Choosing the right Marketing Partner(s) can be a daunting and difficult task. It's got a lot more to it than just highlighting the brand with the most users or customers to cross market your product too. It's a lot more than just calling up someone you once worked with who now works somewhere else and leveraging that contact to piece together a deal. Finally, it's got a lot more to it than watching what your competitors are doing and replicating their actions.
It's a Strategic Process
Choosing Marketing Partners is a strategic process and it can't be done without being sure of the sales and marketing objectives that you have for your business.
U>You can't choose a Marketing Partner(s) without effectively answering these two questions:
- What are you trying to achieve?
Are you looking to acquire new customers? Obtain some new content? Block a competitor? Retain existing customers? Build more brand awareness?
- What stage of business are you going through (growth, shift, decline, etc....) and what do you need help with the most?
Once you have those answers....Take a look around you....
Who are your suppliers? competitors? non-direct competitors who sell in your vertical or horizontal market?
Start to list them out.
Be on the lookout for brands that look like they may need some help and will benefit from the value proposition that you are going to offer them.
Look for 'partner friendly' organizations as they will be more likely to want to Partner with you.
Top 10 Things to Consider
Put some criteria together for what you are looking for in a Marketing Partner....
Here are the Top 10 things to consider:
1. Reputation (good or bad?)
2. Number of Customers they have (100,000 or 10,000,000?)
3. Marketing Vehicles (are they good at online marketing and can effectively get your message out?)
4. Vertical (do they need to be a travel or financial services company, for example?)
5. Target Audience (what customer profiles are you looking for?)
6. Competition (do they do what you do?...can you work with them?)
7. Size (are they too big for you or vice-versa, meaning that the Program will get ignored?)
8. Opportunity (is there a good size of opportunity available?)
9. News (have you seen a company recently announce something about their business that is relevant to you?)
10. Legal (is it legal to partner with such a company according to the laws of your industry?)
What do you look for when choosing a Marketing Partner?
Ron Kunitzky, an expert in strategic business affiliations and partnerships and founder of Geyser Marketing Group " the Partnership Marketing Firm, and has successfully brokered partnership marketing programs for companies as varied as Coastal Contacts, Dell Computer, NASDAQ, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.