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7 Benefits of partnership marketing

February 7, 2021

Very few companies can afford to buy growth these days. Paying for keywords on Facebook or Google is getting more expensive every year. It can be too expensive for some smaller companies.  This is where partnership marketing can really help.

The benefits of partnership marketing are many. You can share resources, create a new customer base, and get your company's brand more exposure.

Let's have a look at 7 key benefits.

Gain access to other people’s audiences.

One of the greatest benefits of partnership marketing is getting access to the audience of another brand.  By partnering with another brand you effectively borrow some or all of their audience for the campaign.

When you partner with a company that has the audience you want to target, it is cheaper and easier to get access to that audience because they already have it.  Saves you having to build it from scratch using traditional methods that can take a long time.

It is more cost effective than most other forms of marketing

There are a number of reasons why partnership marketing is so cost effective.

When you bring two or more brands together you have access to the joint talent pool lessening the need of paying for outsourced services.  One organization may have an inhouse designer and the other might bring video editing skills to the party.

Good partners also bring a whole fresh set of ideas and experiences that can be a real lift to your marketing efforts.

Some examples of how a good brand collaboration can bring about substantial costs savings are:

  • A local hairdresser, cake maker and nail salon partnering for an ad in a wedding magazine, splitting the costs three ways.
  • A law firm and an accounting firm setting up an event to explain the new tax laws to local businesses.  They split the cost of the venue hire and promote the event to each other's email lists and social media for free.
  • Partnership marketing is particularly cost effective when you’re entering a new market.  Usually when entering a new market it costs a lot to build your brand awareness initially.  By partnering with another brand that is already trusted in that market you can bask in their halo and leverage their credibility.

You are adding value to your existing audience

Making your audience available to a partner isn’t just about the quid pro quo required to access their audience.  When you choose the right partners you genuinely add value to your existing audience.

Let’s say, as an example, that you sell products to digital nomads.  You decide to partner with an innovative InsureTech brand and introduce them to your audience through an email blast.

Introducing them to a partner that solves their unique challenges in new and innovative ways adds real value.  This will build more loyalty for your brand in the long run.

You get access to a bigger team

Whether you’re a bigger company or small nimble startup it’s almost always better to have more resources. If you are a really small business with only one person doing the marketing, collaborating with other brands can be a real game changer.

Firstly, you get out of your own echo chamber. Having more people involved in brainstorming a campaign can create powerful outcomes. 

The old saying that many hands make light work is very true when it comes to larger campaigns.  By partnering with other companies you really share the load and get more done.  

If you happen to create a partnership with a larger company you might get access to people with dedicated skills rather than the marketing generalist you may be at a smaller brand.

Whatever the partner company brings to the table you’ll almost always be able to achieve more than you could on your own.  Pull together three or four partners and you might be able to rival the campaigns of some of the world’s leading brands.

You might get access to useful or unique resources

All companies are built differently.  Different personalities, different histories and experiences, different locations.  Different ideas on where to invest their money.

Over the years some of the value partners have brought to a collaboration are things I would have never specifically gone looking for.  

I’ve partnered with businesses that had their own in-house video editing studio.  I’ve worked for a startup that had an inhouse movie studio with three separate sound stages.  Some partners provided large conference rooms, one had a screening room where we created amazing seminars and presentations.  

Others brought trailers that were great for selling products at outdoor events and yet another had a mobile billboard.  Access to ski-lodges or beach houses bring fond memories of some creative partnership activations.

Brand Trust

They say you can judge a person by the company they keep.  The same applies to a commercial brand.

Edward Thorndike, a psychologist in the 1920s, coined the term, “Halo Effect” which is the tendency for positive impressions of a person, brand or product in one area to positively influence one's perceptions in another .  

By choosing the right partner you can leverage this halo effect to lift the perception and value of your brand.

"Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. Poor distribution - not product - is the number one cause of failure.” - Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and investor.

Distribution enhancement

Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. Poor distribution - not product - is the number one cause of failure.” - Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder and investor. In other words, you can have the greatest product in the world but if you can’t get it in front of the right customers you will fail.  Partnerships can help a lot with distribution.

There are many ways partners can help with distribution but one of my favourites right now is shared locations.  Shared locations aren’t new but at the same time they haven’t always been mainstream.  

A shared location is where a partner provides an agreed area within their own space for the other partners brand.  A store within a store is the classic example of this but it isn’t the only way to share space.  

We’ve seen a mini grocery store with specialist products inside a restaurant.  An art gallery partnering with a cafe to display some of their artwork in front of hungry diners.  A more established small brand might have a regular tent at a farmers market and you might be able to negotiate setting up a small stand to display your products with them.

The ways of expanding your distribution via partnerships are endless.  Just get creative and ask.  All they can do is say no.

As marketing partnerships are becoming more popular we’re seeing them get more creative.  Check back regularly to see breakdowns, case studies and interviews of some of our favourite partnership examples.

Click here to see our epic list of partnership marketing examples