From 2015 to 2020, MapTiler doubled the number of countries where it has customers. The Swiss-based SaaS company now helps governments, enterprises, and SMBs in over 120 countries by providing maps API for web and mobile developers.
I chatted with Tom Armitage, MapTiler’s Senior Technical Writer, about how MapTiler uses strategic partnerships to grow its global customer base.
1. Use Affiliates As Local Sales Partners
MapTiler maintains developer documentation in English — and as the primary business language throughout the world, this works well for most of its users.
“But there are parts of the world that want to do business in a different way,” Tom explained. “Maybe the documentation for developers is great, but they’d like to be sold to by a salesperson that speaks their language.”
This is when Tom’s team seeks out affiliates who can serve as local MapTiler experts. By understanding a region’s native language and culture, these strategic partners can be a one-stop shop for localized marketing and sales support.
MapTiler has seen significant growth in revenue in countries with active affiliate partnerships. For instance, since they onboarded an affiliate partner in Japan, their sales in the country have increased by over 300%.
Note: MapTiler Uses FastSpring’s Affiliate Marketing platform to easily track affiliate sales and pay out their partners. Learn more about how you can gain access to a network of 10K+ global affiliate partners and increase revenue in new markets.
2. Search for Partners at Global Events and Social media
MapTiler makes a point of being at developer-focused and other tech conferences to spread brand awareness. “We have a very active team of people that are out there making connections all the time: talking to people and telling them about how our wonderful cartography can improve their products.”
But the team also uses in-person events to find affiliates and form strategic partnerships with other companies.
Conferences and other industry events are useful when you want to cast a wide net and see who is interested in working together. But when you’re looking for something specific, that’s where social media can also help.
“If we know that there’s a country that requires this level of service, we have a look for who might be able to offer that service to us. Sometimes they just come to us via our website, but we also spread the word through social media that we are looking for affiliations with companies.”
MapTiler maintains a partnership page on its website for interested parties and is always on the lookout for new partners.
3. Make Sure Your Pricing and Checkout Are Localized
If you’re using affiliates to increase sales in a local region, make sure that users can easily check out using their preferred language, currency, and payment methods. This will make your partners’ jobs a lot easier.
MapTiler uses FastSpring’s branded checkout platform to localize pricing and the checkout experience, including calculating and collecting VAT, GST, and sales tax.
Per internal research, we found that displaying local currencies and payment methods can increase local conversions by up to 50%.
4. Identify Your Champion Users
“Every now and again, we get a champion user that really likes what we’re doing. They really get us, and we get them,” Tom explained.
This is especially useful when the champion user is an influencer in their market. “That will really help promote your products without it being any kind of paid relationship.”
MapTiler’s team encourages these champion users by making sure they’re well-supported on the product. But they also make sure that sharing and promoting is a two-way street.
“If they’re a blogger or something like that, then we’ll obviously be sharing and helping them spread the word about what they’re doing, as well.”
5. Make It Really Easy to Get Started
A big part of MapTiler’s success is how user-friendly the platform is. Tom’s team has spent a lot of energy creating support materials that make it easy for a new company to get started and for existing users to find new uses for the platform.
“You come on our website, you’ll find a lot of information about how to develop, integrate, and use the maps in your own services: loads and loads of code snippets and code samples.
Using a product-led growth (PLG) model, there are free tiers for all three of MapTiler’s subscription offerings designed to offer “quick wins” for new users.
When you sign up for MapTiler Cloud, “there’s a code sample that you can drag and drop straight into whatever it is that you’re doing so that you can very quickly, very simply get started.”
If you are interested in adding maps to your website or apps, you can get a free trial.
Note: We make it easy for companies like MapTiler to sell around the world by taking things like VAT and sales taxes, fraud detection, and global compliance off their hands. Our platform includes branded localized checkout, subscription management, and so much more. Sign up for a free account or request a demo today to learn more.