Partner marketing: With the right partner for marketing success
Choosing the right partner is an important step, be it in private life or in business. You should always appreciate the partners of your company and treat them with respect, regardless of whether they are sales or sales partners. They are not a means to an end - that is, for sale - but your most loyal regular customer. It is particularly important to pick up the partners right from the start and prepare them for future collaboration and partner marketing. So that you and your partner pull together, real partner onboarding, the introduction to the partnership, is particularly helpful and promising. In onboarding you show your partner that you offer a clear contact person for every situation and lay the foundation for a successful cooperation. With regard to marketing in particular, it is important to make it clear that advertising is to take place together and that there is a unified goal behind this partnership. With all these agreements, a good product and the right marketing campaigns, there is nothing standing in the way of a successful start in partner marketing.
How does partner marketing work?
To see again how the marketing process should work as a whole, here is a small step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Involve the partner in the strategy right from the start and discuss possible uses.
Step 2: Get to know your partner's marketing strategy.
Step 3: Bring the two strategies together and work out a joint marketing plan.
Step 4: Know your partner's goals and customers and find out how you can help them achieve their goals.
Step 5: keep in touch! Regular communication is the cornerstone for successful collaboration.
Step 6: Provide your partner with suitable IT systems through which he can carry out independent local marketing.
Types of partner marketing
With partner marketing
With-partner marketing is a marketing campaign that is carried out together. You and your partner develop a joint marketing campaign and everyone advertises it on their channels. However, the senders are always together. This creates a win-win situation for both parties.
Through partner marketing
The complete publication of the marketing measures on the part of the partner. You provide your partner with templates or marketing concepts that he can use to market the products or the company in general. These templates only have to be adapted or provided with the partner's contact details and they can use them for their marketing purposes. This means that his local customers receive your marketing materials from a trusted person or entity in their immediate environment. This offers a very good multiplier effect especially for you and your products. On the other hand, it gives the partner more leeway and decision-making options as to which advertising media he wants to use when and where.
For partner marketing
For partner marketing, on the other hand, things run the other way round. The marketing materials are also created by the head office and only supplemented with the name of the partner, but the partner has little say when and to what intensity you publish them. All marketing campaigns only run on the manufacturer's or headquarters' side. This is particularly useful for small and unknown partners who can benefit from the company's reach.
How can you support your partners in marketing?
No matter what type of partner marketing you choose, it is always possible to support your partner in the best possible way and to work together on marketing success. This can be accomplished from the start by working together on a marketing plan or campaign plan after the advertising focus is aligned for the next quarter or year. So your partner can think in advance about how the marketing campaigns can be integrated into their own activities. However, in order to run this campaign together and successfully, it is also important to provide marketing materials to the partners. These materials can either be used directly or, after a short individualization by the respective partner, can be incorporated into the advertising. So that, despite adaptations and the actions by various partners, a uniform picture of the product and your company is still created for the customers, it also makes sense to talk to the partners about the corporate design to be observed. After comprehensive training, you can be assured that the company will remain the same despite various partners. Finally, you can also support your partners financially in the marketing campaigns, for example by distributing advertising grants. This means that even smaller partners can do enough marketing and you ensure that your partners do not want to save on the marketing of their products and services. In all of these supports and agreements, IT systems such as a communication portal, a web-to-print system or a marketing portal can assist you. There you can:
- Provide marketing materials
- Develop a campaign plan
- Distribute advertising grants
- Introduce the corporate design
Which current trends are relevant?
Trends are also emerging in distributed marketing management, which affect the head office and the partners equally and should be addressed:
Head office expertise
The planning, which takes place in the head office or at the manufacturer, means that the marketing campaigns and content are characterized by a high proportion of knowledge. In this way, false advertising can be prevented by ignorance or a lack of marketing skills among smaller partners.
The uniform distribution of marketing materials and campaigns to all partners saves a lot of time. The multiplier effect also saves partner marketing time in central marketing.
Since in most cases the marketing is mainly or largely carried out by the individual partners, the marketing materials are much more individual and better adapted to the target group than if they only came from the head office or the manufacturer (local marketing).
Cost savings through joint marketing
Costs are also saved when joint promotions are carried out on the part of the partners only. The partner carries the advertising content to another target group and thus bears part of the costs.
Digitization: marketing trend or danger?
Digitization is also an increasingly important topic in partner marketing. The marketing world has changed significantly in recent years. The age of pure print ads and posters is over. The majority of advertising nowadays mostly takes place digitally, whether on social media, as banners and advertisements on websites or through specially created moving image formats. But how do you manage to ideally use digitization together with your partners or can it even become a danger in partner marketing? Of course, new digital online marketing tools cannot be dispensed with in partner marketing either. Social media, for example, offer an easy way into the pocket of the end consumer. But website advertising is also becoming increasingly important due to the ever increasing change from print to digital media. In addition, digital platforms also offer the advantage of not only being able to use text and images, but also video and audio formats to address new customers. However, it is important to determine exactly who can distribute which content. If each partner created their own ads and accounts for the same product, the customer would quickly become confused and look bad. Ideally, the presentation of the products or services mainly remains with the manufacturer or the head office. So you are on the safe side and can use digital marketing ideally for yourself. However, this should not mean that the partners are not allowed to use these channels. For regional advertisements and customer-specific content, online media are also a popular tool for partners themselves. It is only important to make the basics clear from the start and to set certain guidelines for the use of images, materials and other media. With the right corporate design guidelines and uniform template patterns for the entire company, nothing stands in the way of digitized and modern partner marketing.
Software support in partner marketing
In all of these supports and agreements with the partners, IT systems such as a communication portal, a web-to-print system or a holistic marketing portal can assist you. With the right marketing portal, the complete communication and handling of marketing takes place via one system, where you can provide marketing materials, draw up a campaign plan, distribute advertising grants and present the corporate design. All advertising material and campaigns are published as templates (editable templates) and forwarded to the partners. These can be adapted and ordered, booked or published directly in the system. The template-based work directly preserves and applies design specifications. In order to offer the partners additional incentives, grants can be distributed or certain advertising materials can be made available free of charge. Most marketing portals are web-based applications that you and your partners can access online. This software-as-a-service solution always offers you an updated system that is constantly evolving with the current marketing trends and has grown for the future.