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Partnerships: A Primer

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A quick primer on marketing partnerships: what are the options? How do you implement them? How do you evaluate them?

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Partnerships: A Primer

  1. 1. Marketing Partnerships
  2. 2. LECTURE OUTLINE • What is a partnership? • Why partnerships? • Types of partnerships • Good partnerships, bad partnerships • Implementing partnerships • Measuring the impact of partnerships • Partnership choices at different stages of the PLC
  3. 3. WHY PARTNERSHIPS? • Greater reach and awareness • Add credibility to messaging • Gain broader distribution • Improve ROI on marketing spend • $$$ Synergies $$$
  4. 4. TYPES OF PARTNERSHIPS • Brand: co-branding, joint product development • Sponsorship: events, causes, research • Channel: traditional channel, cross-selling, promotions • Content: collateral, earned & paid media • Platform: technology, hardware infrastructure, software APIs, social media
  5. 5. TYPES OF PARTNERSHIPS: BRAND • Typically the most visible type of partnership • Both brands benefit from increased awareness and cross-segment appeal • May involve joint product development (especially common with food producers: this is called an ingredient partnership) • Celebrities are brands too!
  6. 6. TYPES OF PARTNERSHIPS: SPONSORSHIP Benefits of sponsorships: • extensive reach • improved customer sentiment Types of sponsorships: • events (sporting, media, and more) • cause (e.g. non-profit) • research (hackathons, grants, commissioned studies)
  7. 7. TYPES OF PARTNERSHIPS: CHANNEL • Paid: pay up-front fee to gain access to distribution • Revenue share: pay out % of sales to distribution partner (affiliate marketing, reseller partners) • Cross-selling: referral incentives, cross-promotional activities • Free: often occurs based on a symbiotic relationship between partners (i.e. sales increase when both products/ services are offered in tandem, or your product solves a pain point for your distribution partner)
  8. 8. TYPES OF PARTNERSHIPS: CONTENT • Content partnerships can be mutually beneficial to companies • Party contributing the content benefits from broader audience, while recipient gets quality content • Vogue/Flipboard partnership gaveVogue access to 100 million users vs.Vogue’s 3.3 million social media followers
  9. 9. TYPES OF PARTNERSHIPS: PLATFORM What is a platform? • A platform is any underlying tech infrastructure that a third party can build on for a different use case • Social media platforms, software APIs, iOS or Android app stores How do you take advantage of a platform? • Building on a high-growth platform increases odds of capturing some of that growth (e.g. Zynga – took advantage of growth in Facebook platform to draw FB users to casual games)
  10. 10. SOMETIMES…ALL OFTHE ABOVE Amazon Web Services Partner Programs include: • Co-branding • Channel sales agreements • Content marketing opportunities: downstream collateral and upstream content creation • Platform growth and stickiness
  11. 11. IMPLEMENTING PARTNERSHIPS Key considerations when implementing partnerships: • Set clear objectives and expectations (what is this expected to do for your organization?) • Clearly define your target customer and understand the audience/ customer base your partner is delivering (is it the right fit?) • Define key metrics to be measured during and post-campaign • Educate your partner (core brand values, sales collateral, etc.) • Evaluate partnership value to each party and quantify where possible
  12. 12. GOOD PARTNERSHIP! • Coherent partnership between two well-known food brands • Takes advantage of major brand recognition of both parties to encourage trial and crossover between brands • Resulted in over 1 million blizzards sold – new limited edition blizzard record for Dairy Queen
  13. 13. BAD PARTNERSHIP! • Unclear overlap or synergy between Blackberry brand image and Alicia Keys brand image • Lacked credibility – especially once Alicia Keys tweeted ‘sent from my iPhone’
  14. 14. MEASURINGTHE IMPACT OF PARTNERSHIPS What’s your goal? • Awareness • Lead generation • Change in customer sentiment • Conversion rate • More efficient marketing $ spend
  15. 15. IMPACT BY FUNNEL STAGE Questions to ask: • In which stage should we be seeing the benefit of this partnership? • Is this the right type of partnership for our marketing goals? • Branding partnerships might generate more awareness… • …while channel partnerships may generate more purchases
  16. 16. METRICS FOR MEASUREMENT Moving from the top to bottom of the funnel… • Media views • Brand awareness surveys • Partnership awareness surveys • Social media engagement • Change in customer sentiment (favorability, propensity to purchase, NPS) • Inbound leads • Sales to new customers (or trials) • Sales to current customer (or repeat purchases)
  17. 17. WHERE DOES IT ALL FIT? • Different types of partnerships are more feasible (and valuable) at different stages of the product life cycle • Successful implementation of partnership programs depends on company size, growth, and brand equity
  18. 18. PARTNERSHIPS ANDTHE PLC: LAUNCH STAGE • Developer APIs let you “partner” without a negotiated agreement and can create distribution opportunities (e.g. Zynga) • Do free work: creating content for a recognized brand expands reach at low (cash) cost • If your product/service is a non-core feature to a larger company’s product/ service, take advantage of channel opportunities Source: GreylockVC
  19. 19. PARTNERSHIPS ANDTHE PLC: GROWTH STAGE • Partnership choices are dependent on a company’s segmentation and targeting choices • Is the goal to broaden audience, or increase wallet share? • Niche products may lend themselves well to hyper-local, focused event sponsorships… • …while mass-market products and services may be better served by co-branding
  20. 20. PARTNERSHIPS ANDTHE PLC: MATURE STAGE • At maturity, goals begin to shift from market share growth to improvements in CLV • Increasing loyalty/repeat purchase rate is crucial – pursue partnerships that improve customer experience • Alternately, partner to expand or improve product/service options available to your customer… • …or to bring in new segments based on a content partner’s audience (Purina ad resulted in 57.8% brand lift!)
  21. 21. PARTNERSHIPS ANDTHE PLC: DECLINING STAGE • What can you do to monetize a declining business through partnerships? • Pursue licensing deals to generate income from brand goodwill without incremental marketing spend (harvesting strategy) • Reallocate marketing $ to brand-building, growth-stage products
  22. 22. CONCLUSION • Partnerships can be a cost-effective way to reach, influence, and distribute to customers beyond your own brand’s audience • No partnerships for the sake of partnerships! Define quantifiable goals and metrics to track during and after campaigns. • Determine what type of partnership is best for your company’s stage of the PLC

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