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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Marketing Through Partnerships

Sunday, March 06, 2011

One of the most valuable lessons I've learning in my almost 15 years of marketing is that you can't do everything on your own.  In fact, the most productive marketing campaigns I've run in the last few years have all included a partnership of some type.  Partnerships come in various shapes and sizes.  And when it comes to marketing, the type and extent of partnerships vary greatly.

In the online marketing world, many partnerships are centered around the list.  Truthfully, having the right list can make or break your campaign.  If you have a great product or great content and ever expect to generate sales, you'll need partners who can help get your offer out in front of prospective buyers.  Partners may be in the form of those who invest in the venture or simply vendors with whom you've developed meaningful relationships.

Even if you're focused on traditional marketing, you're using partners all the time.  They may be internal partners or external partners, but partners none-the-less.  Consider a recent direct marketing piece I sent to promote the release of a new product.  Although I was using a house list, I contracted with an outside vendor (partner) to append the list with valuable data.  Based on years of working together, they added tremendous value and looked out for my best interests.  I also purchased my supplies from a printer and distributed the direct mail through the United States postal service.

When you are planning your marketing campaigns, consider what you need help with and where a partner of some kind can add value.  I tend to seek out partners who can help me reach my goals more quickly, less expensively, or simply achieve more impressive results.  Consider what aspects of your marketing campaign (internet marketing, email marketing, direct marketing, etc.) can be supported or improved by seeking out a partner.  Even if you are sharing profits 50/50, you're much better off than if you were to go at it alone.

Furthermore, working with a partner often results in additional opportunities.  The key is to find valuable partners you can trust, who add value, and have similar aims.  Stop going at it alone - develop partnerships that can take your business to the next level.


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