Making the Most of Partnership Marketing

Audience growth can be an issue for any new business. It not only costs time, money and effort but often offers little immediate reward. Partnership marketing could be the catalyst to jump-starting your brand’s audience growth. Innovate UK have put together a few essential tips to help you make the most of any partnership marketing initiatives.

Target Established Businesses

First of all, what actually is partnership marketing? It’s simple really, this is when a brand seeks out another like-minded company and engages in marketing activities. The main incentive for this is to open doors to a wider audience.

“Look outside your industry for examples of successful partnerships you can replicate” – Ryan Leighton, CEO, Leightons Group.

The best examples of partnership marketing include brands that offer complementary though not competitive services. For example, Red Bull and GoPro. Red Bull have their brand deeply engrained in the extreme sports community while GoPro is a product that’s regularly bought by members of this community. One’s a camera and the other is an energy drink, there’s no conflicts of interest but both can benefit from the other.

Research Your Target Market

Don’t just settle for any brand available, ensure your partnership is something valuable and effective to both parties. As with everything in business, it’s essential to do your research. When looking at a potential brand, be sure they:

  • Are relevant to your company
  • Share your ideals and ethics
  • Can benefit from your involvement

When it comes to actually approaching a company, it’s important to get things right first time. You usually only get one chance. Social media is one of the best places to start. Give your target brand a follow, like and share their posts. When you’ve got their attention it’s time to drop them a DM or email and enquire about a partnership. Alternatively if an agency handles their marketing, find out who it is and get in contact.

Start Simple

Social media is one of the best places to start with any collaboration. If you’re both seeing a return on your investment, then you can look towards the bigger and better projects. Try running a joint blog series or Twitter competition. This is also a great time for building up your relationship together.

When coming up with ideas for your partnership, it’s important to be up-front and honest. If you want to tap into the brand’s edgy style or younger audience, be truthful about this. This will make it easier to come up with an approach which pleases all parties.

Analyse Data and Insights

When you run any partnership marketing campaign, it’s important to have access to the data and analytics. The more you know about the performance, the better position you are in to move forwards and reach greater success.

Partnership Marketing Quotation from Barry Bridges, CEO of "Partnering with Zoopla increased our audiences tenfold overnight, gaining us vital user data to refine our proposition"

The first step is to agree which metrics you’ll use to assess success. This could be followers, click-throughs, conversions or subscriptions, etc. Once you’re aware of this, you can see how the partnership is benefiting your company. If your objectives haven’t been met, you can analyse why and alter your approach.

If you’re interested in finding more startup advice and tips like this, you can subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel here. Additionally, you can follow @InnovateUK on Twitter here.

For help with marketing and promoting your business, give us a call or drop us a line – we’d love to chat. You can follow us on Twitter at @MassMediaDesign.

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