In our previous post on Microsoft buying Skype, we predicted some sort of interoperability between Microsoft products and Skype. Well, Facebook is not owned by Microsoft, however, Microsoft has investment in it (about 1.6% stake), and Facebook’s latest action to make Skype operable inside and among its subscribers for video chatting has made this prediction come true! Skype found an attractive use (and probably its user base will shoot up now) by utilizing a platform like Facebook. Great combination, really.
Can we call this a perfect example of Symbiotic marketing? Symbiosis is a natural relationship well-known in biological science. It refers to mutually beneficial relationship or dependencies between two dissimilar organisms. Our bowels contain lots of beneficial bacteria that help us stay healthy, at the same time, they survive and thrive inside our system taking us as a host. Taking this relationship to businesses, symbiotic marketing was first defined by Adler in the 60’s where he defined it as a method where one manufacturer sells its finished product to another for resale under the second manufacturer’s label, where that manufacturer already has access to the market through a well-established distribution system or other strengths. I think, in this changing digital age, both of them can market in their own labels in the same platform, and still satisfy the concept of symbiotic marketing. This is a good strategy for a brand that has lower market share yet good image among current users. Overnight, we might see a dramatic growth of Skype just because it has found a new platform to be used.
We need to wait and see how much growth and profitability this symbiotic marketing will yield for Skype and Facebook.