At GrowSumo, we define partnership marketing as a mutually beneficial marketing relationship between two organizations. Since this definition is fairly broad, it can include anything from co-producing webinars to actively marketing each other’s services, to rewards programs, and so much more. Today we’re going to look at exactly how to prepare for your first partner marketing program! Drawing up a solid plan is the real key here, as it is with any kind of marketing initiative. Let’s dig in!
To benefit from a strategic relationship at any level, it’s recommended that you and your partner not be direct competitors and you both must serve the same audiences, at least in part. What we have been learning is that building partnerships makes it easier to grow, which is always the main goal. When you think about it, the connection between partnerships and growth makes a lot of sense. If you’re brand new to the scene and want to really get your feet wet, check out this post. How to Build and Grow Your Partner Marketing Program in 2018 When you work harmoniously with another organization(s) that has access to a segment of your audience that you haven’t yet tapped into, then your circle of reach will in turn expand. You can also gain some credibility by association when you partner has gained high association with their audiences. These are all great reasons to give you the ammunition to get ready to prepare for your first partner marketing program.
To begin, determine your intended audience. It’s important to keep these specific recipients in mind, while gearing up your marketing messaging. You can also consider having multiple audience segments, which can allow for more customized, targeted messaging. At the same time, think about your potential partner’s audience, are they aligning? If this is a no, lay out the differences. What’s great about collaborating, is that your partner will have unique insights into their audience, and more specifically, the kind of messaging and delivery channels that are the most responsive. All of this needs to be taken into consideration when planning to target a new, combined audience.
With your audience set, its time to decide how you want to deliver the messaging. Since every partnership is different and unique, I won’t tell you what to put in your messaging, but just keep in mind that co-branding is important! Once you’ve got your stellar co-branded messages, you’ll need to decide where and how they will get out there! It’s smart to incorporate unique channels that your partner uses successfully already, and don’t forget about your own.
When you prepare for your first partnership program ,or any thereafter, the goals are going to look vastly different from general marketing goals for your company. It can be become a little complicated because have not one, but two or more distinct companies to keep in mind. We all know that each company is built differently, and has unique goals in mind.
The fun part about looking into how to prepare for your first partner marketing program is deciding how you will structure your partner reward program! Obviously you want to reward your partners with a job well done, and also encourage them to keep marketing on your behalf! We always recommend a tiered program! The great thing about a tiered program, is it gives you the flexibility to have different levels, and reward differently for each. You can find a great example here.
Even though building partner relationships and trust can take time, it’s well worth the effort. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to start growing you firm! Partner marketing is a growing sector of the marketing industry, and isn’t slowing down at any rate. Taking the leap to prepare and launch a partner marketing program is really the first step to a flourishing new level of growth.
Do not be fooled; advocates are a powerful channel that could help just about any company grow. How? It’s simple — relationships.
Building a partner program doesn't have to be difficult. GrowSumo's very own, Sean Harris and Luke Swanek talk to MaRS Discovery District about the benefits of Partner Programs.
Build a custom partner portal for your program, set rewards, and invite your partners
Rely on automated campaigns, experiment with challenges, and automate the best parts
Generate deep insights on how to optimize, segment, and scale your program