Having a strategically designed and appropriately promoted partner ecosystem has become a prerequisite in today’s business environment. This can be seen in a number of statistics, of which the most evident one might be that four of the top five companies in last year’s BrandZ Ranking are classified as ecosystem brands.
Marketing Week explains that these companies – Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon – manage to make consumers’ lives easier by connecting different aspects across a number of touchpoints. The result: secured customer loyalty.
The most obvious way to explain how a well-functioning partner ecosystem leads to higher customer loyalty is to look at the traditional, biological definition of an ecosystem. Marketo describes this as a community of living and nonliving components such as plants, animals, microbes, air, water and soil all interacting with each other. This interaction leads to the key characteristic of interdependence. In a business setting, this would mean that the end consumer is enabled to use a certain product, because it is offered as a logical and desired extension to another product. Each extension can have multiple extensions or addons too.
This leads to a network-shaped customer journey, characterised by the concept of interdependence and therefore an increased customer retention.
To illustrate this with a HR Tech example, imagine an employer using a specific ATS. Within this ATS the company also uses a video interviewing tool, that in turn provides assessments to the same employer, which are offered by a partner of the video provider. This level of interdependence highly reduces the chances of this specific client to switch from ATS provider.
Now imagine the (actually not so imaginary) situation in which this employer not only uses the video interviewing integration, but multiple additions, like an onboarding and multiposting tool, each having a wide offering of partner services too. It deepens the initial customer relationship between the ATS provider and the employer at an exponential rate.
A big misunderstanding in setting up strategic alliances, however, would be to create a large ecosystem only for the sake of its size. Every possible partnership should be critically considered from a customer perspective. Does a certain extension offer a true added value for the customer? A criterion that could be taken into account when considering enlarging the vendor portfolio is to have a definite yes as an answer to the following three questions:
- If our company would have the ability to develop and market the potential partner offering inhouse, would we do it?
- If the potential partner would have the ability to develop and market our offering inhouse, would they do it?
- Is the combined offering of such a complementary value that it offers a synergetic advantage to the end user?
When you meet the abovementioned criteria, it is worthwhile to explore the possibilities of setting up a partnership. It gives organizations the possibility to focus on the core business and simultaneously fulfill complementary customer needs. Apart from this, it can add credibility from strongly reputed partner brands, provide access to new (geographic) markets, increase marketing exposure among the partner’s clientele and, above all, makes the costumer relationship sticky.
At Cammio, we have a strong and well-selected ecosystem of over thirty partners, consisting of ATS providers, assessment providers and specific technical parties. It is aligned with our philosophy to fully focus on video interviewing and be the best in what we do. It also allows us to offer best in class solutions in other niche areas that we could have never developed ourselves. Besides that, we believe that a shared offering deserves shared marketing. We are therefore always open to explore new synergies and to promote current alliances.
Want to see what we can do together? Get in touch and let’s join forces.