The Keys to Partnership Marketing

As marketers we stress over ensuring that we are maximizing our clients’ budget dollars. Well at least you should be. Of course each product, brand or service comes with their own set of goals and objectives and any programs you develop should be specially tailored to these needs.

When it comes to trial and awareness, partnerships are a great vehicle to draw in eyeballs and get your product into the hands of your target. Now there are endless ways to define a partnership. It can be an agreement with Munchies to gain access to their social star Matty Matheson, content development with Cool Dads Who Wear Speedos magazine or be a platinum sponsor of the Great American Dogs Under 7.5 Pounds Championship.

In any scenario you need to know what you are getting into and how you can milk the udder to the fullest:

  • Is the content exclusive to the partner? Sure you are going to benefit from having your brand exposed to a new audience but you should also ensure that the content being developed can be repurposed through you own channels.  The article in Men’s Journal that suggests 20 unique ways to use rubber cement would be great to post on your own rubber cement clients’ social pages.
  • Is there a limited window for how long you can repurpose content? Be sure to read the fine print on this one. Sometimes you’ll find that partners are gracious enough to allow you to re-use their content for your own purposes but later find that those rights expire after one month. What good is that? Try and secure at least at year’s worth of access.
  • “It would be great if we could…”  We have all been guilty of uttering these ominous words at some point but they are a necessary evil to get more out of deals. Partners almost always (oxymoron ding) have wiggle room in negotiations to throw in last-minute value adds which are better known as assets that others haven’t bought yet and now they are just sitting on inventory. The more you ask the more you may get. Ask nothing and get nothing.
  • Be Original. Sometimes an asset may not exist but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be created. Suggest a takeover of a site, brand the lounge at an outdoor amphitheater, force product placement into a show or require on-air talent to get a tattoo of your brand. Partners are often open to new and different ways of thinking. First it gets you to spend more and secondly, if you decide not to re-up your deal, they now have a new asset to sell. Win win!
  • Negotiate the hell out of it. Their first price and their last price are never their best price. Take their final dollar offer and look to add a few more pieces to sweeten the deal.

The next time a potential partner comes your way or if you are shopping around for a new and unique way to position your client, you’ll now have a serious upper hand! Or just call us.