Steve PeeleSteve Peele
February 7, 2018

The First Step to High-Impact Partnership Marketing

It goes without saying that the key to maximizing marketing efforts comes down to delivering the right content, to the right people (ie. being relevant). Historically, marketers deliver relevant content through a number of platforms and mixed marketing tactics, usually leveraging marketing automation systems to track user behavior, retargeting display ads to deliver hyper-relevant ads around the web and deploying account-based marketing initiatives to create high-engagement interactions. All of this is necessary to optimize and scale marketing efforts. The question is: what will maximize your partnership marketing efforts?

Hinge Marketing, one of the world’s leading research-based branding and marketing firms outlined how to create a partnership marketing plan to drive growth based on their “2017 High Growth Study – Research Study” (available for download). The outline highlights that “the strongest partnerships not only give you access to another firm’s customer base, they can benefit your audience, too.

The high-level tactics of high-impact partnership marketing include:

  1. Downloadable content/email marketing/blogging
  2. Speaking engagement/conferences/webinars
  3. Website/online advertisement.

These tactics become a lot more powerful in partnership. When it comes to, say, downloadable content/email marketing/blogging, Hinge explains that “email marketing and guest blog swaps are common in partnerships. For instance, you might agree to send an email to each others’ list every other month. Typically in these arrangements, firms don’t exchange lists with a partner; instead, each organization sends for the other.” Yes, this generates awareness on both sides, but it also provides additional opportunities, like offering gated white papers or other high-value assets to help expand each other’s database.

No matter the tactic, any high-impact partnership really comes down to great marketing: delivering highly relevant touch points (the right content, to the right people). The only way to understand the right content, however, is to first understand the audience.

So how can partnership help? It starts with identifying the shared audience (or not-yet-shared audience) between you and your partners.

If you understand…

  • Which of your customers (or users) ARE also customers of your partners
  • Which of your customers are NOT your partners’ customers
  • Which prospects of yours are ALREADY customers of your partner

…. you can deliver the right message, to the right people.

All that to say, the holy grail to any partnership is sharing a list. This is the first step to gaining the understanding necessary to deliver the kind of content that results in conversions.

Of course, you can’t just share a list—for obvious reasons (security, privacy, etc). But you can use a service (you know, like Switchlist) to compare audience overlap, privately. If two partners share lists via a totally secure platform, they can then access the shared contacts. No private information is divulged, but both companies have the understanding they need to influence the the right audience.

Better yet, both parties can easily identify quick-wins and opportunities to maximize the partnership—and ultimately drive revenue.

P.S.  We highly recommend downloading the Hinge Marketing High Growth Study to learn more about why partnership marketing is your greatest vehicle for growth… don’t take our word for it – read the study 😉