Creating your own ecosystem

Do you have your own audience? If you don’t, you will have hard time as I do. We often want to drive short and long term performance, we normally do this through campaigns or promotions. When we have offers, the next thing we need is who to send the offers to. In my case, we have to pay for other companies’ audience. It’s expensive and is not effective. That’s why we start to create our own audience or ecosystem.

We use Hubspot as a CRM system. We invite customers to join our environment with content. We nurture them with content. And, from time to time, we offer them promotions. We still have a long way to go. Maintaining meaningful and engaging ecosystem is not easy. It requires a lot of things to be right e.g. content, segmentation, etc.

If you are interested to create your own audience, you can start with a Facebook group. It’s free and easy to setup. Please understand though, there are a zillion Facebook groups out there. You must ensure that your group add value to group members.

Having your own ecosystem is rewarding. But, it requires a different thinking. I encourage you to to do it.

Apivut

Create your ecosystem

Why do we have to care about Facebook, Online Travel Agents (OTAs e.g. Expedia), or deal websites so much? We have to use them to promote our products. I paid a lot of money to use their services. And, the answer is they have audience.

Their business model is that they attract people to come their way with free services. They hook those customers in using subscriptions. They entertain their audience with content and shopping-centre-liked service (OTAs). We pay them to reach their audience. Why don’t we create our own audience then?

Start small. You can create an ‘ecosystem’ or a ‘community’ using either the subscription model or creating a Facebook group. Then, you need to think about how to entertain them. Once you have your own audience, you can expect better conversion rates. This is because they are your audience. They know you. They read your content.

It’s a long term investment. And, you should start now. Start small.

Apivut

Building a brand with no budget

I work in marketing but I don’t have a branding budget. We have been talking about the importance of building a brand every year but nothing solid happens. In fairness, building a brand is difficult, time-consuming, and could be very expensive. It’s a long term investment that you may not see favorable results, in a short term, or at all. I gave up about fighting for branding a few years ago.

However, I have connected a few issues we are experiencing this year with the lack of brand awareness. So, I cannot give up if I want the company to be successful. I highlighted 2 points to the company about the important of having (at minimum) a positive brand awareness. Firstly, a clear and publicly known, positive brand positioning would justify a premium price. And, secondly, it would help increase our conversion rates.

The bigger question is – how can we do the brand work if we don’t have a dedicated budget? My answer is in Seth Godin’s Minimum Viable Audience (MVA) concept. It’s not possible to build a brand for the universe (the whole country or region). It would be super expensive and would take about 200 years. But, creating an ecosystem with the right groups of customers in there, it may be possible. At the end of the day, no product could server everyone. It’s a formula for being an average. And, that is what I am doing. I am pushing for an ecosystem and only invite the customers who we think we could offer them a holiday solution.

Apivut