Why Great Businesses Sell through Partnerships and Channels

July 28, 2015 Matt Hawes

You can never take your eye off the ball for grasping and manufacturing opportunities that will expose your product or service to more people, chances to show the benefits of what you offer to your current customers so you can retain them with loyalty, and all the while keeping an eye on the competition and staying on top of what the market is offering so your solution does not slip into the sub-par category.

When faced with this unrelenting demand to stay current and relevant to your target market, the difference between good businesses and great businesses very quickly becomes apparent.

Good businesses engage in what could be best understood as hand-to-hand combat. They deal one-on-one with the critical tasks of producing, advertising, distributing, quality maintenance, exposure , building credibility and servicing of sales. Great businesses, however, choose to do the same things rather differently. They employ “leverage” to getting to the same goals – and typically achieve that through strategic marketing partnerships.

Here’s how a marketing partnership is defined by BusinessKnowHow:

A marketing partnership involves two or more professionals, companies or salespeople who have common prospects, similar marketing needs, and possibly complementary services. These entities join forces for mutual marketing and sales, usually within a specific market sector or for specific prospects. This does not mean they lose their individual identity. More than likely, each will continue to market and sell outside the partnership.

Marketing activities may involve:

  • Creating joint marketing materials
  • Joint direct mail, e-mail or advertising campaigns
  • Joint sales calls
  • Referring of prospects
  • Possibly even combining services, talents and assets to create new services

A good-fit strategic partnership will identify a new industry segment and/or channel in which to gain distribution for what you currently offer or could possibly innovate to supply – all within a sales category in which the partners do not compete.

Forbes Magazine did a round-up of well-known strategic brand partnerships that succeeded and benefitted both partners exponentially and its clear to see that unlikely brands – even when operating within the same industry – can become great allies to gain more traction and provide better service to their clientele.

Brands spend significant cash to set up and benefit from strategic partnerships in order to reach new client bases. Adweek reports “According to industry tracker IEG Sponsorship Report, North American-based companies will spend $1.3 billion to sponsor music venues, festivals and tours [in 2014],”

Strategic partnerships help businesses:

  • Reach customers they couldn’t have before
  • Lower the cost of acquisition of said customers
  • Create a positive halo effect based on the brands involved, increasing credibility and awareness
Paternship.body image

Image Source: http://www.themetisfiles.com

An example of a well thought-out strategic partnership would be SoulCycle and Spotify. SoulCycle shares a musical kinship with Spotify. Its instructors design playlists for classes, some devoted to a particular artist such as Beyoncé or Missy Elliott. Since “workout” is one of the biggest categories on their playlists, Spotify in turn hosted a series of concerts at SXSW 2015, and recruited artists like Gorgon City to perform during the SoulCycle classes there. Great partnerships create a win-win-win for partner organizations and their patrons, customers, advocates, and fans.

Marketing partnerships are not, in any way, a replacement for regular and dedicated marketing and sales activities, and they are no panacea for a broken marketing or sales program. But creating channels to tap into new market segments without having to do the heavy lifting of market development and benefitting from an established brand in that segment makes for great business sense and boosts bottom-lines.

Click here to learn more about amazing strategic partnerships that AudienceView has created to benefit our client base and help you increase your return on investment – for time, money, and effort.

Our team will be happy to help you explore the partnerships that best benefit YOUR business, so drop us a line at partnerships@audienceview.com!


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