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How To Build A Successful Platform Strategy For Equipment OEMs and Dealers

A platform strategy enables an organization to build an ecosystem around its products and services to capture additional value.
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What Is A Platform?

A platform is a type of business model that refers to a multi-sided market. It is an online environment that creates value by connecting multiple groups of customers and stakeholders who can be creators, enablers, or consumers (or a combination thereof). 

Platform businesses are built on trust. Users must trust that the platform will remain accessible and dependable and that the other users on the platform can be trusted.

The three key components of a platform business are:

  • The Core Product or Service: This is the primary value proposition that drives users to the platform. 
  • The Ecosystem: This is the set of users, partners, and developers who interact with the platform and contribute to its success. 

The Value Creation Function: This is the “glue” that holds the ecosystem together, enabling each member to capture value from their interactions with other members.

Why Do Equipment OEMs And Dealers Need One?

Imagine a world where equipment OEMs and dealers had a single platform that connected them seamlessly with customers, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders. This would give them access to valuable data about customer needs and preferences, allowing them to better tailor their products for the market. It would also facilitate collaboration among suppliers, helping them to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. It could also serve as a digital marketplace for new business opportunities.

Here are three main reasons why equipment OEMs and dealers should consider building a platform for their business:

  • Ease of access and evolution
  • Uniformity of experiences and tools
  • Reduced implementation time and increased scalability
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Ease Of Access And Evolution

A platform gives equipment OEMs and dealers a single point of access to their ecosystem, which simplifies interaction and collaboration. In addition, the platform can evolve over time to meet the changing needs of the ecosystem.

Uniformity Of Experiences And Tools

By providing a common set of experiences and tools for all members of the ecosystem, a platform can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and using the same terminology. This can reduce confusion and misunderstanding, making it easier for everyone to work together effectively.

Reduced Implementation Time And Increased Scalability

A platform-based approach can help to reduce implementation time and costs by allowing equipment OEMs and dealers to leverage the existing infrastructure and expertise of the platform provider. In addition, a platform can be easily scaled to support a larger number of users as the ecosystem grows.

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What Should Be An Ideal Platform Strategy For OEMs And Dealers?

A successful platform strategy can help equipment OEMs and dealers to achieve these benefits by facilitating the development of an ecosystem that creates greater value for all participants in the value chain. Ultimately, this can help companies to capture more revenue from each sale while ensuring long-term competitiveness in the market.

If you’re an equipment OEM or dealer looking to develop a platform strategy, there are five key considerations to keep in mind. These include:

1. Understanding Your Core Product or Service

The first step is to identify your core product or service. What value are you offering to customers that they can’t find elsewhere? This could be anything from a unique feature to a competitive pricing model. Once you’ve identified your core offering, you can begin to think about how you can use it as the foundation for a platform business.

2. Identifying Your Target Market

The next step is to identify your target market. Who are your ideal customers? What needs do they have that your products or services can address? When you have a clear understanding of your target market, you can begin to think about how you can use your platform to reach them.

3. Developing Your Ecosystem

Once you’ve identified your target market, the next step is to develop your ecosystem. This includes finding and onboarding partners who can help you to reach your target market, as well as developing the infrastructure that will enable users to interact with each other seamlessly.

4. Facilitating Value Creation

The final step is to facilitate value creation. This involves creating a system that allows users to exchange value with each other. This could be anything from a points-based rewards system to a digital marketplace for buying and selling products and services.

5. Launching Your Platform

Once you’ve developed your platform strategy, the next step is to launch it to your target market. This will involve a mix of marketing and outreach efforts, as well as continuous refinement based on user feedback.

If you’re an equipment OEM or dealer looking to develop a platform strategy that can help you to thrive in the digital economy, follow these key considerations and take the time to build a robust, scalable ecosystem. By doing so, you can create real value for your customers and stakeholders and position yourself for long-term success in the rapidly changing world of equipment manufacturing and sales.

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The Three Types Of Platforms – Closed, Open, And Hybrid

OEMs and dealers have a few different options when it comes to platform types. The three main types are closed open, and hybrid.

Closed

Closed platforms are owned and operated by a single company. Apple’s App Store is an example of a closed platform. Closed platforms offer more control to the platform owner, but they can also be less flexible and may limit the ability of users to interact with each other.

Open

Open platforms are owned and operated by multiple companies. Android is an example of an open platform. Open platforms offer more flexibility to users, but they can also be less stable and may be more difficult to manage.

Hybrid

Hybrid platforms are a mix of both closed and open elements. Facebook is an example of a hybrid platform. Hybrid platforms offer the best of both worlds, with more flexibility and stability than a pure closed or open platform.

Which type of platform is right for your equipment OEM or dealer business will depend on your specific goals and needs. Consider the pros and cons of each type carefully before making a decision. Ultimately, no single platform type will be ideal in all situations – it’s important to choose the option that best aligns with your priorities and capabilities.​

Regardless of which platform type you choose, focus on creating value for your customers first and foremost. This will help ensure that your platform remains successful over time. And remember to continue refining your strategy as needed based on user feedback and changes in the market landscape – this will help keep you ahead of the competition at all times.

Marketing And Promoting Your Platform

Once your platform is up and running, it’s important to focus on marketing and promoting it to build a user base and sustain long-term success. Some key marketing and promotion tactics to consider include social media outreach, paid advertising campaigns, content creation, influencer marketing, email marketing, SEO optimization, event sponsorships, and more.

Of course, the key to effective marketing is knowing your target market inside out. As you develop your promotional strategy, take the time to understand who will be using your platform and what their needs are. Then tailor your efforts accordingly to reach these users effectively.

In conclusion, launching your platform is just the first step in creating long-term success in the digital economy. To be successful, it’s important to invest in marketing and outreach efforts that focus on building a user base and providing value to your customers. And remember, no single platform type will be ideal in all situations – it’s important to choose the option that best aligns with your priorities and capabilities.

At EquipmentFX, we can help you understand and meet your marketing goals with our proprietary A3 (Assess, Align, Activate) approach. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build a thriving platform that drives value for your business and customers.​

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