Customer Acquisition Systems in a Marketing Ecosystem

You may have heard of “marketing platforms“, but I’d like to introduce what I’d like to call “marketing ecosystems”.

What is a Marketing Ecosystem?

While a marketing platform contains a ‘home base’ such as a web site and its corresponding marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Books – a Marketing Ecosystem takes a slightly broader view and encompasses:

  • The Marketing Platform
  • The People Doing the Marketing
  • The Processes of the Platform & the People
  • The Technology used by the People
  • A/B Testing, Events, Analytics, SEO, Twofers

Customer Acquisition Systems in a Marketing EcosystemA Marketing Ecosystem is a Customer Acquisition System that funnels traffic and buyers from the Marketing Platform into a trusted Onboarding System that has feedback loops to the Marketing Platform.

The outputs are blog posts, videos, social shares, books, events, products, and services. The inputs are traffic, phone calls, email, email sign-ups, new clients, and revenue. I’ve written before about how books are the new business cards, but now books can be your advertising too.

Licensing & Commercialization of Intellectual Property (Twofers)

In marketing terms, this is referred to as “repurposing content“. Content is the energy that keeps this Marketing Ecosystem running. Content creates traffic. Traffic leads to revenue.

The most effort should be spent on making the best content possible. Marketers will say “make it share-worthy” or “remarkable“, but let’s get back to basics. It needs to be quality. Quality attracts quantity. This is the core of Content Marketing.

An Example of Content Flow Through the Marketing Ecosystem

A trusted, knowledgeable person is mined for their insight. This insight is edited into a series of blog posts, a book, and several videos. In each of these marketing channels, backlinks are placed to buy a product or service and sign up for an email list. The same content is then sent to this email list with more links to buy products or services, but everything should be tested.

Test Everything (Beta Title for this Section Until Further Tests Completed)

Test Everything is a Marketing Ecosystem tenet. In SEO, conversions, and sales, the single most important element is the TITLE of the page, post, book, or sales brochure. In books, the cover is the second most important element. But how do you test? Using Facebook, Twitter, and Google Ads, test titles and covers until a significant improvement in sales is discovered.

Don’t Forget About the People or the Products and Services

Remember that this Marketing Ecosystem is made up of people talking to people who have problems that the products or services solve. People are messy, emotional, and rarely rational. They make decisions based on copy, design, urgency, FAQs, or personal referrals. And keep in mind that the people who answer the phone or emails also have emotions – so they need properly trained, but all of this cannot happen without quality products and/or services.

The marketing ecosystem can be perfect, but it will implode if the product or service is awful. A Marketing Ecosystem Engineer must ascertain whether or not a product or service is worth supporting or whether the product or service first needs further developed.

On Building a Customer Acquisition System using a Marketing Ecosystem

Once a marketing ecosystem is fully understood and the product or service has been fully vetted, a Customer Acquisition System can be built. This system would provide the editing and implementation of the web and social design, content creation, distribution, events, referral connections, email marketing, onboarding training, and do A/B testing and analytics. This system could be offered as a service.

An Example of a Customer Acquisition System at Work

A dentist is interviewed for his dental knowledge. This is turned into a series of blog posts and videos. Each of these have the opportunity to directly sell or add to an email list. The blog posts are turned into a book, which is sold on Amazon. This book also has links back to his products and services + the ability to sign up for his email list. The dentist can now claim that he is a published author. Each title and cover is A/B split tested to ensure the highest ranking and payout – and ultimately increased conversions.

How I Have Applied This System in the Past

I have attempted to create and use a system like this by taking some of my most popular blog posts on Erich Stauffer figurines (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) into an ebook on Amazon. However, I did not test the cover and feel that its design has hampered it’s sales. My Youtube channel is called “TheBlogReader” because it was meant to record me reading my blog posts as a form of repurposing content. I only did that a couple of times though, however I still recommend it to my clients, but they hardly ever want to do it. Maybe they are expecting me to do it for them. Video is one of the things I am going to be working on more this year.

How to Create a Customer Acquisition System

I’d like to say I have this all figured out, but I’m still learning and trying new things. I’m going to apply some of these principles to a new project I’m working on – one that I can’t share yet – but if you run a business in the Indianapolis area and want to talk about it, please let me know.

Seesmic VS Path

A friend of mine recently started testing two social media tools, Seesmic and Path. Here is what he discovered:

I would recommend Seesmic. It currently is free only because it is in beta. It will be a pay service when it comes out of beta.

Pros:
-Can post to multiple social media outlets at once (and can easily switch your mix in-message)
-Can handle multiple iterations of the same social media platform (your can connect as many twitter, etc. accounts as you want)
-Can schedule post and reliably deliver at the scheduled time
-Adjusts the “Characters remaining” indicator according to the max of the minimum social media platform (i.e. it shows 5000 char remaining if just facebook and 140 if twitter is in the mix.)
-handles photos, links, and tags accurately and intelligently
-interface is simple, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing; good UX
-has a “save drafts” queue

Cons:
-Only posts to facebook, twitter, and linkedin
-their icon/badge (especially on facebook) looks stupid and will be on your messages viewed on the web
-the cost of service is unknown
-there isn’t a “pending posts” for posts that have been future dates
-setttings management is somewhat limited on the iphone app – some things have to be done on web
-links aren’t auto-shortened (may be too long)

As an alternative, there is Path. Compared to Seesmic, Path’s advantages are:
-free
-can post to tumblr and foursquare also (but not linkedin)
-can be used as one-stop social media manager and public-or-private quantified self tool
-added functionality to tag with people, places, music

As an alternative to Seesmic, Path’s disadvantages are:
-can’t schedule posts
-no characters remaining gauge
-no “saved drafts” page
-can only establish one profile per social media platform (1 facebook, 1 twitter)
-difficult to add new profile once you have it set up