Building Blocks of a Product Ecosystem

BUILDING BLOCKS OF A PRODUCT ECOSYSTEM (1)

One of the things we aim for here with the various levels of service we’re offering is to provide our people with a product ecosystem in which they can immerse themselves from whichever direction fits.

I appreciate that it may not be immediately obvious what I mean by that though, so I’m going to explore the idea of creating a product ecosystem, along with some examples from our own product range that map to the various ecosystem levels. Hopefully by doing this, I’ll give you some ideas of how you might implement the concept yourself, and where you can get started.

Bear in mind as you read this that it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight. We’ve invested a considerable amount of time and energy into creating the products that constitute our ecosystem, and you should expect to do the same.

Eco-what-now?

The classical approach to building a relationship with customers has been to build up some kind of a media presence using product placement in films and tv spots, and advertising via billboards, magazines and newspapers. These days though, image concious organisations are likely to be found interacting with their people on the web, in addition to the more traditional approaches.

Large companies tend to call this “going digital”. It’s all the rage. Even the government is doing it.

Typically having a digital presence will consist of a several-pronged approach, encompassing social media interactions (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc), content marketing (website, blog, YouTube, iTunes) and some form of paid advertising or re-marketing using the same platforms I’ve already mentioned and possibly some others too.

What organisations are hoping to achieve by having a presence in all of these places is a kind of pervasiveness that means you can come into their world via whichever entry point works best for you. They want to grab your attention and try to entice you away from where you were (e.g. Twitter) and get you onto their platform instead. That could be a website, an app, or something else.

When you read or watch their message, you may not even realise you’re being marketed to – because the status, the tweet, the blogpost, article or video has been produced to engage and inform you. There’s no hard sell. You don’t feel like you’re being spoken at. Instead, you feel like you’re being talked to, educated, informed, entertained. You’re building a relationship with the company or brand, and that’s what sucks you into the ecosystem.

No barrier to entry

The fantastic thing about all of this is that the barrier to entry is so low, it’s virtually non-existent. ANYBODY can have an online presence. Most likely, you already do. Clearly though, for you to start attracting people into your world for the purpose of selling your product or service to them requires a little more strategic thinking than just posting cute pictures of kittens and smiley faces.

If you’re serious about creating an audience, you need to get very clear about who that audience is and what kind of content is going to appeal to them.

The DM product ecosystem

To try and help you do this, I thought I’d walk you through the 5 levels of our own product ecosystem, with examples of the kind of products we deliver at each level – so you can get an idea of how to go about building your own.

Information

At the very top of our ecosystem we try to provide a layer of useful information by way of articles, videos, podcasts and other media which serves as an introduction to who we are, what we do and how we add value to your world. This material is disseminated via various social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, SoundCloud, iTunes, some bookmarking channels and of course we publish a lot of content to both our websites and some other places as well.

Our content consists of a lot of words, but also pictures, video and sound. All of it is designed to either educate, inspire or entertain you. Hopefully some of it does all three!

Some of it is designed to go above and beyond in terms of value. We’ll provide our people with free ebooks and guides that provide solutions to specific problems – like how to get your first 5 online customers, or how to be extremely productive and grow your business in just 90 minutes each day.

When people discover high quality content like that, they’re usually happy to execute some small exchange for it. Like their contact details for example. And once we have an email address, we can send them some more content directly since now, we have a relationship.

Building blocks

Once we have a relationship by way of the various channels used to share information, ideas and our business philosophy, we can start to provide our people with some of the building blocks they need to move ahead with the things they are trying to achieve.

Since our people are usually trying to accelerate their own business activities, we have a suite of products that are geared towards helping them do that. Products to help Overcome Procrastination, implement an Email Marketing program or Turn What They Know Into Wealth.

These are simply geared towards providing people with the information they need to carry out the work themselves. For some of our people though, that won’t quite cut it. They may need some additional support. In which case, we can go down to the next level.

Management

Some of our people need help staying on track, and also some support with implementing some of the concepts and approaches we talk about in the courses. Having someone to be accountable to can be a powerful boost and helps to ensure that people actually knuckle-down and do the things that they say they want to achieve.

We actually break this down a little bit further and provide several options for people wanting to go down this route. We have a free group where people get to be a part of the Deliberate Millionaire community and experience some degree of accountability for their business activities, and we also have a paid-for group where we ramp things up a couple of notches with bootcamps and other exercises geared towards stretching people and taking them out of their comfort zones for a bit.

For some of our people, that still doesn’t quite cut it though…

Coaching

If you want to dig deeper still, we provide one-to-one and group coaching where you can explore your inner world and deal with some of the complexities of behaviour and thinking that hobble some of your activities and efforts. We can help you to identify and overcome self-limiting beliefs and behaviours, and combat some of the challenges that everyone faces when trying to start or grow a business.

Implementation

And if that’s still not enough, we’re quite happy to go the extra mile and just do it for you.

  • Can’t get your website up? No problem. We got this.
  • Can’t write great copy, or get an advertising campaign running? Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered.
  • Spending too much time manually generating leads, capturing prospect details and staying in touch with them? Let us automate it all for you.
  • Need some miscelaneous technical support. We’ll do our best to help you out.

Pulling it all together

Once you’ve got something like that in place, you end up with a model that looks something like the one below:

Building Blocks of a Product Ecosystem

But as I mentioned, we’ve put a lot of work into getting all of the content, courses, programs and people in place to make that work. If you’re just starting out, then implementing this kind of a strategy can be an uphill struggle.

Probably you can see from the examples I’ve provided above though, we have a solution for you.

If you just need some information to get you started, checkout our guide to getting your first 5 online customers.

If you want to be around fellow entrepreneurs and be a part of a community that gets stuff done, join one of our groups.

If you need some more one-to-one support, or some technical assistance – just hit the reply button.

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