4 tips for finding a marketing partner

Limited resources can be stretched farther when organizations are willing to collaborate. Here are some important considerations for anyone looking to team up.


Marketers don’t have to go it alone to find success.

Partnering with another business and combining your marketing efforts is an inexpensive way to elevate your brand identity, increase your exposure and reach new potential customers.

A great way to do this is to find a partnership that isn’t a competitor, but still operates in the same industry. The two organizations can then cross-promote one another to help each other accomplish their business goals. As an example, a real estate agent could partner with a local furniture boutique. The agent might offer a discount to the store to all of his or her clients, and the store could put the agent’s flyers at their checkout.

Marketing partnerships come in many forms, but they offer a way to get your message out to more of your audience. You might create content, host an event or do a giveaway together.

Here are four tips to help you create great marketing partnerships:

1. Choose companies in your industry.

Consider your network. You might already know a few business owners or local companies in your area. If you’re unsure about where to start, you can join a business networking group to meet like-minded individuals. Try looking on LinkedIn or Meetup if you’re having trouble finding a potential partner.

It’s essential to identify companies that will appeal to your customers, but you must avoid a direct competitor. Approach businesses that share the same audience and business goals and work in the same industry.

2. Get to know your partner.

You’ll want to make sure the business you choose is a trustworthy and credible partner. Research your potential ally before reaching out. Check out online reviews, testimonials, and social profiles to see what their customers have to say. Observe how they interact with their audience.

Do you want to co-create videos? Make sure your potential partner has an online presence. Also, look to see if they’ve partnered with other businesses in the past, and note the results.

When you’re ready to contact a prospective partner, shoot them an email detailing how you can help one another. If they’re open to a partnership, it’s a good idea to schedule a preliminary call or set up a meeting, where you’ll also be able to gauge their excitement level and how well you might work together.

Consider how the conversation flows, whether they ask great questions, and if you share the same goals. Don’t commit to a partnership until all your questions are satisfactorily answered.

3. Let your potential partner know how they’ll benefit.

Before pitching a marketing partnership to a specific business, identify the value it will provide. Consider your prospective partner’s pain points and how you can help them. Think about how you can benefit from the relationship and how you can collaborate to fill in each other’s gaps.

It’s a good idea to try building a relationship with a potential partner organization before floating the idea of a collaboration. Start by interacting on social media or reposting their content occasionally. Putting yourself on their radar can help introduce them to your organization before you contact them.

Prepare a specific plan that outlines how you would like to use the partnership. Let them know what you can offer their business and how they’ll benefit. Communicating benefits clearly ensures both parties are on the same page. If your potential partner is skeptical, explain the benefit in numbers and discuss how you can increase their sales.

4. Agree on defined roles and expectations.

Be sure to set clear expectations ahead of time. Both businesses should be putting in equal effort, resulting in similar benefits. Align campaign goals and determine deliverables as well as a timeframe for them. For example, if a real estate agent is partnering with a lending company to guest blog on their website, both parties should agree on the topic and set a timeline for completing the article. It’s best to discuss all the details upfront to avoid any misunderstandings.

Both businesses should consider signing a written contract for the partnership to ensure everyone is doing their part. Whether you are guest blogging, sending emails, or offering a discount, get all the details in writing. If your partner fails to uphold their end of the contract, don’t be afraid to terminate the partnership and walk away.

It’s a good idea to schedule regular check-ins with your partner. You can determine how the partnership is doing, plan future campaigns, and create new goals together.

Developing a successful marketing partnership requires some effort. Businesses must find the right partner, approach them carefully, forge a relationship and create a plan that benefits both parties. Although a marketing partnership may sound ambitious, there’s a tremendous payoff.

Partnering with a company or individual to promote one another’s business can boost your resources and help you reach new heights.

Adrian Fisher is the founder and CEO of PropertySimple, a real estate technology software company.

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One Response to “4 tips for finding a marketing partner”

    Ford Kanzler says:

    Valuable ideas! Agree with all the above. Joint marketing can, if done effectively, notably boost both organizations’ credibility, especially if the joint efforts are not product/service promotions but are aimed at delivering market or customer information value.
    Companies of varying sizes can work together. In many cases large organizations can benefit from working with smaller partners, as well as the opposite.
    This article demonstrates some examples from the tech sector: http://www.businessmarketinginstitute.com/tmn092209.html
    Once you’ve found a prospective partner, I’d add:
    – Attempt to understand the pace at which your marketing partner is willing/able to execute a program or individual tactics. They may be ready to go as fast as you are, or not. Be clear about the execution timeline, over communicate and don’t let the partner lag behind as deadlines approach..
    – Get high-level buy-in. Ask the person who can say “Yes.” Don’t attempt pitching the idea to those who aren’t in the driver’s seat. Try establishing a champion within your partner’s organization who will carry the idea to the final approval level.
    – Pick a relatively simple, easy-to-execute tactic to start rather than attempting to launch a joint campaign. (crawl, walk, run) Prospective examples (As a PR pro I recommend):
    – Joint speaking engagements
    – Joint events
    – Co-authored contributed articles or self-published content
    – Joint media briefings – (Make sure the content is truly fresh and valuable)
    – Joint trade event participation, e.g. booth sharing
    – Joint sponsorships
    There are innumerable others depending on the partnership, resources, personalities and market sector.

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