Strategic Partnerships and Alliances
Nicholas Dean, Director of Strategic Partnerships and
Alliances, Corporate Rewards
• Nicholas Dean, Director of SPA at award-winning incentive
recognition and reward, motivation and events agency Corporate
Rewards, presents how strategic partnerships and alliances can make
all the difference.
Strategic Partnerships and Alliances (SPA)
• Clients are increasingly demanding.
• Agencies are expected to provide everything:
Setting the Scene
• Strategic Partnerships and Alliances (SPA) can make all the
• Identify like-minded agencies that differ from, yet complement your
• Build a partnership that intertwines your services and extends your
portfolios - giving you multi-channel expertise.
• Take advantage of the pool of industry knowledge already out there.
• Creating new service divisions can be costly, time-consuming and, if
done badly, ineffective.
• Partnerships add value to clients by providing a total solution in a
• RFPs including a reward and recognition element demonstrate this
benefit, as many agencies could not respond independently.
• Collaboration is the name of the game.
• Both parties need to:
– have the same end in sight
– be willing to compromise
– work towards mutual rewards, rather than thinking of their own
individual business only
• Working with a partner can:
– significantly broaden your service offering
– provide scope to work with a wider range of clients
– give your existing clients an improved and more varied service
– provide your business with an additional revenue stream
• A strategic partnership or alliance can give your business a mighty
• But it must be done well!
• Following a few simple, golden rules can help to ensure that your first
steps down this road are in the right direction…
Five Top Tips
• Partnering with another business gives them access to your clients,
and you access to theirs.
• This is a real leap of faith and trust is implicit in the arrangement.
• The two-way set-up helps to reassure both parties.
• Like-mindedness is vital.
• Choose a partner who shares your core values and work ethic.
• Check that processes and policies tie in, such as ISO9001. Easy to
overlook, but potentially tricky down the line.
• The personality fit has to be right, not just for day to day interaction,
but for clients too.
• Clients buy in to agency personality as much as service; this needs to
match for a happy ending!
• Any partnership or alliance must be a two-way deal.
• No one party should provide the lion’s share.
• A disproportionate partnership is destined for resentment and a
breakdown of the relationship.
• This is particularly true of financial arrangements.
• A balanced framework builds trust, and confidence in referring your
partner directly to clients.
• Managing expectations is incredibly important.
• Both parties need to know exactly where they stand, how much they
need to put in, and exactly what they are set to gain.
• Teamwork requires transparency, with realistic expectations agreed
from the beginning.
• This makes the end goal more achievable and more satisfying, as
both parties know their roles and requirements to get there together.
4) Clear Expectations
• This is another area that requires aligned attitudes and a balanced
• Frequent contact between partners is vital, without going overboard.
• Neither party should micromanage the other, but both should expect
to be kept up to date.
• Regular updates keep things moving and provide information to filter
through to clients.
• Putting discussions into practise facilitates synchronicity and proves
that the partnership is working.
5) Two-way Communication
• Considered and carefully set up Strategic Partnerships and Alliances
will improve services to your end-users and benefit your business.
• For you the perks include:
– additional revenue streams
– improved service offerings without financial investment
– increased pitch-winning opportunities
– stronger client relationships
• For your clients:
– deployment is quick
– delivery times are shortened
– more services and expertise are provided by a single source
– management time is simplified and reduced.
• It’s a positive experience all round.
Take your business to the SPA
Connect with corporate-rewards-uk
Call us 0370 405 2020
Let’s start the conversation
Find out more
Call us 0370 405 2020
8 The Courtyard, Timothy’s Bridge Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. CV37 9NP
email us firstname.lastname@example.org