My 16-year-old is studying environmental science, law and geology at college.  He’s super smart and he LOVES a good discussion. So this means that my house is often filled with in-depth debates about climate change, mens rea and rocks. 

Yes. Rocks.

Now, I’m not really into science. I’ve got a good grounding and I can understand it, it just doesn’t float my boat. 

But I listen and learn and debate because it seems to help him.

And sometimes, I learn something useful too. 

Whilst engaging in a riveting conversation about orchid bees and Brazil nuts (I’ll be honest, I was just grateful that it wasn’t sedimentary rocks again…) we started talking about the importance of balance in an ecosystem – and how even something super small can put the whole thing out of whack. 

It got me thinking…The marketing in your business has an ecosystem too. 

And if your marketing ecosystem is unbalanced then you’ll be leaving money on the table – or worse! Wasting it on marketing that doesn’t convert! 

Wondering what a marketing ecosystem is? And more importantly – how to fix it? Keep reading…

What Is A Marketing Ecosystem?

An ecosystem by definition is a complex network of organisms that interact with each other. It’s a pretty well-understood concept when we apply it to the environment. 

We all know that the environmental ecosystem needs to be in perfect working harmony or things go a little bit wrong. 

Take bees as an example; Bees pollinate the flowers. Reduce the bees and fewer flowers get pollinated. If fewer flowers get pollinated, crops reduce. If the crops reduce then the insects and animals die, which in turn, has its own impact on the ecosystem.

To put it simply, your ecosystem needs to in perfect balance, with every element working well – or shit goes really wrong. 

One small hiccup in an ecosystem can have a big ripple effect.

It’s the same with your marketing. 

Your marketing has its own ecosystem, with every element working together to bring more customers, clients and cash into your business. 

It’s all intrinsically linked – and if one element of your ecosystem is broken, then it will have an impact on the whole shebang. 

Marketing Ecosystem Basics 

So what makes up a marketing ecosystem? Well, this will depend on your business: how old it is, how big, what you do and who you serve…

But let’s start with the basics…

The Funnel

You’re probably familiar with the basic concept of a sales funnel. 

A sales funnel is the process that your client goes through to take them from a totally cold “never heard of you” prospect to a paying customer. 

Google it and you’ll find a million different versions of what a funnel should be, but my simple version goes something like this:

Attention → Connection → Nurture → Sale

Marketing Funnel

The elements of your marketing ecosystem are what make up your funnel and move the prospects from one stage to the next. 

The Foundations of Your Marketing Ecosystem

Your marketing ecosystem is unique to your business. Every target market will have its own unique journey to take from cold prospect to paying client, and every business a different way of helping them along. 

But the core foundations of a marketing ecosystem are pretty much the same, regardless of what you do. 

Without these core foundations, your ecosystem will not be able to function at its full potential and you’ll be missing out on opportunities, sales and new clients. 

The Foundational Five 

The five pillars that make up the core of any marketing ecosystem are: 

  • Traffic 
  • Your Blog 
  • Your website/sales pages 
  • Nurture Emails 
  • Sales Emails 

Traffic 

No matter how good your marketing is, if no one sees it then you won’t make any sales. Traffic is the first step in your funnel and one of the core foundations of your marketing ecosystem. 

Your traffic might come from paid advertising – like Google PPC or Facebook Ads, or it might come from organic sources such as search engines or social media. 

Your Blog 

Your blog is where you showcase your expertise, educate your audience and fill up your love cup. No idea what I’m talking about? You can learn more about the love cup in my next blog post…Make sure you’re on my email list and I’ll let you know when it goes live. 

When it’s done correctly, not only does your blog build on the relationship with your reader but it can also overcome their objections and “sell” without them feeling like they are being “sold”.

Website/Sales Page 

Your website, sales pages and landing pages give people the information they need to enquire, opt in to your list or actually make a purchase from you and become a paying customer. 

Many people also use a website to “check up” on any potential businesses that they’re considering spending money with – so it’s important that you come across as legit. 

Email List 

Your email list is the glue that holds your marketing ecosystem together and the most powerful asset when it comes to increasing your conversion rate. Growing your email list should be a top priority – but a cold email list that is left unloved is no good to anyone!

This is why we also must have…

Email Campaigns – Nurture and Sales 

Email campaigns are your secret weapon. They can take a cold prospect and convert them into a paying customer or a raving fan. Your email marketing should consist of at least two campaigns: a nurture campaign designed to give value and build a relationship and a sales campaign designed to convert and sell.

How To Get The Best Results 

Any one of the Foundational Five done well can give you some good results, but the best results come about when you understand the marketing ecosystem. 

When you get every element of your Foundational Five working in harmony – perfectly balanced like an ecosystem – that’s when you start to see some really exciting results. 

Every element of the Foundational Five requires at least one other in order to produce a sale.

Traffic is useless if you don’t have a good website, sales page or email list to send it to. 

A blog won’t increase your sales unless you connect it up to your email list – either using the blog to drive opt-ins or to educate your existing subscribers and prepare them for a sale. 

A website or sales page that doesn’t have an option to sign up to your email list will be wasting visitors- Around 95% of website visitors aren’t ready to make a purchase – yet. 

An email list that you don’t email is never going to buy from you. 

An incredible sales email is a complete waste if you don’t have anyone to send it to, and pitching an unnurtured list is going piss people off and leave money on the table. 

It all needs to work together. 

The Ideal Marketing Ecosystem 

In an ideal situation, all elements of your marketing ecosystem will be in perfect alignment – working together to bring more leads to your business, nurture your prospects and convert them into a sale. 

Traffic will bring more visitors to your website and grow your email list. 

Your blog will build upon your relationship with your website visitors and encourage them to opt in to your email list too. It should also be used as part of your nurture strategy for the subscribers on your list. 

Your website, landing pages and sales pages will grow your email list and convert subscribers into paying customers. 

Your email list will capture your “not ready yet” prospects, allowing you to nurture them until they are ready to buy. 

Your email campaigns will build a relationship with your subscribers, overcome their objections, direct them to your blog (where you can establish authority and continue to build reciprocity) – and SELL. 

So, how healthy is your marketing ecosystem? Is it a haven of perfect balance or does it need a little attention to prevent your bees from dying out? 

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