Collaborative marketing can be productive and profitable in your B2B marketing arsenal – if…
To gain the benefits of positive brand association, new marketing and product ideas, expanded market reach, increased social media following, and more, you need the right partner. You need a B2B vendor whose brand message and solution offerings are compatible with yours, with whom you can have a smooth and productive relationship, and whose impeccable brand reputation will reflect positively on yours.
Which of your peers is the right fit for your collaborative marketing efforts?
Here are some factors to consider:
- Brand harmony - You and your potential brand partner may work in different industries, but if your brand messages come naturally together or your solutions complement each other, then collaboration makes sense. Think cloud migration and cloud data management.
- Comparable target markets - You don’t need to have the exact same audience, but if your brands target similar demographics (say, developer teams and project managers) or overlapping customer bases (such as CIOs and CTOs), then your collaboration is more likely to succeed.
- Compatible marketing goals - Every collaborative marketing effort should be a win-win for. If, for example, a mobile operator wants to boost revenue, it will be natural to partner with a company that provides mobile device security, which will give it a competitive edge. Meanwhile, the security company benefits by selling more of its software.
- Track record in your industry - Is your potential partner experienced in working with businesses in your industry? Additionally, have their past collaborative marketing partnerships been positive, long-term commitments?
- Past collaborative marketing achievements - One of the biggest benefits of collaborative marketing is knowledge and information-sharing with the goal of providing solutions to your customers’ biggest challenges. What is your potential partner’s past performance as far as helping their past partners innovate, improve, and grow?
- Available references - Testimonials and ratings are fine but are not enough. Talk to other B2B companies who’ve collaborated with your potential brand-partner about their experiences - and whether they’d recommend it - provides you with peace of mind.
How to find that perfect B2B collaborative marketing partner
Now that you’ve defined what you need in a collaborative marketing partner, here’s how to find them:
- Define your partnership objectives - Of course, every company aims for increased brand awareness. But what is your specific goal? More social media followers? More sign-ups to your email list or free trial? More traffic to your website? More and better leads? Determine specific objectives and make sure they’re aligned with your partner’s.
- Determine your strengths and weaknesses - If you lack expertise in client engagement, find a partner who is a social media maven and has successfully built a strong and active community. If you’re a whiz at SEO and developing high-performance websites, cancel out a potential partner’s weakness in these areas. The point is for a successful B2B partnership is to benefit both parties.
- Seek reputable and credible potential partners – Before anything else, do your due diligence to ensure your potential partner has no current or past issues – legal, financial, criminal, intellectual property, ownership, security, current or former clients, etc. – that could negatively impact your brand.
- Find out who your audience likes – Check your social media followers and see which other brands they have liked, followed, engaged with, or advocated for – and you just may discover other brands that have unexpectedly intersected with yours.
- Check out your peers and existing relationships – Do you have peers in related industries who are not direct competitors and whose work you admire? Do you already have existing, positive relationships with them? Do your audiences overlap? This should be a great source for collaborative marketing partners.
- Remember your clients – It isn’t all about you, it’s about solving client problems or meeting customers’ needs. Make sure your potential partner’s platforms appeal to your client base.
Don’t do it alone
If you're ready to plan and execute your B2B collaborative marketing campaign, talk to an agency who’s been in the trenches. It’ll not only help you find that perfect B2B brand-partner but also assist you in implementing joint marketing initiatives - from organizing assets and information to managing workflow to tracking and measuring results.