How to Utilise Partnership Marketing

As a startup it’s difficult to get the ball rolling. From audience reach to establishing a reputation, it’s tricky out there. Partnership marketing could hold the answer. With these essential tips from Innovate UK, you’ll have a head-start on the competition. Here’s how it’s done.


Target Established Businesses

Partnership marketing is the action of finding complementary but not competitive businesses to work with for marketing purposes. It’s a versatile strategy that can be used by global corporations or fresh-faced startups.

Partnership marketing is used to help:

  • Brands reach a larger audience
  • Add value to consumers
  • Boost a brand’s message

There are plenty of solid partnership marketing examples, Red Bull and GoPro are one of our favourites. This connection originated in the extreme sports sector. Red Bull are world renowned for their affiliation with extreme sports while GoPro are the go-to brand for POV cameras in this industry. It’s a match made in heaven.

Research Your Target Market

When it comes to finding your ideal partner, you need to research the market. The ideal brand will offer a product/service that appeals to your target audience. Additionally, you want to seek out a company that has similar values to your own. It’s also important to consider what you can offer a potential partner.

Once you’ve got an idea of who you’d like to partner with, it’s time to approach. This isn’t easy. If you approach in the wrong way, you could ruin your chances of partnering with a brand. Social media is often the best place to start. Follow the brand, like and share their posts. Get your company noticed and then open lines of communication.

Start Simple

When it comes to actually collaborating, it’s best to start simple and then later move onto bigger projects. Joint social media promotions, blog sharing or competitions are perfect ways to build the relationship.

It’s important to be honest with potential partners. If you’re up front about what you want to get out of the partnership, it’ll be easier to gauge success. There’s no shame in wanting to tap into a brand’s younger audience or vibe.

Don’t Forget the Analysis

You simply cannot overlook this. When you engage in any form of partnership marketing, it’s important to analyse the performance and compare this to your solo campaigns. Consider which metrics are important to you and how they’ve been affected. If you’re not seeing the performance you’d hoped for, an understanding of the data will allow you to ask why. This can seriously help with future marketing strategies.

If you’re interested in more startup tips like this, subscribe to Innovate UK’s YouTube channel here.

Additionally, you can follow @InnovateUK on Twitter here.

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