When we are engaged to develop websites for business owners, we often start by educating them about the importance of having a marketing eco-system.
Without one, your marketing is always going to be tactical. Tactics work for a while but a bunch of unplanned tactics can be taxing on you and your employees. If you are always implementing tactics without understanding the greater purpose or reason, you will be forever chasing rainbows, not results.
If this is the first time you’re hearing about a marketing ecosystem, it’s not too late. It simply refers to a deliberate and focused system for you to attract prospects and how to convince them to become your customers in due time.
When you have a marketing ecosystem, you market with intentionality and focus. It also gives you a clear idea of how to attract prospects.
If you are in business, you need to understand this before you even get started with any kind of marketing or website development.
Without a marketing ecosystem, you are simply wasting your time and effort. How many Facebook campaigns have you run? How many Google ads have you paid for? How many business cards have you given out? How many trade show or exhibitions have you participated in?
When you understand what a marketing ecosystem is and how it helps you fill the pipeline with prospects, you know exactly what happens when you meet a prospect. You know what the next step is. (The next step is not about spamming the prospect with your list of services or products. This is the fastest way to make an enemy!)
Most business owners have no idea what their marketing eco-system is. This is why they throw good money at advertisements, the next biggest thing, the most popular social media platform, the biggest billboard, the most number of streamers and banners and the list goes on.
A marketing ecosystem is simply a series of steps that helps your prospects understand your business better with the idea that you could potentially help them. It is a well-thought-out strategy to enable you to constantly fill your pipeline with prospects who have told you they are willing to hear from you. In fact, a good marketing ecosystem predisposes your prospects to think well of you as you will be helping them and adding value to their lives. Why wouldn’t they like or trust you if you can help them become happier?
So how do you create and implement a marketing ecosystem?
The fastest and most cost-effective way is to create a digital marketing eco-system. It’s the fastest way to reach prospects.
The first step is asking yourself and your team these questions.
What would your prospects need help in?
What bothers them or keeps them frustrated?
What do they always complain about or need help with?
Before you attempt to answer the questions, you need to know who your prospects are. In our consulting sessions, we help our clients work through this part first. Without nailing this down, all your marketing efforts are futile.
We narrow down to a few prospect groups so that our client can identify if these groups share the same frustrations. If they do, it’s much easier. After identifying and listing down the frustrations, we can then work with our client to provide the answers to these frustrations.
Let’s take our business as an example.
Typically, business owners will want to either get a new website (if they’ve just started their business) or get a website redesign (if they feel their website is old and outdated). Their concern is mostly with getting visibility online and looking credible (especially if they want to bid for corporate or government projects and they get asked specifically for their websites).
Or they could want a new website because they feel their current one is not helping them attract quality prospects/customers or position their brand well. Or they could also want to increase their sales hence they want ecommerce websites.
Our marketing ecosystem, in this case, would be to offer something that these business owners want when they arrive at our website. We don’t expect website visitors to contact us to get our consulting or website design services immediately unless they have come to us via a strong word-of-mouth recommendation or they’ve met us when we give talks.
Offering a useful download in the form of information that our prospects can use is the start of our relationship with the prospect. This is especially useful if you are a consultant, doctor, trainer or service provider that sells expertise. We help clients craft and shape the download that enables them to build trust during the process of designing and developing their websites.
It will make a big difference in your marketing mindset when you are able to give before you even ask for anything of your prospect.
The underlying premise of this entire exercise is not to sell anything at all to prospects when they land on your website. You haven’t earned the trust yet. You’re merely one of the many businesses they’ve heard about but there’s no engagement yet.
If you understand the prospect’s pain and worry and if you can craft a download that helps them solve this pain or at least make them more capable of solving the pain, you have won them over partially.
This doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you.
They will need more convincing and more education (from you) before they buy. But you are already one huge step ahead of your competitors because you have a list of people who are willing to read your emails and learn from you. These are the relationships you need to nurture and grow so that you can serve them when the time is right.
The digital marketing ecosystem starts offline and leads interested people to your website to get something that serves your prospects’ needs respectfully and with integrity.
It is a download that you create specifically for a group of people that you can serve best. All your marketing efforts (when you meet people at events or when you give talks or even when you run campaigns) are geared towards sending people to your website.
Again, this assumes a long game for your marketing. If playing the long game is not what you want (you want immediate sales now), this is not for you. If you want immediate sales, go ahead and advertise.
This precise system that we teach is not for everyone – it is meant for people who want to be in business for years to come and grow their expertise, reputation and credibility. It’s for real businesses who have vision and optimism. It’s for businesses who care about their customers and the quality of their customers.
The people who get your download usually are the ones who will most likely be your prospects. Your role is to engage with and communicate with your prospects and turn them into customers. That’s how you use a website.
Whenever you are ready, here’s how we can help you in your business:
- Get our book, Web Wisdom. We wrote a book that shows you exactly how you can create this marketing ecosystem for your business. If you love to read, get a copy at webwisdombook.com
- Work one-on-one with us. We offer private consultation sessions to help you solve your biggest marketing problems because we understand both strategy and tactics. We’ve been in this business since 1998 and we know what works and what doesn’t especially when it comes to marketing and digital. Just contact us.
- Redesign your website. If you are unsure if the problem is your website or marketing, let’s talk.
- Sign up to hear from us via our newsletter. It’s free and we share only the stuff we believe in. Sign up here.