Steps to Creating a Winning Co-Marketing Strategy

In the marketing technology (martech) space, it is required to play nice with others due to the sheer amount of technologies available to our customers and the growing complexity of our tech stacks. At ReachForce, we are unique in that we can help ALL other technologies improve their product by providing reliable and complete data. In turn, the customers are more successful with their products and can show a higher ROI.

Because of this, we have a lot of what I call “friends of the family”. We work together to create a better, more cohesive marketing stack. We use this to our advantage by relying heaving on co-marketing campaigns to help generate demand for both companies. This has turned out to save us a lot of money in budget from paying 3rd parties to generate leads for us. I feel this is a more authentic and genuine approach and is focused on providing value to our joint customers.

Here are my steps for creating a winning co-marketing strategy that can be used for any industry:

  1. Identify your “Friends of the Family” partners
  2. Become each other’s customers
  3. Create a Joint Value Prop
  4. Collaborate on the shared target audience
  5. Provide an incentive to the other’s audience
  6. Jointly develop co-branded content
  7. Agree on the tactics to be used

Friends of the Family (FOFs for short :)) are either official or unofficial partners to your company who have complimentary solutions and services. Your ideal customer should also be similar.

TIP: If you have a partner page, make some room for them and link their logo.

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If you are going to become an advocate of your FOF, you have to understand and have experience actually using their product or the campaign will reek of being ingenuity. When possible, we give complimentary access (within a limit) or discounted pricing to our product. Our FOF do the same.

TIP: This has a lot of benefits outside of just co-marketing, these people can also serve as a voice of the customer and give you legitimate feedback on how you can improve. They can also be more comfortable referring others to you when they are seeing value as well.

If you don’t have a legitimate reason as to why you are partnering up, you likely should not be pursuing this campaign. In a world full of noise, providing value needs to be the thing that breaks through it. What value does your combined solutions provide to your customers? Once you pin this down, that is the thread that should be woven through all of your content and communications.

Each company has probably developed their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). There should be some synergies between your audiences. Be specific about the overlap so that can be used as the target audience in each of your databases. Create a list of the contacts to be used in your communications and suppress them from other campaigns during this time.

TIP: You might also want to develop a list of your top accounts amongst this list in order to have an ABM approach that has a deeper level of personalization.

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Both companies should bring something to the table for the other’s audience. Whether it be a trial to your product or a complimentary assessment, you want to make sure your focus is on value. This will encourage customers to engage with the other company.

Developing content can be time consuming and/or costly so this is one of the main benefits of running a co-marketing campaign. You aren’t paying anyone to create it and you have someone to share the workload with who can bring a different perspective into it. It should be educational with your value prop woven throughout. The branding should also be representative of both companies .

You want to make sure each partner is doing their part to promote the content you’ve developed. Decide which channels you will pursue based off your audience’s preferences. I have provided some of the channels we use below. Whatever you do, a multi-touch, multi-channel approach is always the best.

Example Content

  • Develop a joint use case or case study for each company - we all know how difficult case studies can be to get approval on so this is an easy way to add one with little red tape.
  • Host a webinar
  • Record a video - “Live” videos on social media platforms do really well. The ones on Linkedin are some of my favorites to watch.
  • Guest blog on each other’s blogs ensuring linking back to your site. (The Google will love this.)

Channels to consider

  • Social Media
  • Multi-touch Email Campaigns
  • Ads
  • Personalized intro to target accounts

Partner and co-marketing can be an easy, high-ROI and cost-effective tactic to include in your marketing plan for the new year. Here are some of our co-marketing content we’ve done:

Need help filling in the gaps of your data in order to develop your Ideal Customer Profile? Let us help you. Get started with a complimentary data health assessment.

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