Today’s business environment is competitive and fast moving. So, whether you are selling ice cream cones, dongles or t-shirts, there is another company fighting for the same customers. Partnership marketing is a practical option for many businesses that want to get their brand in front of customers. Consequently, it can be an essential marketing tool to help get a leg up on the competition. You can reach new market segments, gain new customers and boost business.
What Is Partnership Marketing?
Small businesses often struggle with marketing strategies. They may know what to do, but they may not have the resources needed. For the “one-man show,” putting time and money toward marketing efforts is challenging. Partner marketing means collaborating with one or more businesses to create a marketing strategy that shares resources. Therefore, this can make growing the company a cost-effective prospect.
Increase Value Proposition
Partnership marketing is about more than promotions that connect multiple brands. Strategic partnerships can impact everything from advertising to merchandising and product packaging. Collaboration at this level can also kickstart joint distribution and sales opportunities. As a result, co-marketing combines the power of organizations, increasing the value proposition:
- Deliver new content
- Engage new audiences
- Enhance customer experience
- Broaden sales avenues
- Gain shelf space
Promote the Benefits of Partnership Marketing
Working with one or more businesses helps promote your brand and brings several benefits. By pooling resources, you can double your marketing budget and talent. So, this makes them more cost-effective than traditional marketing.
By collaborating with other brands, you don’t need to build a customer base from scratch. It helps you reach people interested in your products and who have proven loyalty. Co-marketing with a partner with products and services in the same genre provides a base that fits your brand. Partnering helps each company get an audience that wants their products and services.
Find the Right Partners
If you want to increase sales in your niche and access new markets, finding the right partners is essential. A strong strategic partner is not a direct competitor but a complementary business. For example, Red Bull racing partnered with GoPro and sponsored a record-breaking balloon jump. The GoPro recorded the entire 24-mile descent. High adventure captured in stunning clarity thrilled and engaged consumers worldwide.
Start by listing your goals. What do you want to accomplish in a specific timeframe? Next, think about the types of businesses that help you get there. Are you a local landscaper? Partner with area home builders or renovators. Promote your brands through sponsorships at area festivals and events.
Above all, identify not only how you benefit, but what your partners could gain. Get unbiased feedback from neutral third parties. This helps ensure the benefits to both sides are tangible, not wishful thinking. Review the lists and approach the companies that stand to gain the most from partnering with you.
Choose the Type of Partnership Marketing
There are many types of co-marketing. Sponsorships are only one option for partnering with other organizations:
- Affiliate marketing partners promote your brand for monetary reward. The result is a direct alliance of brands that targets a mutual audience. Groupon is an example of this type.
- Develop content such as podcasts, articles and videos with partnerships. Each company shares it with its target audience. Link sharing and co-creation help align the companies.
- Bundle products and services with distribution partners. It can be in the form of discounts, coupons in-store demonstrations, giveaways or other types of promotions.
- Use retention marketing techniques for loyalty programs. They reward customers based on how often or how much they buy. Include partner discounts or products within your program and vice versa.
- Team up with a partner for online or offline shared stores. For example, Starbucks locations opening within grocery stores is an offline shared store. Online store share examples include businesses that have stores on Etsy.
- Partner with a company that can help offer additional products and services in your industry you otherwise wouldn’t be able to offer. This creates a no-hassle revenue stream, and products can often be white labeled to carry your brand.
- Depending on your goals and industry, consider aligning your brand with a charitable organization. Licensing and product placement are also options for organizations looking for strategic partners.
Develop a Plan
Take the time to build a strong foundation between marketing teams. Thorough planning and communication are integral to successful partnership marketing. This helps boost brand recognition scale for your business and create relationships. Consumers love authenticity. When brands combine for content, services and products that speak to them, everyone wins.
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