As a quick review of my recent post, “Let Them Stand on You Shoulders”, you must enhance your organization’s go-to-market strategy with initiatives that leverage external parties. Taking a collaborative approach empowers you to maximize the potential of your existing and future solutions. To support this endeavor, it’s critical to have an ecosystem in place that enhances the full lifecycle of your developers or partners.
The ecosystem, sometimes referred to as a platform, portal or program, that supports this type of technology solution build out is naturally only as strong as its participants. In this post, I will break down three specific tips to ensure success in attracting these third parties.
In asking yourself, “Which audience should our ecosystem target?” you will quickly identify if the portal should be open to the public or to a certain group of people. If you determine that your portal isn’t open to everyone, you must ensure that you have registration / login functionality that is supported by role-based access. Not only do you want to keep your information out of the wrong individuals hands, but you also want to make certain that the right individuals are receiving the resources they need effectively and efficiently.
Secondary to this initial identification is the understanding of your target audience’s persona. This will help you further identify the resources that should be available to your developers or partners and the best way to disseminate them – answering questions like: “How do they like to be reached?” and “How often should we be communicating?”.
At this point you might be asking, “How does this impact attraction?”. The simple answer is, it helps you to get inside of your partners’ or your developers’ heads. The more you understand them, the more successful you will be at producing materials that grab their attention.
After identifying the external parties that you want to participate in your ecosystem, you must captivate their attention. To do so, you must publicize your program and make it an extension of your corporate site. Then, invite the different groups in a manner that best fits the questions answered above. When your audience lands on the portal, they should immediately recognize it as belonging your organization. Ensure that it is attractive and parallels your corporate branding. This familiarity will be welcoming to a developer or a partner and will encourage them to look around the portal.
Through their exploration, the developers or partners need to be able to quickly see two things (1) a robust set of technical information and technical support and (2) multiple channels of communication, whether that be chat or forums. These components will enhance their journey given they decide to join the program.
Finally, as your prospective external contributors are navigating your portal, it is imperative that they interact with or can see the value in the resources and tools provided. Educate prospective developers on how your technology will allow them to do their job better and faster and prospective partners on how your company will help theirs earn more revenues or profits.
It is important to guide them to the educational content that will incentivize them to participate in your ecosystem. Why? Because, at the end of the day, you have to ensure that by the time these prospective contributors leave your site, they can clearly answer: “What’s in it for me?”.
Stay tuned – in the coming weeks, I will provide tips and tricks to enhance the onboarding, education, support, and submission experience for all stakeholders. In the meantime, for additional information on how to effectively create such an ecosystem, visit: http://bit.ly/2sfAI70.