Finding the right marketing partner for your business could be critical to your success. I’m not talking about obtaining a marketing agency to go after customers for you. I’m talking about finding a complementary business, that is not a competitor, that will allow you to market to their customers and vice versa.
The idea of having a partner that shares the risk in acquiring new customers is growing among companies who seek to increase their marketing gains while working with reduced marketing budgets.
A partnership with a friendly brand can bring about shared benefits with minimal efforts. Sometimes called co-marketing, these partnerships offer unique opportunities to expand brands into new markets, provide legitimacy and brand recognition options, and share promotional efforts.
The hardest part of co-marketing is finding quality partners to work with. Some of the partnering opportunities may not be clear to the untrained eye. You should hire an expert in the field, such as Brad Russell, an e-commerce expert, who can help you to navigate the process, make contacts, come up with ideas, and increase your customer acquisition. An expert can also assist with tracking of campaigns and monitoring the success of projects.
So, when these partnerships do work, what do they look like? Sometimes it is a large co-promotion, like Intel and computer manufacturers. But more often than not, it is two companies sharing customer databases, when customers have opted in for third party marketing. They can send coupons and special offers, create content jointly, combine products into packages for purchase, or work on a special one-off project together.
How else can partnerships help you?
Opening up your consumers to other brands may provide more validity to your own brand, depending on who you partner with. Plus, it allows both companies to expand their reach to consumers they may not otherwise reach.
Partnerships allow companies to save money with their advertising budgets because they can share the overall costs. They receive the same benefits of a full marketing project, but only have to pay half.
To start thinking about how you could create partners for your own business, consider the following:
What are areas you reach your customer where it would make sense to also include a partner’s presence? Could you offer space on e-mails, website advertising spots, with packages or on product labeling?
What databases do you have that would be ideal for third party offers? This type of data can be exceptionally valuable for partners.
Which brands can you identify that might be good partners? Do they share common customer demographics but don’t compete with your product or service? Make a list.
You can also survey some of your customers or have a focus group to see what other promotions they would like to see and then take that data to potential businesses for co-marketing opportunities. Companies will be impressed with the amount of thought you put into potential partnerships.
The options are virtually limitless once you start to think about creating effective co-marketing efforts. Find an expert to help you create profit-making partnerships with your preferred brands before your competitors do it first.