California.
Google Maps API data quality
In Salesforce, the Google Maps API returns the address for the user to select.
Looking up this address in Google Maps even gives us a pin and directions for this location.
The problem is that 9011 Marymount Way does not exist.
It is not a real address and, as you can see by the fact there is no house there, it cannot be delivered to. However, Google Maps API presents it as an actual address, allowing the user to input incorrect data.
As we can see, there is a big difference between Google data and verified data. This is not the only example.
Why don’t we take a look at a UK address: 27 Albion Terrace, Reading RG1 5BG.
The Google Maps API in Salesforce presents plenty of Albion Terraces…
…but doesn’t have 27 Albion Terrace, Reading in the UK at all (see below). Google Maps data would have you believe that this very real address does not exist. For a user, this means they need to manually type additional keystrokes, increasing the risk of human error and leading to a frustrating user experience.
AddressTools data quality
Unlike the Google Maps API, AddressTools uses global postal authority data such as Royal Mail, USPS and Canada Post for truly verified data, reducing failed delivery rates by up to 70%.
Let’s run the same address searches using AddressTools.
When we look for 9011 Marymount Way in Goleta, California, we can see that Marymount Way exists in Goleta but number 9011 is not even presented as an option and we are only offered verified alternative addresses (including ZIP+4 Code).
Furthermore, upon selection and population of a verified address, we are shown an Address Status value so that we can be certain of the address quality.
When we search for 27 Albion Terrace, Reading, UK we are presented with this address as a verified result, sourced from the Royal Mail database.
In short: There is a clear distinction between the address data quality offered by Google Maps API and by AddressTools. It’s up to you to decide how important good address data quality is for you and your organisation.
Address status field
One important feature of AddressTools that Google Maps API does not offer is an address status field.
What does this field look like? With AddressTools, every address is assigned a status such as Verified, Corrected, Ambiguous, Parsed but not Found, Not matched, Not checked.
This address status is important because now you can clearly see and even more importantly, clearly report on the quality of your address data.
Working with address data, knowing that an address is bad can be just as valuable as knowing an address exists. With an address status field in place, you are able to develop recovery processes for unverified addresses.
Out-of-the-box, the Google Maps API does not offer an address status. This means that you cannot determine if an address was delivered by Google Maps API or manually entered by a user or imported by an integration.
💡 If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve got a two-minute clip of Callum Hurry, our Director of Product Engineering, explaining the value of an address status field.
In short: An address status field is a vital tool for reporting on and understanding the quality of your address data. It’s up to you to decide how important understanding and reporting on your address data quality is for you and your organisation.
Address data management
The most important difference when considering AddressTools v Google Maps API, aside from address data quality, is how AddressTools helps you make the most out of your address data. We’ve already started to see this with the address status field, however there’s much more to consider.
AddressTools is not just a postal address verification tool. It’s a powerful dataset that, when used strategically, can optimise your business processes. With AddressTools, you gain a bundle of objects for Country, State, US ZIP Code data and more. By customising these objects and using our Lookup field functionality, you can enrich, tidy up, and simplify your records to enhance your territory management and make the most out of your CRM address data.
What does this mean in practice? How about adding a Field Rep to relevant regions? Maybe you have a preferred regional service provider? What about using AddressTools’ Country ISO values alongside the full country name to work with an integration? You can harness the AddressTools dataset however you want to use it.
💡 We’ve written a blog describing 3 ways you can enhance your territory management using AddressTools
In short: AddressTools offers a suite of functionality around address data and address data management. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re just looking to populate an address (great – the Google Maps API sounds perfect for you!) or give yourself a way to manage, verify and harness the power of your address data.
AddressTools v Google Maps API – it’s your decision
Thanks for sticking with us this far! We’ve examined three key factors that you need to consider whilst considering AddressTools v Google Maps API:
- address data quality
- an address status value
- broader address data management requirements
We hope this provides the necessary information and some food for thought on which you can make the right decision for you and your organisation’s needs.
If you’ve still got questions about AddressTools, we’re always happy to chat! If you’ve made up your mind, congratulations! Now it’s time to implement and continue your data journey!
Check out AddressTools for yourself
Let’s discuss how you can use AddressTools to leverage the power of verified address data in Salesforce! Book a demo to see AddressTools in action on a live demo with our team.