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I got my MBA 20 years ago.

As I’m sure you know, a lot has changed since then!   It was the earliest of days of the graphical world wide web of course, but even in more standard business and marketing topics there has been an evolution.    For example, I learned about value chains as a useful tool for thinking about the other parties who help bring a product or service to market.     A typical value chain included suppliers, your company, distributors and/or retailers and the final customer.     These days students learn that  the value chain is really only one part of the entire ecosystem that your business operates within.    For example, there are also influencers and regulators and partners and …

From the marketing angle,  the map of the ecosystem becomes a first pass of all the different audiences with whom you might communicate.     For example, for small service businesses, we often think about referral partners.  They wouldn’t have been included in the value chain that I learned about 20+ years ago, but they are certainly included in the ecosystem model.

Similar, back in the day, the value chain ended at the customer.   We might have talked about word-of-mouth, but it was limited unlike in today’s social networks where a guy can generate over $60,000 by committing to make potato salad on Kickstarter (here’s the linkif you missed this).  So, additional audiences include your audiences’ audiences (say that fast three times!)   As you craft your message, you might want to think about where else it will travel (and have you made it easy for it to travel through sharing, forwarding, etc. on the proper platforms.)

Audience. Message. Platform.    AMP it up!