Successful partnerships require consistent diligence on the part of all partners, especially from the partners’ marketing teams. For increasing customer awareness, driving brand development and gaining new sales, strategic partnership marketing plans will help every partnership create the highest value possible.This guide provides steps for creating a marketing plan that drive success in marketing partnerships or strategic alliances.
SetupOne of the first things you should do when setting up your marketing efforts for a partnership is negotiate your terms. Be sure to include what your company is open to, what your company is not open to and where “extras” might lie. Additionally, tentatively bring up timelines for launch and production needs - these will remain fluid, but it’s always good to start off with a tentative structure to revolve your discussions around.Then figure out your combined product/service and get a description to paper. What does the combined product look like? Is it a new product, offer or service? Is it an existing product that’s getting a facelift? Is anything getting co-branded? Now is the time to determine exactly what it is you’re marketing.Last, identify strategic opportunities for the partnership. Where can you capitalize on brand and audience enhancement? Where is there potential for increased email/blog/newsletter lists, etc… Take stock of your current resources and that of your partner, and identify the gamut of strategic opportunities you want to move forward with.
AudienceFirst you need to determine your intended audience. All marketing messaging will need to be geared towards these specific recipients. You might even want to consider having multiple audience segments, which will allow you to send more customized, targeted messaging.Additionally, take stock of your partner’s audience. Do they align with your own? If not, identify how they are different. Your partner will have unique insights into their audience and the type of messaging and delivery channels they respond to best. Put all of this into consideration when you determine how you want to approach a new, heterogeneous audience.
OutletsNow that you have determined your audience, it’s time to develop your messaging. For the purpose of this guide, I won’t tell you what to put in your messaging - that’s always unique to you and your partner. Just remember that co-branding matters!On to distribution. Once you have crafted your amazing co-branded messages, you’ll need to determine where they are distributed. Take advantage of unique channels that your partner uses, and work with your partner to get their messages out through your own channels. This can take the form of:
- Co-branded, single subject newsletter blasts
- Social media mentions, re-posts and announcements
- Co-authored press releases
- Unique events or specialized marketing initiatives
- General company news distribution
GoalsEstablishing a partnership’s marketing goals is unique from determining a marketing department’s or even a marketing project’s goals. Here it becomes more tricky as you have not one, but two or more distinct companies to consider, and specific goals and metrics may differ from company to company.Things to look out for:
- What is important to each company
- Each company’s typical metrics
- Finding a good combination of proper metrics that help you to gain a good understanding of the progress of your marketing initiatives