What Is a Partner Ecosystem and Why Do You Need One?
In nature, animals form close associations to enjoy mutual benefits. For example, pistol shrimps and gobies work together to increase their chances of survival. The same can be said for businesses — if you want to scale faster in an increasingly competitive market, you need a partner ecosystem.
Smart businesses join partner ecosystems to maximize their competitive advantage, co-create value, and deliver excellent experiences to their customers.
The “Partner Ecosystem” Concept Explained
A partner ecosystem is a network of businesses that provide complementary services within a specific industry. For example, a digital marketing agency can create a partner ecosystem made up of link-building service providers. And an eCommerce store builder like GoDaddy can create an ecosystem comprising small D2C and eCommerce businesses.
Features of a Partner Ecosystem
Every partner ecosystem is built on three things.
1. Complementary Service Providers
The host company (the company offering partnerships) and the partners must offer complementary services or technologies. This means users should get more value from using both tools simultaneously than when these tools function separately.
Alin Tanase, Storyblok’s Technology Partner Manager, says, “Storyblok technology partners need to be directly related to what our content management system does. So, for example, I know customer support solutions are not necessarily a focus for us, at least not at the moment.”
Storyblok CMS can be used for eCommerce projects, and Shopify is an eCommerce platform, so it makes sense to have Shopify as a technology partner. When you combine Storyblok and Shopify, you get a headless eCommerce store that creates better shopping experiences for your customers.
2. Defined Mutual Benefits
In a partner ecosystem, it needs to be clear what everyone stands to gain. Having defined mutual benefits reduces or eliminates disagreements and makes it easier for everyone to work toward a common goal.
Before joining a partner ecosystem, ask the host company to share a partnership deck where they spell out what’s expected of you and the benefits you get. For example, at Storyblok, we list the benefits of our agency and technology ecosystems on our website, and you can contact our Partner team if you have any questions about them.
Members of a partner ecosystem and the host company must work together to achieve the common goal, as that’s the reason for partnership in the first place. By working together, they can lean on each other‘s strengths to scale their businesses and offer more value to customers.
Examples of collaboration in a partner ecosystem include co-marketing, innovation, and sponsorships.
Types of Partner Ecosystems
Businesses create partner ecosystems depending on specific goals. For example, a company looking to boost brand awareness and increase the adoption of its products or services can set up a sales and marketing ecosystem.
At Storyblok, we have two major ecosystems — one for our agency partners and the other for our technology partners.
Solution Partner Ecosystem
Storyblok’s solution partner ecosystem comprises digital agencies that use Storyblok to build amazing projects and create powerful digital experiences for their clients. Some of our agency partners are VividFront, Netural, and Bakklog.
As a Storyblok solution partner, you enjoy:
1. Free Promotions
We help you to market your services through our partner listing and featured case studies that share project successes and the processes for achieving them.
Our partner listing is a published directory of all agency partners where potential clients can search for and discover your business. If a potential client clicks on one of the listed partners, they immediately access the agency’s information page that has links to their portfolio and a short form to contact them.
All of these free promotions help you increase brand awareness, generate leads, and capture new customers.
2. Access to Development Resources
Agency partners enjoy access to valuable resources for running their business efficiently, scaling their services, and making the most out of Storyblok’s features.
We have a partner blog that covers different topics — from content migration best practices to lead generation. We also have social communities where you can connect with other agencies, brainstorm, and keep up with the latest industry trends. And our dedicated support team is always available to help you through any challenges and questions you have about Storyblok.
In July 2022, we launched a 1.5 million dollar Partner Fund to support the growth and comarketing efforts of our certified agency partners.
3. Revenue sharing
The revenue share program offers you the opportunity to earn additional income for every new client you bring to Storyblok. Storyblok agency partners can get up to 10% of the customer's monthly subscription fee as long as they meet certain criteria.
Benefiting from revenue sharing allows you to diversify cash flow sources for your business.
Storyblok’s technology ecosystem is made up of complementary best-of-breed technologies that can be integrated into Storyblok to expand its functionalities. Some examples include Shopify, Algolia, and Netlify.
According to Alin Tanase, Storyblok’s Technology Partner Manager, the goal of the ecosystem is to ”enable different technology solutions to work seamlessly together. At the same time, we want the cooperation between us and our Technology Partners to complement each other’s products and to always strive for innovation.”
As a Storyblok technology partner, you get:
1. Increased market share
By integrating your technology with Storyblok, you have access to thousands of customers, and you can deliver more value to them. For example, an agency partner building a website for an eCommerce business can use BigCommerce or Shopify with Storyblok to expand the website’s functionality and create better digital experiences.
An increase in market share means more revenue and the ability to scale your SaaS business efficiently.
2. Profit from co-marketing initiatives
Co-marketing involves promoting shared offers that serve you and your partners. For example, you could place a Storyblok ad banner on your website or event sponsorship.
As your co-marketing efforts compound, you could potentially reach a point where you discuss revenue share and start to earn profits to diversify your income sources as a business.
3. Free Promotions
Free promotions help get more eyes on your business and reach more potential customers.
Like agency partners, Storyblok also has a listing for technology solutions in its ecosystem. The listing includes a brief description of the technology plus an embedded link to the partner’s website where clients can learn more about their benefits.
What to consider when choosing a partner ecosystem
According to The Demand Gen Partner Marketing Survey, 82% of business leaders are expected to grow their partner ecosystems in 2022. This means there won’t be a shortage of partner ecosystems you can join. But how do you ensure you’re investing in the right one? Keep in mind three things as you make your decision:
Know the type of ecosystem it is, and be sure you can offer value
Understand who else is a part of the ecosystem
Make sure the products and perks fit into your workflow
Storyblok is an excellent partner for digital agencies and technology solutions. We offer exciting benefits like revenue sharing, unlimited and free development spaces, and a dedicated support team committed to your business growth.
Learn more about how our Partner Program works.