Stanley A. McChrystal, a retired U.S. Army General, has written about leadership. He suggested that many leaders have been tempted to be like chess masters, trying to control every move. Instead, they should be leading like gardeners, creating an ecosystem and maintaining that organization’s viability.
This is true even if the company’s marketing efforts are affected.
But what if your thinking is too small when it comes to the marketing ecosystem for your company? How about the wider network that your company is part of? Do you miss out on the opportunities to be part of the discussions in your industry’s permeating and overarching ecosystem? Let’s take a look at what a business ecosystem is and why you should care. What can you do to think about business ecosystems? And how can agencies help you get there? Grab your gardening gloves and get ready to read.
What is Ecosystem Marketing?
A “marketing ecosystem” is a term that refers to the creation and maintenance of a network of content and analytics with your website as the central hub.
This view replaces the notion of a lead funnel by introducing the idea of an eco-system web. It includes aspects such as social media feeds and hosted blog posts. This is a small-view ecosystem.
This approach can be very useful but it can also lead to ignoring the entire industry. What happens if we look deeper and more deeply at the potential of a marketing ecosystem?
James F. Moore, advisor to , describes the concept of a business ecosystem in ” Predators & Prey: A New Ecology Of Competition”.
Social systems are not biological communities of coevolving organisms. Business communities are social communities. Social systems are composed of real people who make decisions. The larger patterns are maintained through a complex network that depends at least partially on the knowledge of participants. Gregory Bateson, an [anthropologist] noted that if you alter the ideas within a social system, it will change the system.
We are asked to consider how our small-view marketing system fits in the larger industry ecosystem by applying Moore’s concept. The larger ecosystem is more like a community than a market. It includes earned media, paid media, and owned media. It can be onsite, offline or offsite. It includes customers, competitors, and other categories. It includes individuals and organisations. It includes platforms, agencies and suppliers as well as distributors, providers and vendors.
How Ecosystem Marketing fits into your Marketing Strategy
Marketing ecosystems serve many functions: They connect stakeholders, spread information, increase consumer choice, and uncover new discoveries.
It can be smart marketing strategy to invest resources in increasing your participation in the business ecosystem. A persuasive article could be posted on your company website. You can also promote it via your channels. Or, you could write an informative piece for an industry publication. This option is a great way to increase your visibility and give back to the community. Either host your own webinar or join an educational panel hosted by a third party. This will increase your audience and allow you to have more meaningful interactions with them.
You can use multiple channels, people, and companies to help you engage your industry audience in new ways and spaces by thinking about your brand positioning as a business ecosystem.
Leadership is a key factor in increasing your marketing effectiveness. It is a way to increase trust in others and your company’s position. Christian Sarkar and Philip Kotler said trust is the currency for ecosystems. It is actually the future of your brand.
Find Marketing Opportunities in a Business Ecosystem
You are convinced that your marketing efforts must be viewed from an ecosystem perspective. Now what?
As with all communities, there is a set of gatekeepers and obstacles to entry. Some parts of a business environment are not open and all are connected at the beginning. A great PR and marketing agency is able to help. An agency that specializes in your sector should be connected to the ecosystem and willingly act as an intermediary for you. It can be very valuable to tap into the existing relationships with editors, analysts, and management of your sector’s outlets, events, and a Rolodex listing the industry thinkers and speakers who are the mouthpieces for some corners of this ecosystem can also prove invaluable.
An especially strong firm might have its own network channels that you can connect to. Even though you have a strong internal team of strategists, creatives, and practitioners, many of your in-house employees lack industry knowledge and relationships with publications and people. Your messaging can be linked to the industry hubs if your in-house team works with a strong marketing and PR firm.
You can also use firm connections and channels to integrate your brand in an existing business environment to increase your ability to grow and create your own small-view ecosystem. can add one to make three.
To fully expand your company’s reach, you will need to connect with other industry voices. Marketing teams must tend to their gardens: email, search and social are all essential to the company’s success in external messaging. It’s important to consider whether your garden is connected with your neighbors.