Do You Have SPICE In Your Digital EcoSystem?

Digital is not just a bunch of 1 and 0. It is a complicated landscape of experiences, interaction, two-way communications that can keep your head spinning. How can you understand your brand's virtual ecosystem and what are you doing to pull it into a cohesive pathway?

I’m not an expert on digital marketing but I do approach the topic with an assumption that most consumers (and customers in B2B) want the same thing- SPICE. Not the type you cook with but the acronym that stands for:

Simple | Private | Intelligent | Clear| Efficient

We want our online, mobile and virtual experiences to be simple to understand without the technology in our face. Privacy remains important as we want to trust the world and don’t want to worry about making the right checks on a box to prevent you from selling my personal data. 

Of course it needs to be intelligent doing stuff that we could never imagine would be possible like a music channel on Pandora that plays Chet Baker and similar types of jazz. The interaction needs to be clear. No fuss, no hard to find information or complex navigation. Finally it should be efficient and fit for purpose. It doesn’t have to have buckets of bells and whistles- just what I need to do my job.

SPICE is a nice way to think about the ecology of online activity because it crystallizes how human interaction is central to the experience. We want a process that doesn’t feel forced, inauthentic or unnecessarily complicated. It’s a useful acronym that allows us to see how the pieces fit together.

My online ecosystem often has bright, shiny objects trying to flirt their way into my life. I don’t want new programs or unnecessary stuff that serves little purpose. For my personal brand, my digital ecosystem consists of the following elements: Email, Facebook, my personal marketing blog called MomentSlater, Linkedin and Twitter. I spend time on the weekends writing two blog posts that try and unravel an idea related to marketing and I share them on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Email is still my preferred way of communicating. 

These sites create a simple landscape to be online. Other channels/outlets/aps like Instagram are fun to play with but I can only keep up with a few places and find photos get integrated into the other portals easily. 

Businesses have different challenges than individuals. I’m not conducting any commerce in my personal social media communications universe except to market ideas and thoughts. In a business setting, your virtual ecosystem can be a means to generate leads and convert interested companies into paying customers. A commercial online presence can also begin to build relationships to allow you to open the doors and invite people into your world of products and services.

Core Portal Purpose
One practical idea for businesses is to identify a core purpose for each platform and to try and diagram how things connect. If creating content is focused on your corporate blog, how does it connect to your website, Facebook and everything else you do? State with clarity the purpose and make sure everyone understands it. Here is an example:

Website: Our mostly static online brochure about our company’s history, products and services.

Blog:  The central, dynamic hub of all our activities that tells regular stories about our company’s personality, our customer’s success and failures, how we engage with our market community, etc.

Twitter:  How we reach the journalists who write about our industry. We share information and curate relevant content.

Facebook: How we reach both consumers and trade to share small bits of news about who we are and what’s going on in our business life. Its light and fun and not too serious.

YouTube: How we reach the trade (and some consumers) to add emotion and a human touch to our marketing. We focus on communicating our brand personality. 

This is how I approach the landscape online. How do the pieces fit, what's each platform's role and how do they all connect? 

Does your work online require a little SPICE? 

Note: If your marketing isn't cooking, maybe some of the ideas in my posts might be helpful to a friend. Would you share my post online with someone who might find them of interest. Thanks. 

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