The benefits of partnership marketing

This is a guest post by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

Getting your products or services in front of potential customers is no easy task. By partnering with another brand, you can reach your target audiences faster whilst making your money go further. Innovate UK’s ‘Essential Business Tips for Partnership Marketing’ video offers some helpful insights to help get you started:

1. Target established businesses with access to your potential customers

First things first, you want to strategically target established businesses who already have access to your target audience. Be careful not to approach brands who are competing against your business, rather those who will compliment it.

The benefits of partnership marketing include:

  • Reaching a bigger and broader audience
  • Adding value to your consumer proposition
  • Enhancing your brand perception through tapping into each other’s brand values

Red Bull and Go Pro are a perfect example of a successful partnership. Red Bull’s insight into extreme sports and Go Pro’s point of view imaging technology are a marriage made in heaven! These brands complement each other’s energy and values and therefore the collective international reach for both brands were amplified.

2. Research your target market

In order to pick the right brand to partner with, be sure to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do your values align?
  • Are their services or products relevant to your audience?
  • What does your brand bring to theirs?

Think outside the box. The best collaborations aren’t always the most obvious ones. Through researching the content, products and services that your target audience consumes, you may find some surprising brand associations.

You may choose to contact a potential partner directly through social media, or you may decide to approach a member of their PR team. Whichever way you choose to make contact, remember to research their marketing activity and have a good idea of what the benefits of collaborating with them are before you get in touch.

3. Start with simple initiatives to kick-start your partnerships

Social media can be a great starting point when kicking off your marketing campaigns with your partner. You may decide to use Facebook and Twitter campaigns to assess interest, or share useful content through a series of blogs. Once a good relationship has been established, you and your partner can move onto joint marketing campaigns which are more ambitious.

When discussing opportunities with your partner, it is vital that you establish clear objectives. If you are an established brand, you may want to tap into the audience of a smaller, edgy company. Or, if you are a less well-known brand you may wish associate yourself with the audience of a more established brand who values tradition. Alternatively, Uber and Spotify are a good example of two brands with similar sized audiences, uniting in order to become more valuable to their existing customers whilst also strengthening their message.

4. Use data and insights to maximise benefits

You can gain valuable insights into your brand’s data through the right collaborations. Future marketing is more likely to be successful if you know about your brand’s performance, reach, reputation and audiences as you can feed this information into your development plan. The data from your joint campaigns can be measured against solo campaigns to find out which were the most successful.

You may find that neither of your objectives were met by your co-marketing campaign, in which case now is the time to understand why and discuss different approaches going forward to help maximise your benefits.

So, with the right collaboration and objectives you can save time and money whilst expanding your brand’s reach. It’s a no brainer!

If you’re interested in more business advice like this, subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel.

Additionally, you can follow @InnovateUK on Twitter here.

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