Are you worried about your long-term business growth? You know how hard it is to grow your business today, especially when you have many competitors, a lack of brand awareness, and a very small marketing budget. Here is how you can grow your business to make a statement to your competitors, increase your brand presence all while utilizing a small marketing budget.
Marketers have come to realize the benefits of alliances. Wikipedia describes this relationship as “two or more organizations joining together to pursue mutual benefits while remaining independent organizations”.
You want your company to create more successful marketing programs that get you more clients and break through the noise. Partnerships and alliances can be a powerful tool to use to elevate your company and to increase your business growth. In the current competitive state of traditional marketing and digital marketing, alliances and partnerships are taking on extremely innovative forms and engaging customers to take action.
Why Form a Partnership or Alliance for Business Growth?
The reason you form a partnership or alliance is for business growth. This is achieved via new revenue channels, increased revenue from existing channels, or by reducing your expenses. In order to achieve true success, marketing partnerships must create a win for you, a win for your partner, and a win for your customers.
When looking at the possibility of forming alliance, both companies must realize a number of the following objectives:
- It builds up your brand, image, and traffic.
- You gain access to new markets and customers.
- You can join forces to develop new products that neither could develop alone.
- It increases customer loyalty by addressing customers with value-added offerings from the partner.
- It reduces marketing costs by bundling or exchanging marketing programs.
- It blocks a competitive threat.
- It is critical to both companies business objectives.
Because there are multiple players involved in forming a partnership, they are not easy to execute and do not always work. You need to do your homework to identify and attract the right partner.
How do you Identify a Potential Alliance Partner?
Selecting the right partner is crucial to the success of your business. Here is what to look for when you review a potential partner.
- Make sure you share similar values and ethics.
- The brand and name should have a good reputation.
- Don’t partner with people who will bring down your credibility.
- Most importantly, look for partners that you actually look forward to working with.
Do they have a similar type of customer and want to grow that audience?
Look for companies that share the same type of customers and sell their product or service to the same market as your company such as; premium luxury, mass, or the discount market.
Do you know any online owner or offline business that sells a complementary product? Partnering with them to sell packages/bundles could help new customers gain awareness of your store, and drive new traffic to your site. It won’t cost you or your partner anything extra, and yet you will both benefit by bringing new customer awareness to each business’s online presence or retail outlet.
How many new customers am I going to get from this partnership and is it large enough to be worth my time?
Do they have some expertise that your company does not have?
Maybe they have a new technology or they have the capital needed to develop your technology. It could be a great opportunity to add a missing piece to your company and alleviate some of your pain points. Maybe they have a great online presence team, or patents and trademarks, or strong international team.
Can you generate economies of scale that will enable you to utilize a broad set of resources and achieve the critical mass needed for your success?
Companies with complementary skills can rely on each others proven expertise instead of spending time and resources to independently develop what has already been achieved.
You can’t grow a tree in a day. The same is true for sustainable business growth.
We like to use the analogy that business growth is a marathon, not a sprint. The best alliances and partnerships can ultimately take months or years to mature. Don’t be afraid of aligning with a company much larger than you and selling to big companies.
McDonald’s and Coke began their relationship in 1955. McDonald’s had only one location at the time and Coke was a huge international corporation. They shared, however, a mutually targeted customer, anyone who eats or drinks. On the serious side, they now share data, analytics, an integrated supply chain, research, and joint marketing campaigns. They even share offices in various countries and have grown together to be worldwide leaders in their industries. That’s an alliance.
Enjoy the journey while growing your business!
Oh, if there’s anything I’m missing in this article, tell me! I’ll be happy to add it in.
Have you ever formed a partnership or alliance with another company? What are your tips for identifying a great partner? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.