How Unbundling & Rise of Digital Communities will impact B2B Growth

Feb 4, 2021 5:18:40 PM
Author: Kieran Flanagan

In this episode of the GrowthTLDR, we talk about how the unbundling of platforms like Craigslist, Reddit, and LinkedIn presents opportunities for digital communities to better serve their audience's needs.

We go through the famous example of Craigslist and how its unbundling resulted in a series of billion-dollar startups. We give examples of how the same thing is happening to Reddit and LinkedIn.

But what does this mean for B2B? We go through how you should think about unbundling and the rise in digital communities' related to your companies' growth. We give examples of when you should consider starting a digital community and its benefits.

Happy Growing

What you'll l in this episode?

1. The Great Unbundling and what it means for digital communities

All platforms eventually grow to the point where they have to serve the needs of a broad audience. When that happens, they become too big to meet the needs of every audience who uses that platform.

It presents an opportunity for startups to build vertical platforms and digital communities to serve the needs of a specific group of people.

Craigslist is an example of a platform that's been unbundled, spawning several billion-dollar startups that serve niche segments of their platform.

Craigslist unbundled

Source: A16z

Reddit is another excellent example of a platform that presents multiple opportunities for startups to create products and services for the many audiences who occupy their thousands of subreddits.

To get an idea of the most popular subreddits, you can view the fastest growing by daily and weekly numbers here.

Another platform that presents opportunities for unbundling is LinkedIn, with companies like Hired (engineering), RigUp (Oil), Qwick (hospitality) servicing specific niche segments of LinkedIn's audience.

Listen to the full episode to hear us discuss all things unbundling.

2. What does unbundling and digital communities mean for B2B growth?

On the GrowthTLDR, we've talked previously about the evolution of B2B marketing strategies, with much of the focus moving from being decision-maker centric, to decision-maker plus end users.

We've seen this happen for both content and product-led growth strategies.

What role do digital communities play in this bottoms-up revolution? Should B2B businesses consider building digital communities as part of their growth strategy?

Should B2B brands invest in digital communities?

The question brands need to ask themselves is, do their customers have a unique problem they're emotionally invested in? Can they help with their shared passion and creating a community around it?

For example:

a. Indiehackers -> their shared passion is building a bootstrap company

b. Bigger pockets -> their shared passion is to invest in real estate

c. Shopify -> their shared passion is growing an online business

d. Reforge -> their shared passion is understanding how to do growth 

Most B2B companies only invest in a community to solve customer support issues. They're great for support and helping customers solve problems. But, B2B brands can get more creative with how they think about digital communities.

Creating a community around a shared passion their customers are emotionally invested in can have several benefits. We cover three:

- User-generated content

- Network effects

-Making your media more interactive

If the above sounds interesting, make sure you listen to the podcast and subscribe; we get into lots more detail.

Topics: GrowthTLDR, The One Thing, Community

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