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Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Sales in the Geospatial Industry

Last week Amazon and other vendors loaded up my e-mail box and plastered my social media feeds with news of holiday offers. We are all familiar with the business to consumer marketing (B2C) that happens around the end of year holidays. At the same time, I found geospatial vendors sharing holiday offers to other businesses (B2B) and to individual professionals (B2P?).

Here are some of the offers I saw:

The headline and subject of CartoDB's holiday e-mail.

CartoDB sent an e-mail to those who have accounts. It wasn't selling anything. Rather, the text pointed recipients to white papers and webinars. The final request invited software use.
To discover more of what everyone is talking about this holiday season start using CartoDB today for an even better end of year.

This link to an Esri Insider article appeared on an
Esri-hosted Facebook group.
Esri suggested GIS users might give The ArcGIS Book as a gift to family and friends to help explain the technology. The company makes the case via a blog post. The print version of the book runs between $15 and $20, while the online version and interactive PDF are free.


Post on a LinkedIn group
GeoJobs.BIZ offered job postings at half price (regularly $99) during Cyber Monday week. There was no special landing page with details, but I suppose those interested could buy the posts now and use them next year.


URISA offered a 25% off sale for new individual memberships. Fees normally run between $20 (for students) up to $175 (for professionals of a certain age). I expect the real goal here is to attract new members and hope they stay on for the second year, after the discount ends.


While many people are thinking about finding holiday gifts at this time of year, I think they have other goals at work. Most people I know are trying hard to wrap up end of year projects before disappearing for the holidays.

All of the efforts I describe above are, at some level, branding exercises. The organizations want to remind businesses and individuals of their brands. CartoDB's e-mail comes out pretty regularly, this was just the "holiday" edition. Esri launched The ArcGIS Book just before the user conference with much fanfare. I saw very little mention of it since then. The online version, by the way, lives at Learn.ArcGIS.com which launched a full year earlier and has not had much buzz. GeoJobs.BIZ launched in 2013 and may yet be "new" to many. URISA needs to grow its membership to feed its growing roster of events. One tweet specifically noted a (the?) key benefit: "Planning to attend a URISA conference in 2016? Join via the cyber membership sale to get registration discounts!"

I'll be curious to see what sort of geospatial holiday marketing I'll see next year. Responses to these promotions will be but one factor that determines what e-mails and posts will pop up on Cyber Monday 2016.