Making Strategic Partnerships Work in the Marketing Industry
It’s no secret that strategic alliances and partnerships are crucial components of business development. By tapping into new demographics, industries, and product lines, strategic partnerships bring businesses more and more ways to grow — especially upon incorporating strategic marketing plans. There exist tactics and activities marketers employ to derive the highest value possible from every partnership.
Determine the Right Marketing Partnerships
Gain a clear understanding of a prospective partner’s resources and goals before moving forward with a formal partnership, as these inform the trajectory of any alliance down the road.
Establish a Marketing Plan
Establish marketing goals and subsequently break them down into deliverables and manageable activities. Benefits derived by member businesses must drive a continuous stream of marketing activities, allowing the strategic alliance to rise to full potential. These benefits may include:
Financial Gain: In the form of commission, revenue sharing, or multiple revenue streams
Increased Brand Awareness: Co-branded marketing materials and events.
Customer Base Growth: Cross-promotion and co-branded marketing drive customers from one partner to another.
Leverage a Partner’s Reach
Alliance marketing enables businesses to access brand new customers in segments they previously have not competed in. These opportunities increase potential marketing reach, and in turn, customers. When each business markets its new alliance to its customers, they are more likely to heed referrals and take advantage of discounts for the partner company’s products and services.
Short- vs. Long-Term Gains
A strategic alliance takes time to develop. Short-term gains typically do not justify the costs and risks associated with establishing a full-fledged partnership. Instead, a partnership will bring payback in value and revenue over a long period. While partners shouldn’t expect to see all of their goals fulfilled early on, they must hold each other accountable for dues, deliverables, and deadlines.
Without timely and accurate reporting, entities of the partnership will not be able to precisely measure successful outcomes of marketing initiatives or make informed future value projections. It is, therefore, essential to establish the “how” and “where” of reporting, and each partner should create a timeline for reporting results.
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