By whatever name, ecosystem PR or alliance marketing the goal is to leverage the self-interest among firms, bringing together the self interested product “ecosystem” in a focused marketing campaign. Such a connected community has greater voice than any individual member. Microsoft and Apple are masters of this strategy; they create a tsunami of alliances with every launch. For example:
- Microsoft launched its
VistaOS with PC firms Dell, Gateway, HP, & Lenovo Group.
For smaller firms, the idea is to surf off the wake of the platform company.
- During the Vista OS launch, software maker Wild Tangent boasted that “Gamers can download a free, fully-compatible Vista-ready games console…”
Advantages of building a product ecosystem:
Low-Cost Promotional Tool: A benefit is that the alliance community is larger and has greater voice than any individual member. An aggressive marketing/PR approach to alliances leverages the self-interest of channel partners in a win-win for sales.
For Acquisition or IPO: Proactive alliance management adds “Growing Sales Channels” luster to an offering, and “alliances” are always on the check-list of potential investors.
The Community is the Whole Product: In complex industries such as those of Enterprise Software, Finance, or Telecommunications, the community often delivers the whole product as no single vendor has the complete product. To succeed, firms must form alliances to go to market as a connected whole.