If you observe the world’s most influential companies, you will discover that they’ve all had significant help from their marketing partners to be successful. I am certain that you are familiar with the online marketplace eBay. The multinational e-commerce company did not get to where it is today without the aid of partnership marketing.
eBay needs their auctioneers (the public) to provide products and services for auction on their site. They also need distribution (the partners) to get people to visit their site and they need licensing opportunities with cause-related marketing programs to power their online auctions and allow them to leverage their platform in return.
There is one important lesson that we can learn from successful companies like eBay: you can’t do it all on your own. At some point, you are going to need the help of others.
What is partnership marketing? How is it different from co-branding?
Partnership marketing is also known as co-marketing. It is a smart collaboration of two or more organizations with the purpose of developing a mid-term or long-term marketing program designed to meet each of their respective business goals.
The need for partnership marketing exists when one organization can accomplish their goals more effectively be leveraging the complementary strengths of another organization pursuing a like customer base. Partnership marketing can contribute to increase brand awareness, distribute products, acquire more customers and fund programs.
Most people confuse co-marketing with co-branding, but the two are entirely different. Just like partnership marketing, influential companies also frequently involve in co-branding. For example, Nike partnered up with Apple to give their customers the ultimate work-out and music experience. Hershey’s worked with Betty Crocker to create the chocolateiest brownie ever. These companies combined their products together to create an even more valuable product. Such is the beauty of co-branding.
Partnership marketing, on the other hand, is slightly different. It is an opportunity for two brands to work together on promotional efforts. In a co-marketing partnership, both companies promote a piece of content or a product, and share results of that promotion with each other.
The advantages of partnership marketing
Why would any brand take part in co-marketing? What can partnership marketing offer YOUR business? First of all, partnership marketing increases your marketing efforts. It doubles them up! Think about all the benefits you get from promoting a piece of content or a new product. Now, think about all the benefits that you would get if two companies promoted it. Additionally, partnership marketing allows you to reach out to a brand new audience, one you may not have been able to connect and engage with on your own.
Here is a simple explanation to show how partnership marketing can bolster your business to greater heights. For a moment, let us imagine that you are a hypnotherapist specializing in smoking cessation and practicing in the Boston area. You often create guided meditations and promote them to people online in the hopes that they will start following you on social media and eventually reach out to you to avail of your services. You know of another hypnotherapist, also practicing in Boston, who specializes in another area. Let us say he or she specializes in addressing weight issues. You think it would be interesting if you made a promotional video together that talks about the benefits of hypnotherapy. Both of you promote this video on your channels, both of which have different audiences. After, you notice a bump in your social reach because a whole new audience has gained access to your channel from the video and its promotion from your co-marketing partner. Likewise, that partner also enjoys the same success.
Partnership marketing as a core strategy
The reality is, if you look around you and take a deeper look at your favorite brands and companies, you will see that for most of them, partnership marketing is at the heart of their business strategy. Co-marketing is not limited to multi-national companies. Humble businesses, most especially, can use it to thrive and grow.
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