Change How You Think About Digital – Part 1

The Ecosystem Approach

digital marketing ecosystem

If you have ever chatted with me about digital marketing, you have most likely heard me say (over and over again) that digital marketing is an ecosystem. Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about the ecosystem approach to digital marketing. I’ll tackle all the components of the marketing ecosystem, what to look for, how to diagnose issues, how to measure success, and the ways non-digital marketing plays a role within the ecosystem.

Let’s start from square one. What exactly do I mean when I say it’s an ecosystem?

Digital marketing is not simply building a beautiful website, and not just creating an engaging social media campaign, and not just launching a strategic paid search campaign – it’s all of those together (and so much more) happening at once.

Your visibility and marketing performance online is dependent upon many factors such as: web design, site speed, SEO, SEM, social media marketing, multimedia content development, affiliate marketing, paid search, paid social media, display, retargeting, paid shopping, email marketing, backlinks, marketplace optimization, and so on. All of these tactics work together and feed off each other – much like an ecosystem.

For example, let’s say you want to run a retargeting campaign to reach users that have already visited your website and viewed more than two pages on your site. This tactic makes sense because you are going after qualified leads. But what if nobody comes to your site? You’ll have nobody to target for remarketing.

That’s where SEO, content development, and paid search and paid social come in. These tactics are what bring users to your site, filling your pipeline of qualified leads for your remarketing ads to target. One tactic feeds the other and vice-versa. You can’t remarket without an inbound stream of users to your website. It’s all an ecosystem.

Here’s one more example – let’s say you are an IT solutions firm and you are looking to gain more leads through digital marketing. You invest heavily in Google and Bing search to draw in those seeking services your business provides. You are successful and gain large amounts of traffic to your website, but your website is poorly designed. Maybe you’re not pushing visitors to a conversion focused landing page or maybe it’s hard to navigate to the “contact us” page. No matter how low your CPC, search marketing still depends on the design of the target website to turn a click into a conversion. There’s a big difference been CPC and CPA and it usually boils down to your website design. Web design and the content of your website work in tandem with inbound search traffic.

Once again, it’s all an ecosystem.