Strategic ecological marketing

  In recent years, my team and I have served many start-ups in the consulting business. They have completed the development stage from 0 to 1, but the business has experienced long-term slow growth or stagnation, and can no longer create a second business leap. These companies have fallen into various operational difficulties, which are manifested as stalled business growth, unguaranteed profits, shrinking cash flow, and unsustainable profitable growth…
  What is the essential problem behind this series of phenomena? How can we make these enterprises realize the leap-forward growth of their business again?
Strategic ecological marketing: upgrade from core competitiveness to competitive potential

  The success of enterprises in the past often stems from the support of core competitiveness. Therefore, for many enterprises, the creation of core competitiveness is the most critical. But the reality is that although many companies have certain core competitiveness, they cannot find a sustainable, profitable and medium-to-high-speed growth future, and they will always encounter cyclical growth dilemmas. why is that? How can companies find the general direction of sustainable growth?
  Three years ago, I proposed the concept of “ecological marketing”. Today, we need to upgrade this concept and carry out a new thinking on the “strategic ecological marketing” model.
  The strategic ecological marketing model can be abbreviated as the SEM (Strategy Ecology Marketing) model. This model has at least two meanings: From a macro perspective, the strategic direction and positioning of an enterprise must be based on in-depth thinking about the evolution trend of its own industry ecology. For in-depth research on the pain points of its own industry, strategy and ecology need to be integrated; at the micro level, the marketing model and strategy of an enterprise must be deeply analyzed and focused on the needs and pain points of customers in the industry ecology, forming a clear distinction with other competitors in the industry. Differences, marketing and ecology need to be integrated.
  To sum up, the strategic ecological marketing model is the trinity of the enterprise’s strategy, ecology and marketing. The three are opposed, interdependent and interact with each other, as shown in Figure 1:

  The large triangle in Figure 1 represents the strategic triangle, including strategic intention, strategic planning and strategic determination, the small triangle represents the marketing triangle, including marketing mode, marketing organization and marketing strategy, and the circle in the middle represents the category of industrial ecology, but in fact the industry The category of ecology is variable, uncertain and unpredictable, as shown in Figure 2.

  Figure 2 shows the variability of the ecosystem. The middle ecosystem can be expanded to a large ecosystem or reduced to a small ecosystem. The large ecosystem refers to changes in the external world, which is reflected in the downstream consumer end of the industrial chain and the industrial chain. The evolution of the upstream technology side is represented by the dotted line in the figure, and the small ecosystem refers to the category of subdivided ecology.
  The above model shows that under the current situation of unprecedented changes in the world, the core competitiveness of enterprises has become a basic subject and basic skill. Enterprises that have gone through the entrepreneurial period must be good at studying the changing trends of the external industrial ecology, and be good at finding the slightest in the industrial ecology. Ephemeral market opportunities, in-depth research on the apparent pain points and potential pain points of customers, in-depth research on the pain points of stakeholders in the industrial value chain, and continuous empowerment of customers and industrial chain partners by establishing a rhythmic and structured gradient relationship with stakeholders , and ultimately help customers and partners to achieve business success, thereby establishing a community of interests, forming a structured competitive potential in the industry chain, and continuing to develop into a community of shared destiny with stakeholders in the industry chain. This is the ultimate direction of strategic ecological marketing.
  The main features of strategic ecological marketing are: online business, data sharing, platform-based resources, and intelligent networks (see the article “Ecological Marketing: The Vision of the Times of Strategic Marketing” in the book “The Power of Marketing” by Sales and Marketing Magazine for details). ).
  So far, there are two paths for the construction of the strategic ecological marketing model: one is the experience sublimation model, bottom-up, long-term exploration in practice, and then summed up and sublimated, representing the company as Huawei; the second is the top-level design model, guided by ideas Bottom, top-down, planned and consciously built, the representative enterprise is Xiaomi. These two companies represent the polarities of strategic ecological marketing. If Huawei has become a symbol of the rise of China’s scientific and technological power, then Xiaomi has become a symbol of the power of business models in the mobile Internet era. Companies represented by Huawei fully reflect the high concentration of technology, professional rationality and systemic 2B (enterprise-oriented) business. , is the extreme of stability that condenses the accumulation of years, and the enterprises represented by Xiaomi fully embody the high cultural concentration, youthful sensibility and passionate innovation of the 2C (consumer-oriented) business, and are the dynamic extreme that opens the window of the times. The paths and styles of Huawei and Xiaomi are very different, and they penetrate each other. The two complement each other and are related to each other, which together constitute the overall picture of strategic ecological marketing.
Huawei’s Ecological Power: From “United Front” to “In-depth Scenario”

  On March 28, 2022, Huawei’s annual report disclosed that in 2021, it will achieve a total revenue of 636.8 billion yuan, down 28.6% year-on-year, but its net profit will increase by 75.9% year-on-year, and its cash flow will increase by 69.4% year-on-year. The business and consumer business achieved revenue of 281.5 billion yuan, 102.4 billion yuan, and 243.4 billion yuan respectively.
  The data shows that Huawei’s overall operation is still stable, but it can also be seen that the United States has a huge inertia in suppressing Huawei. Huawei’s performance has declined for two consecutive years, and it is under tremendous internal pressure. However, in Huawei’s New Year’s speech, Huawei still used the words “Keep moving forward, the future can be expected” to describe its future, which is full of heroic optimism. Huawei’s extraordinary calm and self-confidence stems from the Where?
  Extreme pressure comes from the genes of ecology
  In Huawei’s first 10 years, its sales performance has grown from 100 million yuan to 10 billion yuan, which gives it enough confidence to go abroad and go global. At this time, Huawei realized that the core competitiveness of enterprises should be changed from individual indicators such as marketing, products, channels, and quality to “organization and mechanism system”, so Huawei established an end-to-end process organization system and an innovative incentive mechanism system. . The construction of these two systems has allowed Huawei to grow from 10 billion yuan to more than 100 billion yuan, creating a second decade of glory.
  At that time, Huawei had reached the leading position in the industry, and it was keenly aware of the coming of the tide of the times, so it took no time to complete its own strategic upgrade, and internally implemented the business model of “deep scouring the beach and making low weirs” to control its own profit margins. greed, establish a strategic ecological marketing awareness of “openness, cooperation, and win-win” externally, actively empower all stakeholders in the industrial ecosystem, and establish friendship, complementary advantages, and co-prosperity and symbiosis.

  Huawei has clarified its strategic positioning as the world’s leading provider of ICT (information and communication) infrastructure and smart terminals. Huawei’s 195,000 employees are located in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than 3 billion people around the world, and is committed to bringing digital Bringing data to everyone, every family, and organization, building an intelligent world where everything is connected, and building a win-win ecosystem with suppliers, partners, industry organizations, open source communities, standards organizations, universities, and research institutions. This is Huawei The “united front” layout of strategic ecological marketing is also the basis for Huawei to contribute value to global ecological partners, and it is also Huawei’s confidence gene under the pressure of the US national level.
  Fighting and retreating, relying on the ecological rear Huawei’s consumer business has dropped significantly in the
  past two years. In the face of chip supply after August 2020, Huawei has taken a series of measures. The resources are concentrated on high-end models and maintain a certain ability to update and iterate; the second is to sell the Honor brand in 2020 to obtain a cash flow of 50 billion US dollars, and the retreat is the advance; the third is to prepare for the worst and reprint Huawei. In November 2021, it was reported that Huawei intends to license its own technology to companies such as China Post and Telecommunications Equipment Group, and join forces. This series of market strategies of fighting and retreating originated from Huawei’s strategic ecological marketing thinking, relying on the Chinese market ecology. the large rear.
  In 2019, Huawei launched the Kirin chip, and the Hongmeng operating system was also used as a spare tire; in the same year, because Google banned GMS (Google Mobile Services), Huawei immediately convened hundreds of engineers to develop its own technology ecosystem HMS (Huawei Mobile Services); In 2020, Huawei will recruit more than 2,000 engineers from all over the world to develop a more practical HMS Core, advance the layout in the software ecosystem, and follow up in a timely manner; 2021 is the first year that the Hongmeng system has officially become Huawei’s trump card, and it will be equipped with Hongmeng by the end of December. The number of devices has reached 200 million, setting a record for China’s domestic operating system. This series of technical strategies of retreating and fighting also originated from the layout of Huawei’s strategic ecological marketing, relying on the rear of its own accumulated technology ecology.
  Directly plug the scene, activate the front line of the ecology
  The Internet has developed into the second half, and the related technologies of the industrial Internet are maturing. The industrial application of 5G + cloud computing + AI must be based on the digital scene of the industry. In November, five major groups of coal mines, smart highways, smart customs and ports, smart photovoltaics, and data center energy were established; in March 2022, power digitization, government affairs all-in-one, airport and rail, interactive media, sports health, new display core, and parks were established. , Wide Area Network, Data Center Base and Digital Site.
  Legion is a synchronous innovation of business model and organizational model, aiming to find opportunities for continuous growth and empower enterprises to overtake in corners through digital transformation. At the same time, this is also a way to continue to activate Huawei’s organizational struggle. The key to Huawei’s deep cultivation of industry digitization is to start with scenarios. Based on the demand insights of enterprises in more than 10 industries, including government, finance, transportation, energy, and manufacturing, Huawei has developed scenario-based solutions through technological innovation. Multiple scenario-based solutions help enterprises improve comprehensive economic benefits. Focusing on customer pain points, directly inserting the scene, leveraging and awakening the huge market.
  Facing the world, Huawei has extensively aggregated and united industrial ecological partners, including six types of partners, including sales agents, solutions, services and operations, talent alliances, investment and financing, and industry organizations. We will increase investment in partners and create an open, cooperative and win-win industry digital ecological environment.
  As of the beginning of 2022, Huawei has more than 30,000 enterprise market partners, including more than 20,000 sales partners, more than 1,800 solution partners, more than 6,200 service and operation partners, and more than 2,000 talent alliance partners. It is the strong support of industrial partners that enables Huawei’s innovative enterprise products and scenario-based solutions to quickly penetrate into all walks of life.
Xiaomi’s ecological power: from top-level design to bottom-level logic

  On March 22, 2022, Xiaomi Group announced its annual results. In 2021, the total revenue will reach 328.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 33.5%, and the net profit will reach 22 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 69.5%. Among them, the global shipment of smartphones will reach 190 million units. , an increase of 30.0% year-on-year, overseas market revenue was 163.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 33.7%, accounting for 49.8% of the total revenue, Xiaomi IoT (Internet of Things) and consumer products business revenue was 85 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 26.1%.
  The above data shows that Xiaomi’s overall performance shows a good situation of steady growth, and Xiaomi’s 11th year transcript is excellent. What prompted Xiaomi to sing all the way? Compared with Huawei, how is its strategic ecological marketing path different?
  Vertical and horizontal, expand the ecological
  space Different from the historical consciousness of Huawei’s ecology, the layout of Xiaomi’s ecology seems to be derived from its top-level design. As early as 2013, based on his years of investment experience and his intuition about the sudden increase in the volume of Xiaomi piston headphones, Lei Jun began to lay out the Xiaomi ecological chain. Now it seems that this choice has a very high strategic position and significance of the times. It is a leap-forward strategic thinking beyond the general core competitiveness, and it creates an ecological advantage with a multi-layer gradient structure.
  Facts have proved that this ecological layout has huge competitive potential. It may appear peaceful in the short term, but when the time is ripe, it will show a crushing power. The ecology formed by the vertical and horizontal integration of core users and core products is invisible. The value will greatly exceed the explicit value.
  Xiaomi has invested in 500 ecological chain companies in 8 years, of which nearly 30 have been successfully listed, and many are lining up for IPO (initial public offering), which fully reflects the industrial power of Bamboo Forest Ecology. Faced with the ecological advantages that Apple has built for many years, in 2020, Lei Jun proposed to upgrade the “mobile phone + AIoT (artificial intelligence Internet of Things)” strategy to the “mobile phone × AIoT” strategy, and set this strategy as Xiaomi’s direction for the next 10 years. The change from the plus sign to the multiplication sign reflects a huge change in the responsibility of the Xiaomi Ecological Chain Department, which is the vanguard of Xiaomi AIoT. The multiplication represents that the mobile phone and the AIoT are each other’s amplifiers. The strategic value and significance as a multiplier is highlighted again.
  The degree of retraction and release promotes new ecological prosperity
  After 6 years of running wild in the Xiaomi ecological chain, new problems have also appeared in 2019. In order to strive for more growth opportunities, many companies in the bamboo forest have begun to compete horizontally and maliciously, ignoring explosive products, excessively lowering prices, and seriously invoking.
  Based on the consideration of the overall strategy, Xiaomi proposed new rules for the ecological chain company, and clearly returned to the three major iron laws: “technology-based, cost-effective, and making the coolest products”; clear three directions: first, and mobile phone owners. Industry-related, the second is around the whole house intelligence, and the third is the cool play category. Among them, the cool play category may not make money at the moment, but it has the value of integrating technology. For example, the Xiaomi robot iron egg is the result of joint research and development of Xiaomi mobile phone department, ecological chain department, artificial intelligence department and other departments, which represents the future trend of user needs. . Since then, the SKU (stock keeping unit) of the Xiaomi ecological chain has been cut from more than 1,500 to more than 600. In addition, Xiaomi divides the company into different levels such as A, B, C, and D according to product quality, which are classified and managed. This shows that the Xiaomi ecological chain has gradually changed from the original hard-to-play free-range mode to a standardized, restrained, and well-controlled model. Organizational and systematic management model. This is the underlying logic that Xiaomi needs to adhere to to continue to create ecological prosperity.
  Fast and orderly, leading ecological re-evolution
  In March 2021, Lei Jun announced his official entry into the smart electric vehicle industry. This is Xiaomi’s new strategic layout for the next 10 years. Where does the confidence in this major strategy come from? Is it due to market trends and the quantity and quality of loyal fans? Or does it stem from a perspective on future automotive composite technology? Or does it originate from the genes and mission of entrepreneurs of the era?
  It seems to be unknown at the moment. Xiaomi mobile phones have a matching ecological chain, so will Xiaomi cars also have a matching ecological chain?
  ”How to create a car-centric ecological chain?” Lei Jun asked a new question for the ecological chain, and related ecological chain companies were moved by the wind. For a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises in China, helping Xiaomi to build cars may not necessarily be the next opportunity.
  Qu Heng, the person in charge of Xiaomi Ecological Chain, said: “In the next 3-5 years, the sales of the ecological chain will exceed 100 billion yuan.” Once this goal is reached, Xiaomi AIoT will become a network device exceeding 700 million and a monthly active household exceeding 100 million. billion platform. Sitting on such a large family base may be Lei Jun’s greatest confidence in launching a car. This is also a crushing force that can only be formed by ecology. The huge competitive potential formed by this ecology is difficult for any industrial chain, or even any country or region to compete with.