Have you ever watched legendary movie “Star Wars”?
For me personally, it is one of the best SF movies, pure classic.
This weekend I decided to watch again one of my favorite parts (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) but this time i brought my little nephew with me so he can get “infected” with Star Wars ideology.
As movie started, excitement grew with me and I was hoping to see my nephew enthusiastic about it as I was at his age (11) and I could barely wait for movie to end so I could ask my nephew what he thought about the movie, and I got question that didn’t expect at the time:
Uncle, the movie was great, but I was wondering, how many stars are in the sky?
I admit I didn’t expect this kind of feedback, and tried to think an answer in a millisecond and the best what I could figure out was:
Ok, not a very sophisticated answer, but hey, what was I supposed to do in the moment with this kind of question?
As you can imagine, this was not good enough for a smart young person so I got stuck with one more:
But uncle, how do you know when new stars are born? How you get to know that star?
At this point, as much as it was hard for my ego to admit defeat because I couldn’t give the right answer to my nephew and I started explaining that this question can probably be answered in some scientific institutions and offered him an ice cream as fair counter offer for lack of my knowledge.
Fortunately for me, the trick went well and we went out for ice cream, but a few days later, this question pop up in my mind again.
But this time in different connotation.
Raising star or how to build unique digital business
In today’s economy where in USA alone there are more than 18 million companies and more than 500K companies are opened every month, what is left for a new start up owner to do in order to be visible on the market (and shine in the sky)?
At the first glance, all companies in one industry – as all stars in one galaxy – are the same in the eye of the average observer and today more than ever, tough competition makes it even more complicated for new start up to be different than anyone else.
By stating this, we can say that one of the biggest challenges today is how to create added value to your business and how to make your business stand out on the market.
Make your own Milky Way
Let’s say that you are opening digital marketing agency and you would like to be different than the rest of the companies in your region.
What are your options?
We can try naming a few:
- Products/Services – you can try to think some innovative, never seen before products or services that no one in the world is offering and be the first one to offer them but in situation where you have more than 200 digital marketing companies in south part of NYC alone, the odds are stacked against you.
- Pricing – you can do your homework and learn what are pricing points in your industry/region and make aggressive pricing for your company that will make you stand out from the crowd. But do you really want to be known as a low cost service company while you are trying to make your clients’ business No. 1 on Google? On a short term this strategy can give you some clients (mostly the ones that are looking for cheapest solution only) but on longer term, this model is rarely profitable for complex service companies.
- Business model – while innovating new SEO, SEM or PPC can be challenging task to do in order to be different than other digital marketing agencies, implementing different business models can be a much easier. This time we will focus on this part.
- Beyond marketing – traditional marketing companies are looking for new revenue streams and in recent years, the number of subscribers has been declining and the market for traditional marketing has not performed much better. Traditional business model in which marketers tell subscribers what to buy needs to shift into business model based on facilitating both customers and partners in trust building and on – demand interacting. Standard business model remains the same with two sides participating, but with two separate value propositions. Cost structure in this new business model will shift dramatically, from distribution to content management and online facilitating, where the main revenue generators (facilitation fees) will be.
- Markets are conversation – in economy like this, it takes more than just pure product development to stay in the game. Digital marketing agencies understanding that markets are not static, but a dynamic snap shot of conversation and interactions, will give them the first step of new business models. For professional service companies, the major difference will be made by converting non – engaged customers into engaged ones. Product development will be replaced by customer relations and conversations. By sharing your work in early phases and interacting with customers not only will customers find and follow companies, it will be the way around as well. Digital marketing agencies will need to become active with real – time tracking and conversion focus companies.
- Twisted freemium – freemium business model is based on the philosophy of involving customers early in the production process (or even development) by giving them something valuable for free and customers in need for continuously serviced relationship pay for professional subscription. And here is the twist – finding the perfect customers that will be paying for the product in pre – production phase (like crowd funding) and implement it later into the business for free will give digital marketing agencies enough resources for new business development.
- Unlimited niches – as we stated in previous model (markets are conversations) one business model that can fit into a lot of digital marketing agencies which rely on niche content creation developed for niche customer segments by engaging in ongoing mass- customized customer relations. New content is created and offered through online channels, which means digital agencies will have to focus on platform management and promotion next to service delivery. This platform is a key resource, as it is the place where supply and demand meet and it allows niche content providers to develop user generated content.
- In – crowd customers – on the top of unlimited niche business model, comes in-crowd customers model that is based on extremely personalized customer relationship that allows higher margins for smaller group of in – crowd customers. This business model demands high industry knowledge and high standards, but gives unique opportunity for digital marketing agencies to develop a new business model for this decade.
May the force be with you aka conclusion
While doing your homework, investigating the market and preparing product/market fit, creating business plan and thinking how to position your offering….start your “star war” by choosing the right business model that fits your company strategy best and may the force be with you!
P.S. Would you be so kind telling us which business model would fit you best by clicking on the form below?