Are you looking for a way to grow your brand identity, reach a larger pool of potential customers, and make your promotional effort work harder? Developing a co-marketing partnership with complementary brands and channel partners can do exactly that.
What Is Co-Marketing?
Co-marketing is when two companies work together as marketing partners to identify and create a joint marketing opportunity to feature their respective products or create a shared offer. Co-marketing is an effective way to reach a target market with high-quality, valuable content that promotes both businesses and generates qualified leads.
Most successful companies have carved out a niche in their industry and developed strong brand awareness with their target audience. A co-marketing partner allows you to expand the marketing effort by exploring new customers, creating new offers, or launching a new product. For example, you might bundle your products and create unique offers or provide complementary products or services that work together.
More than half of organizations are using partners as part of their promotional efforts to acquire new customers. When you align your interests with a partner brand and create an ecosystem that works together to solve customer problems, there are significant benefits.
A recent study by McKinsey reported that as much as a third of all sales will come from channel partnerships. When you use a co-marketing strategy with a partner brand, you can extend your messaging to target customers by leveraging your database and your partner brand database to reach a larger audience.
When you form a strategic partnership to work together on a marketing campaign, you can improve engagement and drive growth. With Folloze, you can work together and separately to produce a coordinated marketing strategy that can enhance your marketing partnership to grow both companies.
The Benefits of Co-Marketing
Marketing teams engaging in successful co-marketing campaigns create benefits for both partners. Here are some of the biggest benefits of co-marketing.
Larger Target Audience
While each company has its own customer base and audience, co-marketing can get your brand in front of a new audience that may not yet be your customers. You can extend one campaign to fans of both companies. You can expose your content library, social media, blog posts, email marketing, and more to a larger group of potential customers.
Smaller companies can benefit greatly from aligning themselves with larger companies and gaining broad exposure, but co-marketing campaigns work effectively for companies of all sizes.
When you co-market with a partner, you share marketing costs for your campaign. This can create a significantly better ROI because you’re reaching a larger audience without increasing your costs. It can also reduce campaign creation costs because you’re combining resources instead of building the campaign on your own.
Enhances Brand Awareness and Credibility
The right co-marketing campaign can expose your brand to potential customers that may have previously been unaware of you. When you partner with well-known and trusted brands, you also benefit from an implied endorsement.
Generates More Leads
When you develop a co-marketing campaign and jointly target the right audiences, you are more likely to generate leads. You don’t have to find a new customer on your own because your co-marketing partner is putting your products or services in front of people that are more likely to have an interest in what you offer.
How Does Co-Marketing Work?
While there are various ways to collaborate, the most common approach for co-marketing is for two companies to work together in content creation. They might combine resources to create a marketing idea, develop content or campaigns, and promote it to both audiences.
Content will typically be gated and use lead generation forms to capture contact information. Companies can share the leads and the data generated, effectively doubling the effectiveness of the lead gen campaign.
When you find potential partners with compatible goals that add additional value to what you do, it can be a powerful combination.
For example, let’s say you are a SaaS platform that adds real-time transcription to video conferencing. Jointly promoting your service with a video conferencing provider can help both of you. It helps expose your service to clients of the video service while offering an enhancement for their customers that can help them get more benefits out of their service. At the same time, you may also be able to bundle services to generate new sales opportunities for both of you.
In most cases, you will want to create a shared landing page with obvious branding for both partner logos. This makes it clear to anyone accessing it that it is a co-marketing partnership and adds legitimacy.
Another strategy companies employ is using a guest post or swapping guest posts to discuss how two products work together. Guest posts can appear on both company websites, social media, email newsletters, and other marketing channels.
Types of Co-Marketing Campaigns
You can create a successful campaign in a variety of ways. Here are some of the more common co-marketing strategies partners produce:
- White papers or ebooks
- Blog posts or guest posts
- Joint webinars
- Podcasts or videos
- Virtual or on-demand events
- Joint research
Then, partners use their individual distribution channels to get the message out to both their current and potential customer bases.
Other co-marketing campaigns can focus on channel partnership, product placement, white-label or licensing agreements, and more.
You’ve likely seen examples of successful co-marketing campaigns before. You can pick up a pro tip or two just by taking notice of the brands around you.
Intel and Computer Manufacturers
One of the most well-known co-marketing campaigns of all time is the relationship between computer chip manufacturer Intel and computer hardware manufacturers. The “Intel Inside” seems to pop up in every commercial or promotional campaign for computers.
Before this co-marketing partnership, most buyers never knew the name (or cared) about the semiconductors. Now, they recognize Intel as quality and it helps both partners. Intel shares marketing costs by adding Intel logos to their product info and it helped propel Intel into one of the most powerful global brands.
Red Bull and GoPro
Red Bull sells energy drinks. GoPro sells portable cameras. Both, however, are lifestyle brands targeting adventure-seeking and often extreme sports enthusiasts. A co-marketing partnership showcased both partners in a variety of ways. Capturing Red Bull events using GoPro cameras provided additional exposure to events, showing off how GoPro cameras could be used by sports enthusiasts and leveraged both products’ customer base.
McDonald’s and Burger King
You wouldn’t think these two fast-food rivals would co-market, but that’s exactly what happened in 2019. To support McDonald’s campaign to donate $2 from Big Mac sales to charities supporting childhood cancer, Burger King launched the “Day Without a Whopper” campaign to encourage people to buy a Big Mac on one day instead. For that day, Burger King took whoppers off their menu.
The campaign didn’t have any material effect on Burger King sales for that day, but helped raise the company’s profile as a company that cares.
Taco Bell and Doritos
Speaking of fast food, the Doritos Loco Taco, a co-marketing partnership between Taco Bell and Doritos parent-company Frito-Lay, was an instant hit. Analysts say it was one of the most successful fast-food innovations of all time. Taco Bell sold more than a billion of them in the first year alone. It rejuvenated the fast-food chain, increasing their sales, and increased sales for Doritos as well.
Folloze Co-Marketing Partnerships
At Folloze, we leverage partnerships with Demandbase and Agent 3. Not only can we augment our services by using best-in-class alliances, but we can also leverage partner relationships to broaden our client base as part of our co-marketing campaign. In turn, we provide the same opportunities for digital marketing for our partners through our relationships.
For example, here is a Buyer Survey we created in partnership with Demand Gen Report to explore the challenges marketers are feeling in light of shifting customer demands since the beginning of the pandemic. It revealed the new digital-selling reality facing B2B sellers and how they needed to shift their approach.
Finding Co-Marketing Partners
The first place to look for co-marketing partners is with any channel partners you already work with. When you already have a sales or marketing relationship, it’s the obvious place to start.
When you are looking for potential partnerships, here are some of the other things you want to look for:
- Alignment: Companies that have similar values and goals, yet don’t compete directly with you
- Compatibility: Companies that have an audience that would be interested in and benefit from your products or services
- Expertise or Enhancement: Companies that provide additional value to your customers
- Reputation: Companies that have a good reputation so they enhance, rather than detract, from your brand
Obviously, you need to find potential partners that are willing to work with you to create co-marketing campaigns and will collaborate without taking advantage of you.
When you do identify potential co-marketing partners, you’ll want to have some in-depth discussions about your marketing ideas and create a formal co-marketing agreement. You want a clear understanding of what each partner brings to the table and what they are committed to doing. You don’t want a partner to do something that will unintentionally hurt your brand.
Think how bad it would have been if the Doritos Loco Taco didn’t capture the flavor of Doritos. The folks at Frito-Lay had to approve the flavor combination (which took more than 40 tries) before allowing it to be sold.
Creating Value with Co-Marketing
With the right partnerships, co-marketing campaigns can provide substantial value. Whether you’re a small business, a startup, or a global powerhouse, the right co-marketing strategy can generate additional exposure, new leads, and new customers.
To learn more about how you can use co-marketing and channel partnerships to improve your marketing and sales, contact the buyer experience experts at Folloze today. Let us show you how we can help improve your engagement and conversions at every step and every touchpoint of the buyer’s journey to build your pipeline, improve your close rates, and drive revenue.