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Are you ready for another bite-sized bulletin of marketing?

Goodness, I certainly hope so because I’m about to try and explain the marketing ecosystem in a nice little summary for you to fit within the brief of the bite-sized bulletin that is Snacktime.

The marketing ecosystem is one of the main components of your marketing activity. It’s the meat and potatoes really.

The marketing ecosystem is all of the marketing tactics that we’re going to put together to achieve some of those goals and objectives that you’ve set out in your strategy.

We certainly don’t even look at the marketing ecosystem and the activity within it until we’ve actually put a strategy together.

As you know if you’ve heard previous episodes of this podcast, the strategy will generally include your objectives, your business priorities and your marketing goals, as well as a nice little outline of exactly who you’re trying to communicate with and some points around how you differentiate yourself, et cetera.

Once we’ve put that together, we start to look at how we’re going to plot out the marketing ecosystem.

I’m sure there’s many people who have their own little marketing ecosystems.

 

My marketing ecosystem is based around the marketing funnel

If you haven’t heard about the marketing funnel before, essentially if you just picture an actual funnel with the little spout down the bottom and the wide opening up the top, that’s the visual.

At the top of the funnel we have awareness, in the middle of the funnel we have consideration and at the bottom of the funnel we have conversion.

This is essentially a representation of the journey that you take your customers on that begins with making your customer or target audience aware about you.

It then takes them through the journey of getting to know you and to start to consider you as a brand or a product or service that might be relevant to them.

It then takes them down to the point of conversion where they’ll hopefully purchase something from you.

I like to add on a little bit more to the bottom of that funnel feeding back into the spout, which is trying to understand what kind of activity we’re going to include for getting repeat sales from existing customers or past customers, as well as what we’re going to include to really get our customers remarking about us.

What elements are we going to include in the marketing ecosystem that really help our existing customers spread the news about our business?

The marketing ecosystem is plotted out based on your business priorities.

Bearing that in mind, we will need to have marketing activity that achieves the objective of increasing awareness.

Right at the top of the funnel, if we consider that if people don’t actually know about or have never heard of your business, it makes it very difficult for them to firstly consider your business and secondly, to be able to buy from your business.

 

The stages of the funnel

So, it makes sense that the first step in the journey, the first step in that funnel is making as many of your target audience aware about your business as possible.

Once they are aware of your business, they can fall down into the next stage of the journey, which is consideration.

Then we need to make sure that we’ve got marketing activity out there that helps them consider your brand.

So, they’ve found out about your brand. They’ve seen your brand. They might’ve seen your content.

They might’ve seen your logo. They might’ve met someone within your business or seen something within your business.

Once they’ve become aware of you, what marketing activity will you then place in their path to help them consider you?

For example, if you’re a professional services business, it might be an E-guide.

It might be a video series. It might be a webinar. It might be an event.

What opportunities are you going to place in front of them so they can come and find out a little bit more about your business?

They’re not quite ready to buy, but they are ready to actually consider your business a little bit more.

Then, if we’ve taken them from awareness to consideration, how are we actually going to convert them into a sale?

What can our marketing do to support that conversion from thinking about the business and getting to know the business to then coming and being able to come and buy from us.

Of course, when we’re looking at this marketing ecosystem, we’re thinking of channel, but we’re also thinking of content.

We’re also thinking of ideas that we can use and implement through every level of that journey.

 

Don’t ever think that the marketing journey ends with the first transaction

It doesn’t.

You will get your best bang for buck in actually thinking about the existing customers and the past customers that have purchased with you and thinking about what marketing activity within your ecosystem is going to encourage these existing customers or past customers to come back and purchase more from you, or just buy from you once again.

Then there’s marketing activity that we might put in place to really inspire or spark conversation, to prompt people to perhaps talk about us on social media or leave reviews that can be shared and amplified.

So, there’s all sorts of different things that we need to plot out within the marketing ecosystem.

If you do it in a way that follows that customer journey, you can make sure that you’ve got all of the activity for all of the different stages.

What I often see in small business is that you’ve got businesses who are focusing on, and doing a beautiful job of, getting all the activity out there that helps raise awareness of their business.

They’re telling loads and loads of people about their business, which is great, but then they won’t have the marketing activity that’s actually helping provide more in-depth and richer information about their business so they’re losing them.

If they’re not actually taking them from awareness to the next stage, they kind of just stay in awareness and they don’t know where to go next.

They don’t know how or why they should actually move down that funnel with you.

Similarly, there’s a lot of small businesses who’ve looked after the conversion part of the equation.

They’ve got a website in place that encourages people to buy and has some great landing pages, great copy and testimonials and all that sort of stuff, but they’ve actually got nothing up in the awareness part so nothing is driving new people to the website.

It’s a numbers game.

If we don’t have enough people coming into the top of the funnel, we won’t have enough people spitting out the bottom.

Then we certainly won’t have enough people coming back to purchase and repurchase and talk about us.

It’s a continual cycle that we need to have in place all of the time.

Of course, depending on where your business is, will depend on how we weight which activity goes where.

Do we need a lot more awareness activity because we’re really trying to get your business out to a whole bunch of new people so that we can increase your customers that way?

Do you have enough customers, but there’s a real opportunity to actually get your existing customers or past customers to purchase from you again, or purchase more from you?

Then we can weight that activity more around that area of the marketing ecosystem.

So, I’m hoping with that little synopsis that I haven’t managed to confuse you but have actually managed to enlighten you that it’s really necessary to think of your marketing activity in the context of that ecosystem to make sure that you’re addressing every single step of the customer journey and that way you’re really helping your customer and your target audience buy from you.

Podcast Transcript:

Jane Hillsdon:

Are you ready for another bite sized bulletin of marketing? Goodness, I certainly hope so. Because I’m about to try and explain the marketing ecosystem in a nice little neat summary for you to fit within the brief of the bite-sized bulletin That is snack time. Because the marketing ecosystem is kind of one of the main components of your marketing activity. It’s the meat and potatoes I think really it’s really the marketing ecosystem is all of the marketing tactics that we’re going to put together to achieve some of those goals and objectives that you’ve set out in your strategy. So we certainly don’t even look at the marketing ecosystem and the activity within it until we’ve actually put a strategy together that as you know, if you’ve heard previous episodes of this podcast, the strategy will generally include your objectives, your business priorities, your marketing goals, as well as a nice little outline of exactly who you’re trying to communicate with and some points around how you differentiate yourself, et cetera.

So once we’ve put that together, we start to look how look at how we’re actually going to plot out the marketing ecosystem. I’m sure there’s many people who have their own little marketing ecosystems. My marketing ecosystem is based around the marketing funnel. And if you haven’t heard about the marketing funnel before, essentially if you just picture an actual funnel with the little spout down the bottom and the wide open opening up the top, that’s the visual. At the top of the funnel, we have awareness, in the middle of the funnel, we have consideration and at the bottom of the funnel we have conversion. And this is essentially a representation of the journey that you take your customers on that begins with making your customer or your target audience aware about you then takes them through the journey of them getting to know you and to start to consider you as a brand or a product or service that might be relevant to them.

And then it takes them down to the point of conversion where they’ll actually hopefully purchase something from you. I like to add on a little bit more to the bottom of that funnel feeding back in to the spout, which is trying to understand what kind of activity we’re going to include for getting repeat sales from existing customers or past customers, as well as what we’re going to include to really get our customers remarking about us. You know, what elements are we going to include in the marketing ecosystem that really help our existing customers spread the news about our business? So if we bear that process in mind, the marketing ecosystem is plotted out based on your business priorities. So bearing in mind, we will need to have marketing activity that achieves the objective of increasing awareness.

So right at the top of the funnel if we consider that if people don’t actually know about your business, if they’ve never heard of your business, it makes it very, very difficult for them to firstly, consider your business. And secondly, to be able to buy from your business. So it makes sense that the first step in the journey, the first step in that funnel is making as many of your target audience, many of them aware about your business as possible, because once there are, they are aware of your business, they can actually fall down into the next, the next stage of the journey, which is consideration. So then we need to actually make sure that we’ve got marketing activity out there that helps consider your brands. So they’ve found out about your brand. They’ve seen your brand, they might’ve seen your content.

They might’ve seen your logo. They might’ve met someone within your business or seen something within your business. They’ve become aware of you, what marketing activity will you then place in their path to help them consider you? So for example, this might be if you’re a professional service, this services business, it might be you know, an e-guide, it might be a video series, it might be a webinar, it might be an event. What opportunities are you going to place in front of them? So they can just come and find out a little bit more about your business. They’re not quite ready to buy, but they are ready to actually consider your business a little bit more. And then we need to look at, okay, so if we’ve taken them from awareness to consideration, how are we actually going to convert them then into a sale?

What can our marketing do to support that conversion from actually driving them from thinking about the business, from getting to know the business to actually then coming and being able to actually come and buy from us. And of course, when we’re looking at this marketing ecosystem, we’re thinking of channel, but we’re also thinking of content. And we’re also thinking of ideas that we can use and implement through every level of that journey. And then of course, don’t think don’t ever think that the marketing journey ends with that first transaction. It doesn’t, you will get your best bang for buck in actually thinking about the existing customers and the past customers that have purchased with you and thinking about what marketing activity within your ecosystem is actually going to encourage these customers and these existing customers or past customers to come back and purchase more from you, or just buy from you once again.

And then of course, there’s marketing activity that we might put in place to really inspire conversation to spark conversation, to kind of prompt people, to perhaps talk about us on social media or leave reviews that can be shared and amplified. So there’s all sorts of different things that we need to plot out within the marketing ecosystem. And if you do it in a way that kind of follows that customer journey, you can kind of just make sure that you’ve actually got all of the activity for all of the different stages. Because what I often see in small business is that you’ve got businesses who are focusing and doing a beautiful job of getting all the activity out there that helps raise awareness of their business. So they’re telling loads and loads and loads of people about their business, which is great, but then they won’t have the marketing activity That’s actually helping provide more an in-depth and richer information about their business so that they’re kind of losing them. So if they’re not actually taking them from awareness to the next stage, they kind of just stay in awareness and they don’t know where to go next. They don’t know how or why they should actually move down that funnel with you. Or similarly, there’s a lot of small businesses who who’ve kind of looked after the conversion part of the equation. So they’ve got a website in place that encourages people to buy and has some great landing pages and some great copy and, you know, some testimonials and all that sort of stuff. But they’ve actually got nothing up in the awareness part. So nothing’s actually driving new people to the website. It’s a numbers game. If we don’t have enough people coming into the top of the funnel, we won’t have enough people spitting out the bottom.

And then we certainly won’t have enough people coming back to purchase and repurchase and talk about us. So it’s like this continual cycle of that we need to have in place all of the time. And of course, depending on where your business is, will depend on how we wait, you know, which activity goes where, you know, do we need a lot more awareness activity? Cause we’re actually really trying to get your business out to a whole bunch of new people so that we can increase your customers that way. Or do you have enough customers, but there’s a real opportunity to actually get your existing customers or past customers to purchase from you again, or purchase more from you. And then we can weight that activity more around that area of the marketing ecosystem. So I’m hoping with that little synopsis that I, that I haven’t managed to confuse you, but have actually managed to enlighten you that it’s really necessary to kind of think of your marketing activity in the context of that ecosystem to just make sure that you’re addressing every single step of that, that customer journey and that way you’re really helping your customer and your target audience buy from you.

 


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