I recently attended a symposium where mapping experts were exchanging notes about the trade. In attendance was a wide range of professionals: from cartographers to surveyors and on to GPS mapping specialists, to name but a few. One issue that kept on coming up in the symposium was that of how ‘difficult’ the map selling business is becoming, in today’s digital world. But when all was said and done, we left with a few take-home facts, on how to succeed in the business of selling maps in today’s digital world.
We came to appreciate that to succeed in the business of selling maps in today’s digital world, you need to come up with ‘unique value propositions’ guide for your customers/clients. This you can do by, for instance, having highly detailed maps, highly searchable maps, highly up-to-date maps… and so on. Without such unique value propositions, you are likely to find the going difficult, because of the intense competition. Besides having unique value propositions, you also need to get your marketing right. You have to be ‘at hand’ right at the moment when someone needs a map. You have to be the first map seller a potential customer/client finds, when they venture out in search of a map (keeping in mind the fact that most people nowadays carry out these sorts of searches online). All said and done, if you do your stuff right, you will realize that these are actually very exciting times to be in the maps selling business.