Defining and Aligning Your Marketing Partnerships With Your Company's Values
Creating effective marketing partnerships with other companies or organizations is a great way to benefit both you and the partner, serving both businesses or brands in an equal fashion and allowing you to work together to meet specific goals. You can combine intelligence, campaigns, advertisements, and other ideas to achieve profitability.
We are all aware of the idea that "two heads are better than one." The problem that arises here is - how do you obtain a partnership that won't fail?
This can become a potential problem when you do not strategically partner with a company or person that sees your same vision, and therefore, it doesn't hold true to the same mission or values that your company does.
Good marketing partnerships should stem from shared company values. Collaborating to combine and leverage resources, expertise, and shared networking, though a smart tactic, has to be a well-thought-out process as well. In other words, just because a company in your industry seems successful and may want to seek out a partnership, there are more in-depth specifics that need to be looked at before committing.
Here are some ways you can achieve preemptively define your partnerships to align with your company vision and values, which ultimately services your customer and leads to long-term success.
YOUR BUSINESS GOES BEYOND THE BRAND
Building a company and promoting your services or products to your ideal audience is challenging in itself already. Sometimes, forming an alliance with a similar business can be a smart move and a strong partnership since both companies' end goals will be similar. This is a strategy you could consider starting with.
Having a similar connection is important because this also should tie into the values while implementing different marketing strategies.
The marketing tactics and campaigns can all work together since the ideal client that you both will market to will be the same. This also makes it easier when planning new launches, advertising, sharing insights for finding new prospects, and allowing for shared networking and growth opportunities since both companies will follow a parallel business path.
Selecting a partner based on those similarities is important and one that should allow your partnership will endure with that shared vision. But - both partners need to be on the same page with other aspects of the business as well.
There are many questions and propositions within Marketing that should be developed prior to the partnership, such as rooting your business brands - be sure you know all of the "w's" such as the 'what' your product or service is, 'how' it helps, and 'why' it is necessary for your customers. In addition, collaborative advertising for wider reach needs to be planned in advance and in sync with the brand value to see its effectiveness down the lane. Make sure that these roots are clearly shown within the partnering business as well.
Some questions you might want to think about:
- What is each business trying to achieve?
- Can we create value for our customers together?
- How will we develop Marketing strategies?
- How are problems handled?
That last question is important because, depending on how your company handles issues or problems, you need to know how other businesses or potential partners within organizations are also handling conflict. From curating effective marketing strategies to analyzing ad performance and the overall campaign results, communication with your partner business will play a significant role.
Conflict is inevitable; you both are not always going to see eye to eye, so having the knowledge of how to handle it upfront (and if it is done in a positive manner) can mean a lot within the partnership moving forward.
IDENTIFY THE CUSTOMER VALUES AND INCORPORATE
Another key for developing a working partnership is knowledge of your customer. There is no doubt in the last year that there has been a shift in the way that your client's needs will be met. Customers want to be valued and heard.
Ask yourself some of these questions:
- What sort of interests do our customers have?
- Does our company mission speak to our customers?
- Would it benefit to develop a survey for feedback?
Evaluating areas within your marketing such as social media, website traffic, and/or targeted ads can help you to discover more about your customers so that you can customize your product/service to fit their needs. Utilizing analytical models can also be of service when identifying sources from where your customer sees your brand and engaging.
This is also something that needs to be identified in a partnership. Aligning your values with your customers is a sure way to adequately address their needs in the best way possible. And if you plan on an alliance with another business in tandem, they should be doing the same for their customers.
You could create an exercise where both parties develop their brand/mission statement or what vision that they are hoping to achieve together to see if they align. This can be a simple and easy way to see whether or not the partnership should move forward.
Corporate values need to have meaning and represent your work culture, products, and/or services, as well as the people within the organizations.
ESTABLISHING OPERATING AND MARKETING PRINCIPLES
Your company's plan of action needs to be as specific as you can possibly make it. Know what important tasks need to be completed and by what team. The key here is to be sure that all of the actions and duties that are fulfilled always tie back to the company mission and values.
Your partnering strategy should be in line with your corporate strategy.
Meaning that your objectives and your partner's objectives should all be under the same umbrella of the encompassing vision. That way, you know that each assigned daily activity and marketing duties will always lead in that direction.
There will be differences; that is a given. Not every partnership is going to have clear missions that align completely, and that is okay. What is important is to establish operating and marketing principles to try to work together in collaboration. Some of those principles could be:
- Addressing issues as they arise swiftly and efficiently so as not to leave room for any negative impact.
- Keep the focus of marketing centered purely on the customer, always adding value.
- Developing new opportunities for innovative ideas to be shared so that collaboratively, you can identify strategies to implement those ideas.
- Keep open communications - transparency is essential in working as a team.
- Setting clear timelines and deadlines and ensuring milestones are met.
Though these may seem like simple principles, companies do not always follow these together. The ability to make tough or necessary decisions together and quickly, as well as knowing how to handle conflicts, will work in both you and your partner's favor. Trusting partnerships will encourage sustainability, where businesses can broaden their relevance and raise their market.
With a shared end goal, specific plans to implement, and marketing campaigns to launch, both companies should be able to solve any problems together, overcome issues as a team, and work hard to achieve superior results and deserved success.