Ecosystem Marketing is a child of the internet. While a great portion of business still occurs interpersonally, a rapidly growing share of buying behavior transpires digitally. It is estimated that, for most businesses, at least 60% of the buyer’s journey occurs before the first human-to-human interaction.
Digital marketing is all about serving buyers as they move through the non-interpersonal phases of the buying process. All of these digital interactions leave audit trails that can be tracked, analyzed, and used to create marketing strategies.
Ecosystem marketing is the science of gathering, reading, and interpreting digital breadcrumbs. It answers questions such as:
- What topics and types of information are most important to buyers during each stage of their journey?
- Where do buyers get their digital information? Who are the most important providers of digital content?
- How does our company fit into the digital ecosystem of information? How do we compare to our competitors or other publishers of information being consumed by buyers?
In its infancy, digital audit trails on the internet were relatively simple and hard to trace. Now, people spend nearly seven hours a day on the internet and almost 2.5 hours a day on social media. Such activity generates heretofore unimaginable quantities of data about social and economic behavior.
Every product has a set of features and benefits or jobs that customers want to accomplish. But which words or short phrases are used most often? Does their popularity vary by geography?
The best way to create a list of potentially relevant search terms is to follow three steps:
Identify obvious terms that closely define the product.
Add directly related terms that are broader in scope, such as product category and industry.
Add indirectly related terms that provide additional points of reference and context.
Ecosystem analytics translate ecosystem data into valuable insights to support marketing decision-making. Some of the most common questions that can be answered through ecosystem analytics are listed below:
- Which parts of the ecosystem are growing fastest, and which parts are in decline?
- How do you and your competitors compare in terms of relative share of the ecosystem?
- How do leaders create ecosystem value?
- Where are we gaining or losing share in the ecosystem?
- How are the leaders using the ecosystem to drive sales and profits?
- Which parts of the ecosystem offer potential for your company because they are underserved or vulnerable to a focused attack?
- What capabilities are creating a competitive advantage for us in the ecosystem?
- Which capabilities need to be strengthened or acquired to help us compete in the ecosystem?
- What are the early signs of ecosystem disruption, failure or migration?
- What business models are best for our ecosystem?
- How do we create brand equity in our ecosystem?
A new frontier in Ecosystem Marketing is forecasting: using ecosystem data to predict future customer behavior and sales. Click here to download a case study on Ecosystem Forecasting.
There are at least seven ways to measure your impact in an ecosystem:
- Return-on-Attention: How much attention do you receive and at what cost?
- Interactions: Are you interacting with the right players? What does your influence ranking look like?
- Quality of Interactions: Are you nurturing deep relationships with the ecosystem players you interact with?
- “Pull” Results: Are customers being attracted to your site? Are they engaging with your content? How deeply are they engaging with it? Are you improving your business performance by discovering new customers and creating deeper relationships with existing customers?
- Findability: Are prospects discovering you?
- Sales and Profits: What financial results, such as incremental sales and profits, can be traced directly, or indirectly, to your ecosystem activities?
- Brand Equity: What tangible results can you attribute to ecosystem marketing activities?
Click on the links below for additional information on Ecosystem Marketing.