Today’s smart tip is an amazingly cost-effective way to spread the word about your small business. “Partnership Marketing” is a way of developing relationships with other companies that share similar lists of targeted customers.
How partnerships develop is malleable and can take many forms. No matter the nature of your partnership, a collaborative arrangement is a great way to do more with less. It can provide new opportunities for growth while preserving valuable capital and resources. You’ll have a greater presence in your traditional market plus your new alliance will open up opportunities with a broader range of customers.
Cross marketing is one way to partner with another local company. Perhaps you have a business cleaning windows. Joining with a carpet cleaner might double your impact. Together your businesses can offer a complete suite of cleaning services for home and office, while sharing new and existing clients and improving customer relationships. Cross marketing is a scenario in which everyone wins!
Sponsorship opportunities offer the possibility of partnering with a non-profit organization’s event, such as a 5K run or school fundraiser. Through these events you’ll gain greater exposure and brand recognition. The goodwill generated can also result in inclusion on preferred supplier lists or networking lists of patrons attending the event.
To begin partnership marketing, look at your client list. Is there someone who does business with your company that would make a lucrative and useful collaborator? Creating an alliance with a key customer may be a great way to solidify and grow a mutually advantageous relationship over the long term. Or, consider piggyback partnering with a company that has a particular strength in an area where you lack expertise.
Teaming allows both companies to leverage each other’s expertise while maintaining their own customers. If a contractual obligation becomes too large for one company to handle on its own, a reciprocal agreement creates opportunity to share the overflow business with the sister company. In this way, neither loses a client nor has to hire additional help. Alliances can add significant value to a business plan without increasing cost or overhead. It’s an intelligent way to extend your reach without limits.
The key to a successful partnership is finding a business that complements your own. When you’ve formed an effective team, you’ll get more marketing muscle for a lower price point and reach more prospective customers than you would on your own.
As with any business opportunity, learn about potential pitfalls before getting started to ensure you maximize your results.
Points to remember:
With a little planning, you’ll be reaping the benefits of partnership marketing – a tremendously powerful tool for small businesses everywhere!
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