Done well, strategic marketing partnerships can really stretch your budget and grow your business, but you need to make sure you’re maximising your partnerships. Consider these tips to make sure you stay on top of the game.
Ensure you’re a natural fit. If the partnership doesn’t make sense, it won’t work. Remember, you should have similar customers but not have competing products. For example, a yoga studio could partner with a health food store or the organic juice bar down the street. A coffee shop may consider partnering with a chocolate and biscuit store nearby.
Enhance each other’s credibility. Strength in numbers can carry a lot of weight, particularly for very small businesses. Explore ways that you can come together with your partnerships in promoting each other or your area of business. For example, a handful of small companies could jointly produce a quarterly joint newsletter and mail it to all their clients. Or you could host, sponsor or promote an event together. There are endless possibilities but such activities could build your credibility, client base and not to mention, your network!
Be proactive. If you see opportunity with someone in your network to establish a partnership, or you think you can do more with an existing partnership, be proactive and initiate the first step. Make sure you have a deep understanding of each or your partnerships’ marketing objectives from the start and if something changes within your own marketing plan, don’t forget to go over the changes with your partner.
Educate staff about the importance of your strategic sponsorships and cross-promotions. You may have a well-established partnership but if each of your staff aren’t aware or doing their part in promoting the promotions, you’re not maximising the partnership.
Stay abreast of marketing priorities. Make it a regular habit to ask your strategic partnerships to identify their top marketing priorities for the upcoming weeks, months or year. Then use the feedback to evaluate existing and explore additional cross-promotion opportunities that you can create together.