How Your Business Can Effectively Use Partnership Marketing For Audience Growth
This article is about how your business can effectively use partnership marketing for audience growth. The article was contributed by guest author Correy Faccini of Innovate UK.
Innovate UK is the operating name of the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency. It is a UK non-departmental public body operating at arm’s length from the Government reporting to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BIES).
If your business finds itself in an audience growth lull, you’re not alone. It can be a time consuming, costly and difficult time in a company’s lifetime. Don’t panic, there are plenty of hints and tips that can set you on your way to success.
One of our favourite strategies to recommend has to be Partnership Marketing. If done right, this can open the door to thousands of new customers in a very short space of time. Here’s how your business can effectively use partnership marketing for audience growth.
Target Businesses with Access to Your Customers
“Look outside your industry for examples of successful partnerships you can replicate.” – Ryan Leighton, CEO of Leightons Group.
Partnership marketing has a simple premise. It’s all about finding relevant brands to work with for promotional purposes. The intention of this is to open the door to another pool of target consumers. There is however a right and a wrong way to go about this.
Partnership marketing has a simple premise. It’s all about finding relevant brands to work with for promotional purposes. Partnership marketing is about finding people and/or businesses who have influence because they already have a relationship with a community, group or marketplace.
You should never target a competitive business. It sounds simple but some brands do fall into this trap. Instead, look for a business that complements your own. For example, if you manufacture bicycles, consider pairing up with a brand that produces bicycle safety gear – collaborations like this create a win-win scenario.
So why do companies go for this type of partnering strategy?
What are the benefits of partnership marketing?
- Partnership marketing allows both brands to reach a wider pool of target consumers;
- It adds value to your customers – recommending another relevant service;
- It enhances your perception – you can tap into the values of other brands;
- If you’re a startup, partnership marketing can help build trust and reputation.
It’s not just startups who can make the most of this strategy. A perfect example of brands getting this right has to be the team-up between Red Bull and GoPro. These two companies complement each other without any clash of interests.
Red Bull, renowned for their energy drinks, are major sponsors in the extreme sport sector. GoPro, on the other hand, sell point-of-view image technology that’s primarily utilised by those who partake in extreme sports.
Both companies share the same values and interests. This affiliation does go a little deeper than just marketing. The partnership includes an exchange in equity and large scale collaboration on product development.
Nicholas Woodman, founder and chief executive of GoPro explained, “Red Bull’s global scale and execution is something to be admired. This partnership is very strategic for GoPro. We share the save vision… to inspire the world to live a bigger life. While we’ve worked closely for many years, as official partners we’ll be able to more effectively help one another execute our shared vision and scale our respective businesses. GoPro and Red Bull, as a match, are as good as it gets.”
Research Your Target Market For the Best Matched Partnership
“If you are operating on a limited budget, partnerships should be the first thing on your marketing to-do list” – Xaver Matt, MD of Netleadz and angel investor.
You need to pair up with the right brand. If you get this wrong, it can hinder your own reputation. It’s important to look towards your target consumer when seeking an affiliate company.
What are the buying habits of your customers? What other products/services do they consume? Keep an open mind with this, buying habits can be surprising.
When you’ve come across a potential partner, ask yourself the following questions:
- How relevant is their product/service to your customers?
- What are their ethical values? Do they fall in line with your own?
- What can you offer them?
- What can they offer you?
When you’re ready to approach, study the company’s marketing activities. Come up with a few preliminary ideas as to how you can help each other. When it comes to actually approaching the company, social media is the best way to go. Follow the brand, like their posts and share their content. Engage in a few discussions. When you’ve built up rapport, it’s time to send a DM discussing the possibility of a collaboration.
With Partnership Marketing you Should Start-Off Simple
“Simple APIs are a great way to hook new partners and gain instant access to their audiences” – Nick Lyon, CEO of Kaptur Software.
There’s no point heading straight for big money campaigns before you know the ROI of a partnership. Consider beginning with social media or joint-blogging activities. A Twitter competition, referral discount scheme or content collaboration are great places to start.
Once you’ve established the relationship and performance, you can consider some more ambitious ideas.
When it comes to discussing ideas – it’s important to be honest and frank about what your objectives are. There’s no shame in discussing your desire of reaching a younger audience or achieving an edgier reputation. If you’re both up-front about what you want to get out of the team-up, you can work hard to satisfy both parties.
Data, Metrics and Analysis
“Partnering with Zoopla increased our audiences tenfold overnight, gaining us vital user data to refine our proposition” – Barry Bridger, CEO of Property Detective.
You should never overlook the need of analysing the data. You need to understand how your campaign is performing and what ROI it’s bringing. The more you understand about performance, the more successful a campaign is likely to be.
First, you must understand which metrics will define success. It could be traffic, conversions or even social media following. Once you understand which metrics are most important to you, you can begin to scrutinise the data.
If you’re not achieving what you were hoping for, an understanding of the data will allow you to question why. This will assist with the continuous improvement of your marketing strategy.
With the right collaboration, methodology, objectives and analysis, you’re sure to boost your company’s reach.
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Also, if you’d like to discuss partnership marketing on our business forum you can do this here – Business Forum Discussions.