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What Is a Partner Ecosystem and Why Do You Need One?

Tarek El DeebAna Ilievska
Try Storyblok

Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

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. In this article, get the ecosystem definition, learn about ecosystem services, and check out some cool ecosystem examples.

Section titled The “Partner Ecosystem” concept explained The “Partner Ecosystem” concept explained

To give you an ecosystem definition, we dive into partnerships. 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.

Section titled Partner Ecosystem services & features Partner Ecosystem services & features

Section titled 1. Complementary service providers 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.

Storyblok’s CMS can be used for eCommerce projects. 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.

Quote from Alin Tanase, Technology Partner Manager

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.

Alin Tanase
Alin Tanase
Technology Partner Manager

Section titled 2. Defined mutual benefits 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.

Section titled 3. Collaboration 3. Collaboration

Members of a partner ecosystem and the host company must work together to achieve a common goal, as that’s the reason for partnering 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.

Section titled Types of Partner Ecosystems 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.

Section titled Solution Partner Ecosystem 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:

Section titled 1. Free promotions 1. Free promotions

We help you market your services through our partner listing and featured case studies that share project successes and the processes for achieving them.

Preview of Storyblok's Partner Case Studies

Preview of Storyblok's Partner Case Studies

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 which has links to their portfolio and a short form to contact them.

Preview of Storyblok's Solution Partners

Preview of Storyblok's Solution Partners

Section titled 2. Access to development resources 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 2022, we launched a 1.5 million dollar Partner Fund to support the growth and comarketing efforts of our certified agency partners.

Section titled 3. Revenue sharing 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 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 Partner Program Benefits

Storyblok's Partner Program Benefits

Section titled Technology Ecosystem Technology Ecosystem

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.”

Storyblok's Technology Ecosystem

Storyblok's Technology Ecosystem

As a Storyblok technology partner, you get:

Section titled 1. Increased market share 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.

Section titled 2. Profit from co-marketing initiatives 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.

Section titled 3. Free promotions 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.

Section titled What to consider when choosing a partner ecosystem 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:

  1. Know the type of ecosystem it is, and be sure you can offer value
  2. Understand who else is a part of the ecosystem
  3. 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.