Partnership marketing refers to a series of collaborative marketing approaches to introduce a brand to a new audience. It is a strategic collaboration between two parties that benefit from the partnership to reach their business goals.
Some of the best-known partnership marketing strategies include influencer marketing partnerships, which works best for brand awareness, and affiliate marketing partnerships, which works best for customer acquisition. Like every strategy, partnership marketing works great when having the right partners, clear expectations, and defined objectives.
How does partnership marketing work?
The theory is simple: by leveraging partners with existing relationships brands can gain exposure and access a larger, newer targeted audience of potential customers.
Partnership marketing can help with brand awareness, market positioning, or customer acquisition. It is an effective way to scale sales and improve bottom-line impact, with low risk and without spending big amounts of money.
Types of partnership marketing
The wide array of strategies under the partnership marketing umbrella means an opportunity for brands to find a specific one that covers their needs and helps them reach their objectives. The most important thing before reaching out to your partners is to have clear goals and realistic expectations of the partnership.
A performance-based marketing channel that connects brands and affiliates, also known as publishers, to reach and convert targeted audiences online.
A powerful strategy to build brand awareness with the help of online personalities with specialized knowledge or insights into a specific subject and their audience.
Sites offering cashback, points, or other types of rewards to a loyal member base to use recommended products, offering exposure to a large audience of consumers.
Distribution Partnership Marketing
Brands bundle up their products or services with other brands’ products or services, benefiting from reaching both parties’ distribution networks.
Similar to affiliate marketing and loyalty marketing, brands partner with people with an online presence, who will refer their audiences to the brand site in exchange for an incentive, reward, or commission.
Brands have their product placed and promoted in an organic way in content like blogs, videos, and social media posts.
Other types of partnership marketing strategies are product placements, co-brandings, licensing, and sponsorships.
Key considerations to start working with partnership marketing
With more than 430 million people using the internet per year in North America, it is essential to be present in as many channels as possible. The issue with this is that the more places’ brands are, the less control they have over the content, and this can bring serious consequences long-term—think compliance issues and regulations.
These are our recommendations to successfully implement partnership marketing in your growth plans:
Set clear goals for your brand and ensure that both sides are aligned with the expectations and outcomes—this will be a big part of the partnership’s foundation.
Look for partners with the right audiences
The point of building a partnership is gaining access to a new audience of potential customers. Make sure the partner you’re choosing is the right fit to make it work.
Think about your collective data
What both parties in a partnership want is access to a new database. Establish the relevant metrics and data you need from the leads you’ll get.
Know your value
Both partners should know what they’re bringing to the table—and the partnership—beforehand. Make sure you’re both creating something valuable for your audience.
Work with the right tracking and analytics technology
Acquiring new customers, learning about their journeys, and accessing and understanding data and analytics, are all things that require cutting-edge technology. Make sure you have the right tools and solutions to make the most of your partnership.