As we all know, the business world out there is getting more and more competitive literally every day. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling cars, or shirts, or foods, you will always have to face great competition, regardless of the industry you belong to. There will always be others in the scenario who will be trying their best to capture the same target customer segmentation as yours.
When the situation is this much complicated, there is actually a very easy and effective solution to it- partner marketing. If you are facing problems while making yourself visible in front of the customers, maybe it’s time to initiate a partner/partnership marketing program. That;s because, partner marketing can be very fruitful in case of making partnership with others and reaching new market segmentations, boosting business to a great extent and gaining new customers at the same time.
What is Partner Marketing?
Businesses, especially those which are not really big in size, might have the possibility to face challenging times while doing marketing campaigns, often it is seen that they know what to do to grow as a business but they still cannot act according to their planning because of the lack of resources.
Small businesses often have the risk of lagging behind and ultimately not being a success. The reason is they don’t have plenty of resources. To eradicate this problematic situation, partner marketing comes as a great rescue.
Partner marketing is done when a company all alone cannot handle or afford to maintain the marketing strategies and campaigns, and collaborate with other companies/businesses, so that together they can share the resources of one another and thus grow in a very cost-effective way.
Companies can be very much benefitted from partner marketing- no doubt in that. Not only can they promote complementary products to the like-minded consumers, they can also access new audiences, grow top-line revenues and build brand equity.
Types of Partner Marketing
There are at least 10 varieties of partner marketing that most companies who provide similar/complimentary products can engage in:
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is making relevant or useful content for the audience that they think is interesting and so feel the urge to be engaged in. There are many types of contents, of course, for instance, infographics, white papers, podcasts, videos, blog posts, webinars-these can be considered.
What companies can do is create engaging content in collaboration. Creative writers from the companies can join together and share their ideas/strategies to co-write blog posts and feature one another as well. They can also create videos or host webinars and thus involve the general mass and the customers so that they can know about the companies who are doing this partner marketing. Since there is going to be increased effort while making the contents, obviously it will have more potential to bring more positive outcomes and thus benefit all the parties.
When companies collaborate to make a product, we might consider it as an example of co-branding, which is really effective as a part of partner marketing by the way. However, it’s not like they would always have to create a product together, they can alter an existing product or a combined-type of product, so that even more additional value can be provided to the customers.
Don’t forget to ensure that all parties involved are actually participating in the process of co-branding. Apart from that, capture the moments of your partnership and how it is positively affecting the businesses and finally let the audience know about it. For that. You must be active in the social media platforms, you might have to send out emails, newsletters and some other hassles, or make a video as well featuring your co-operative activities in order to present them in front of the audience.
3. Distribution Partnership
If one of the partners in the partner marketing agrees to bundle the product or service of another partner into their own distribution channel or cross-market it, then they can target the agreed customer base and we call it a distribution partnership.
To go the extra mile here, you might want to think a bit out of the box and show some creativity. In this way it would be possible to bundle something different or new and be relevant in the scenario.
4. Affiliate Marketing
This marketing strategy will involve two parties, one advertiser and one publisher, advertisers are the ones who have a product ors service that they want to publish in a platform where customers will get to know it. And publishers are the ones who will do the job of publishing. Most of the time, it is seen that influencers and bloggers play this role of publishers.
Also, the publisher has the opportunity to earn in exchange each time they are successful to make a sale of the product/service. For example, we can consider a blogger who reviews a book and then write about it in his/her blog. In this way, the following audience of that blogger will get to know about the book and might be interested to buy it if the review can influence them to do so.
The publisher, by the way, will input the link to buy that book from Amazon or any other online bookshop in the blog, and each time there will be a purchase of that book using that particular link, the publisher will be rewarded by the advertiser of the book.
While doing affiliate marketing, it’s better to revise the terms and conditions between the parties involved so that there is no room for further complications.
We all know about it more or less, since it’s one of the oldest forms of marketing strategy. It primarily is based on advertisement focused activities. When parties get involved in sponsorship programs, they can be greatly benefitted from each other. The company who sponsors an event can build its reputation and gain increased recognition. The party who is sponsored, not only receives the monetary value to run the event but also gets considerations as a legitimate authority.
However, a company should not sponsor all types of events. Only those that are somehow relevant to your brand or the ones that actually go along with you should get sponsorship from you, otherwise, it’s not very smart of you to get yourself involved as a sponsor, you won’t receive any significant value or benefit from it.
6. Product Placement
It’s basically incorporating a brand or a company within a media channel in order to contribute to creating brand awareness for a particular product. We can observe this kind of product placement marketing tactics in TV and films.
When the display of the brand or the product is being made, it might be subtle or direct, depending on the necessity and the situation.
Licensing is nothing but when a company gives the authority to produce a product or offer service and then distribute to another company under the brand image of the first one. The license in exchange expects to receive an agreed upon payment, might be in the form of a sales royalty.
This kind of agreement might be limited to only using the logo of the brand, it can also be expanded as far as using brand image and other brand elements as well.
8. White Labeling
In the food industry, for example let’s consider a ketchup brand’s example. Most of the time it is seen that this brand, or other brands like this, do not really want to create a whole new recipe for making ketchup. They don’t need to go through the creation of a supply chain for it as well. The reason behind this situation is that there will always be other brands and companies that have already developed a recipe or a supply chain.
What companies will do is follow that particular recipe or the specific supply chain management system developed by a company already and then simply put their own label on it after making a contract.
White labeling is really important if you want to sell more products more quickly. If you had to go through the hassles of making everything from the scratch for your business, imagine how difficult that would be. White labeling makes it really easier to develop a business by following strategies already made by others.
9. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is quite trendy right now. Since people nowadays are tremendously impacted by some influencers, marketers can grab this opportunity to expand their business and increase their product/service reputation.
What happens in influencer marketing- companies make partnerships with the influencers. These influencers always have a follower demographic who are easy to encourage to buy a product or use a service, and that’s exactly what influencers do.
10. Loyalty Marketing
When companies and brands reward customers for frequently making purchases, and customers continue being loyal to those particular companies for this reward, it’s loyalty marketing. Companies basically give priority and serve specific customers for being loyal to them.
Partner Marketing: Selecting the Right Partners
While deciding with whom you are making partnership. There are so many parties out there, but you need to get that not all of them can be a perfect fit for you. There is no way you can make partnership with your direct competitors, so of course avoid it. Also, you have to be aware of the fact that your partner must be someone who targets the same audience as you.
Why Partner Marketing?
As already mentioned, partner marketing will surely contribute to lessening your work-burdens to a great extent. It will make your way of working whole lot easier, and your business operation will also be extremely effective and efficient.
By doing partner marketing, apart from your own customer, you can achieve the attention of other customers from other companies as well, it will be highly beneficial for both of the companies. Your brand reputation can be crafted tremendously once you partner with the best in the market.
Most of the time it is seen that those who are doing small business or don’t have access to a huge amount of resources, feel like they have to stop their journey. Well, to them, every problem has its own type of solution, if you yourself cannot pull it, maybe you should partner with someone like you, and this partner marketing will absolutely increase your chance of success.