19th November 2020
Sheep Land (the Yorkshire Dales, England)


Welcome to the third edition of the Geospatial Marketing Academy Newsletter a fortnightly newsletter by me, Elaine Ball, on all the stuff that matters – geospatial marketing, life! A special non-contact high five to Mark, William, Bert and Steven. THANK YOU for being here.

If this email was forwarded to you but you’d like your own in future, just sign up here and I’ll do the rest.  You can catch up on any of the old letters here.


Dear Fabulous Friend,


2020 has been one weird year, and with England in its second lockdown, I’m not even sure what planet I’m on! I’m sitting here in my little log office [bubble], looking at Brimham Rocks (a national park here in North Yorkshire) out of my mucky windows as I finalise my magazine article on Getting Ready for 2021: Here Are My Marketing Hacks!  


2020 has been awkward and unnerving, and has literally thrown everything upside down. So as an equipment manufacturer or surveyor thinking about the months ahead, and what you may need to do differently, I’ve compiled 3 key things for your 2021 to-do list!  

The Brand Touchpoint Wheel

Credit: Denise Lee Yohn


👉 Review your brand ‘touchpoints’

“What on earth do you mean, Elaine?” Well, think about all the times and places when people come into contact with your brand. Whether that’s clients or potential clients, suppliers, partners, the general public… anyone. Anything from a personal meeting to your website to your LinkedIn posts to seeing your product or service in action.


Are these touchpoints positive? Are they effective? Where are they? Are they working? How do you KNOW is it your opinion, or do you get real feedback?


Write down where your touchpoints are, which are the most effective (and which need a little TLC) and how you can deliver that TLC in 2021. 


Doing this will give you a better focus on what you might be missing, and what you need to do differently. As my friend Albert Einstein says: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 


Use this table to keep it simple 


Touch points Are they effective? What to do?
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn etc) Are you getting engagements, contacts or messages (DMs) from your target audience? Figure out your customers’ pain points and address them individually and directly. Focus on problem solving tips. Use relevant hashtags. 
Blog Are you getting quality, multiple backlinks from other sites? This brings people to your site but also helps massively with your search engine rankings. Blog (on your own site, on LinkedIn and as a guest blogger on other sites) and always add/ask for backlinks to relevant pages on your website. 
Press releases Are your stories getting packed up? Have journalists started calling you to ask for comments for stories? List all the different online & print media relevant to you. Write short, clear, punchy releases. Plan to release news, stories and case studies throughout the year. 
Face to face Do some staff need extra training to deal with clients in meeting and negotiations? Or in account management? Keep training up to date. Make sure all sales staff use a consistent brand message. Measure through customer feedback.
Podcast Are you doing them, and if so what are people saying?  Get on more podcasts (eg The Geoholics) to raise your profile and prove your thought leadership.
Vehicle livery (signs on trucks!) Is it visually attractive? Is it clear what you offer? Is it too small to read? Stay on-brand, be clear. Give people a reason to remember you and look you up later. 
ZOOM meetings and webinars Is attendance good? Do clients engage?  Ask close clients for feedback on how to improve, and check out conference-call ‘how to’ articles online. 


To get your data, use apps such as SurveyMonkey or conduct polls on Facebook or Instagram. Pssst… did you know Google Drive now has ‘Google Forms’ so you can set up polls using that too! Eeek how exciting! 


And don’t ignore one-on-one calls with your best AND your most challenging customers (yes!) to really get into the nitty gritty. And 


Feed this back to your team and put in some actions to improve your brand


👉 Demonstrate value through social media


Build your reputation by sharing real life stories, experiences and your understanding of pain-points to boost your social value!


See Instagram stories by [CSTi] and how they focus on end-user frustrations. David and John focus on users’ key problems, then address them in Stories on Instagram. Instagram Stories is an easy way to showcase real-life stories by focusing on the client’s problems (obviously without sharing confidential information). Stories are only live for 24 hours, so they’re ideal for building anticipation and eagerness for the next episodes, and therefore boosting your brand.


David does mini-videos which walk you through the problem they’re solving for their client. This speaks to all their other potential clients out there, so this creates trust and builds value in their brand. It also gives the duo real-life feedback as they’re walking through potential problems through the story-telling process. 


“Sharing our stories has helped us to get better at understanding and delivering our true value to our customers. Also, in the process we have learned to simplify our message and cut out unnecessary noise, so it’s clear how we can make their jobs/lives better.” 
David Acosta, CSTi Instagram handle:


Follow Surveying with Robert on YouTube and see how he indirectly sells Trimble equipment by focusing on solving his clients’ frustrations around how to use it!  Robert focuses on educating the user, not selling the tech. This no-nonsense attitude has boosted his sales and doubled his own income! He demonstrates value right there by giving a ton of it in his videos. 

“Our initiative is to do $20million in 2020 and we are scaring it to death! My training videos indirectly sell equipment because my focus is on solving the client’s problems. My Facebook account is inundated with surveyors asking questions daily from all over the world. This is gold for any business!”
– Robert


Get Kids into Survey addresses the real problem in our industry – the lack of people choosing it as a career. GKiS is headed by my kick-ass partner in crime (and sister) Elly Ball. She promotes our easy-to-follow, fun and creative lesson plans and posters. They’re so good, even surveyors love them! 

GKiS’s creative gang boosts value by providing a ton of attractive content that teachers, kids, parents and even surveyors can use to build brand awareness of the industry globally. It covers all kind of things, from ‘what is a surveyor?’ to ‘using a compass’ to looking for the Loch Ness monster!  Elly’s use of Stories on Instagram gets folks hooked and excited to hear ‘what’s next!’


GKiS has brand ambassadors (surveyors and geospatialers) who want to ‘do their bit’ at a local level. GKiS supports surveyors who go into schools to talk about surveying as a career by providing valuable, content-rich information.  Showcasing these guys on social media helps connect the ambassadors with the community at large. 


Partnering up with brand ambassadors, partners and associations, and showcasing the creative content on social media, has proven the real value of their mission to get kids into survey. 


👉 Build a consistent flow of messages that talk to your clients


Build in human-to-human interaction to boost your brand by introducing live events showcased via webinar, on your website, via your own podcast… heck, even LIVE instagram TV like my own GEO Jabber chat show, which I hold on Instagram every Tuesday at 11:30 EST. It showcases the life of a real surveyor, telling their stories about survey antics and their business and marketing do’s and don’ts. It even invites non-survey talent to inject hot topics like marketing and innovative technologies. 


The key with any of this is consistency! To build any brand, you’ve got to keep the flow of content going consistently and regularly. Look at Kent Groh’s Geoholics Podcast, aired each week. Kent explains the reasons behind this: 


“23K downloads in a little over a year. We knew from the beginning that calling the podcast The Geoholics had the potential to be branding gold. Our tagline which is also our goal each and every week is to “add value and make friends”. We accomplish this by being diligent and taking the time to research and really get to know our guests to determine what they’re passionate about. From this information, we build a show script that follows a consistent order and we develop a list of strategic potential questions to work from. We’ve got “I AM A GEOHOLIC” merch, too, from t-shirts, wristbands and koozies to pint glasses. I even have it tattooed on my ankle! Being consistent has allowed us to establish awareness and build the trust that our listeners will be entertained and educated every week.”  
– Kent Groh, geoholic


So let us know how you get on with your to-do list!  Remember, I’m never too far away… 

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Thanks for reading this far. Thanks for your kindness and generosity.

Stay safe. Stay sane. Wear a mask.

I’ll be back on 3rd December 



PS – If you haven’t signed up to my *FREE* WORKSHOP: 10 SIMPLE STEPS TO MORE GEOSPATIAL SALES LEADS! check it out here! It’s exclusive to geospatialers. We go LIVE on 30th November and it’s FREE because we’re piloting a major new global geospatial training initiative. So here’s your chance to try it out! You get access to over 50 expert classes for a whole year.


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Marketing tools I used this week:


  • The most awesome design tool for non-designers! BINGO! Download this little beauty CANVA to add awesome imagery to any value-added content piece. I now look like a pro, and so can you.