What is a Digital Ecosystem and How To Build One for Your Company

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Just as in nature we are part of an ecosystem that connects us with each other, there are also ecosystems and environments in the digital world. If you have a product or service that can be digitized, it is important that you catch up on this topic.

In the midst of the digital transformation from the traditional to the electronic market, you may have already heard the term “digital ecosystem”, so that you do not have doubts regarding the definition, we share it with you below.

Broadly speaking, a digital ecosystem refers to the internal adaptations of a company and the network of collaborations that are established to offer better services or products (virtually and mainly with the help of computer technology). Thus it generates an online interaction between companies, associates and consumers, generating a benefit for all.

Within the organization of a business, a digital ecosystem generates new digital tactics to achieve a first level service that provides effective solutions within the market; in this way growth is inevitable. This is reflected in the generation of qualified traffic, lead generation, new potential customers and an increase in sales.

Similarly, Liion explains that a digital ecosystem serves to position and control aspects of your brand’s message in the lives of your customers. Below we see an infographic of what are the main pieces that your digital ecosystem should have in order for it to work harmoniously.

What is a digital ecosystem for?

Digital ecosystems allow you greater brand visibility, as well as more points of contact (where you will attract leads and your customers will move). They also help you to generate communities and more clearly identify your audience.

You create spaces for feedback and interaction; therefore, you strengthen your empathy, bond and connection with people (which will help you improve the attention, support and loyalty of your customers).

Elements of a digital ecosystem

Website

Your website is the central point of all the digital strategies that you implement in your company; it is the living being that needs maintenance, life and heart. The website is the home of your brand or business in the virtual world, it is the official site where clients and partners contact you.

Branding

The brand strategy is what defines the voice of the brand; It is the intellect of the ecosystem and a fundamental part to carry a message through all channels. Read our article to learn how to develop an effective branding strategy.

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Social media

They are the means in which you will interact more directly with your customers (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks). It covers the communication that flows in the profiles and in the messages, everything that is said about the brand and the niche.

SEM, SMM, SEO

It refers to the smart investment of marketing in digital media, both in social networks, search engines and optimized content. They allow the digital ecosystem not to be stranded and guide you to make the right decisions to keep moving forward.

Metrics

Through data management tools you can have a vision of your company’s assets. An overview for the different indicators or KPIs, which will help you decide the direction of your strategies with solid fundamentals. They are vital for your digital marketing.

Conversion

It starts on your landing page, where customers will be led by the hand to the sale through contact formats, lead nurturing, and emails. In this process you attract, inform and delight the people who visit your site.

Blog

This section is the heart of your brand, both vital and emotional. In it, you create relevant and valuable content that generates perpetuity and authority in search engines. In the long run, it’s what keeps your company’s digital ecosystem alive.

5 Success factors of a digital ecosystem

To expand your digital ecosystem, first identify the ecosystems in which you can participate: find an orchestrator (a company that connects with more businesses to join their community). Then define what roles you are going to play to meet the needs of everyone involved: buyers, sellers, consumers, and businesses. It also determines how you can generate more value to monetize your work.

According to Boston Consulting Group studies, there are 5 success factors in a digital ecosystem.

1. A solid strategy and value proposition

The long-term success of a digital ecosystem depends not so much on scaling quickly, but on taking the time to design the right strategy and value proposition and attract the best partners for you.

2. A strong user base

Successful ecosystems are often orchestrated by an established leader who has broad market share and a strong user base.

3. A large bank of partners

The more partners an ecosystem has and the more industries that come from it, the better it will do. While the average has 27 partners, the most successful digital ecosystems have around 40.

4. A large global footprint

A wide geographic reach is strongly correlated with success. On average, successful digital ecosystems have partners in 10 or more countries.

5. A strong capacity for collaboration

The orchestrator of a winning ecosystem must manage dozens of partners in multiple industries and countries using various collaboration models.

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5 cases of successful digital ecosystems

In a successful digital ecosystem, (mostly independent) companies join forces to create a digital offering that is more valuable than the product or service they originally offered. There are endless possibilities: some digital ecosystems develop solutions such as an electronic car, multifunctional software, an application for making banking transactions or digital platforms for buying and selling.

This new business model is the future of business. Many of the world’s largest companies are part of huge digital ecosystems that are redesigning the way they provide services and products. Let’s look at some of the famous companies in the area.

1. Amazon

This company started as an online retail business that developed Amazon Web Services, a computing services platform that began to be rented by other companies. From there he grew until large brands became his clients, which allowed him to acquire and create new companies such as Amazon Studios.

Its digital ecosystem of alliances is so large that it reaches far beyond retail. Amazon in a single year has generated 197.400 million dollars; Its services include online stores, physical establishments, retail sales to third parties, AWS and other businesses that we can see in the image.

2. Apple

The case of Apple is the example of how a company can play in multiple ecosystems, creating a portfolio of business models. Apple has been making products like phones and computers while hosting a third-party app market as you can see below.

3. Google

Google’s digital ecosystem is one of the largest on the world market today. Its success is due to its ability to adapt to change. A very clear example is Google Maps, which emerged as a response to users looking for directions and locations easily and left the paper cartographic map industry aside.

Over time it began to raise more revenue thanks to companies that wanted to advertise on the server. Morgan Stanley estimates that Maps generated $ 1.5 billion for local advertisers in 2017 and predicted that it would become $ 5 billion by 2020. Google is undoubtedly one of the most valuable digital ecosystems.

4. Microsoft

Microsoft is a multiple digital ecosystem: it sells software, hosts a cloud platform, creates video game consoles, and more. Since its inception it has been characterized by having partners, it is a good example of monetizing the value of a company. One of its latest acquisitions is GitHub for $ 7.5 billion.

5. Uber

Uber’s digital ecosystem is a series of technology alliances with third-party app developers; mobile app stores; location services, maps (geospatial and algorithmic) for route optimization; payment service providers and even personal digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa.

The company has turned its transportation service into a digital mobility platform, where it connects drivers, passengers, partners and other businesses. By coordinating these strategies, Uber makes 14 million trips per day, in more than 63 countries and 700 cities.

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7 strategies to strengthen your digital ecosystems

Regardless of how many digital ecosystems you have, it is necessary that you manage them and generate strategies that link them together in order to boost your brand and your business. It will be useless to have many environments and points of contact if you do not develop information for each one or if the user does not receive adequate attention.

Here are 7 strategies that will help you strengthen your digital ecosystems:

  1. Integra: all the efforts, actions and messages that you develop must be integrated. It is the way in which your brand can march through different digital environments in a solid and unified way.
  2. Automate: You must use the automation of many activities that are carried out on a daily or routine basis within your digital environments. The aim is that you save time and have a better follow-up.
  3. Generate valuable content: feed all your digital ecosystems with valuable content for your audience; provide information that people who move in these environments really need, offer them solutions and educate them.
  4. Update your tactics: you have to keep your ecosystems fresh, so update yourself on the newest to communicate and connect with the people who are in these environments.
  5. Interact more: remember that digital environments are there to generate a community that relates to each other; You must promote interaction between them and your brand so that your ecosystems have greater value and relevance.
  6. Diversify: if you consider appropriate, open more digital ecosystems or points of contact within a particular ecosystem; diversify the channels so that your communication has greater impact and reach.
  7. Measure and optimize: in the digital world everything has to be measurable so that you can know how much they are working for you, so digital ecosystems must be evaluated. Establish indicators to measure its performance and its impact and thus you will have valuable data so that you can improve. Always seek to optimize what you are doing so that you implement a continuous improvement wheel.

Now that you know everything you need to create and improve a digital ecosystem you can start working on yours, you will see that the results will be worth all the time and effort invested.

Jerry Gordon

About Jerry Gordon

Webmaster, nature and tech lover. Jerry manages the day-to-day operations at DigiToolsadvisor. He loves enjoying his free time, but most of all, trying new tools to master.