A fast way to grow your company is to expand your reach and one way to achieve that is through marketing partnerships. But if not set up right, could leave you on the short end of the stick, not getting as much out of it as you and your company are putting into it. So here are some tips to consider:
- Choose the right company
Do your research and select companies that your own customers can relate to. There should be some synergies between the two companies’ customer list and the needs they have as buyers. Think about challenges your current customer’s have that a marketing partnership may help alleviate, or about new markets you want to bring your product to.
- Know what you can offer
This is a partnership so what is in it for their customer? This is a very important question, what need will your product serve and what benefit will your product offer. Successful marketing partnerships fill in the gaps between each others offering. The quid pro quo should be very clear and not confusing at all to you, your customers, your partner or your partner’s customers.
- Mind your reputation.
Protect your brand at all cost! When partnering you want to make sure you are aware of your partner’s reputations and what people are saying about them – at all times. Once you align yourself, your reputation will be impacted by theirs so do your research, monitor your brand and theirs. In addition, monitor how your customers are being treated. Remember brand management is all about the small touch points. Are they delivering as you promised. Is the customer experience similar to your approach. Are they easy to do business with? Return products? Ask questions? Bottom line, your reputation is the biggest asset you have, manage it well.
- Give yourself an out
Everyone goes into these deals with the best intentions, but what if something goes wrong? Give yourself a way to walk away from the deal with the least amount of impact. When you create your agreements, in addition to noting who is doing what, when and how, remember to also include provisions that allow you to bail out gracefully should your or your customer’s expectations are not being met.