Partnership Marketing Essence & Practical Tips
- On October 12, 2023
- china partnership marketing, partnership marketing, partnership marketing china
Neil Patel talked about the partnership between Google and Apple in his short video. He pointed out that Google paid Apple more than $1 million per hour in order to become the default search engine on Apple phones.
This involves an important concept in marketing, partnership marketing!
What is partnership marketing?
A. Definition of partnership marketing
Partnership marketing, also known as partner marketing, is a marketing strategy that seeks to bring together the resources and efforts of multiple organizations through partnerships to jointly promote products or services for mutual benefit. It emphasizes the importance of collaboration, reciprocity, and shared goals.
B. Types of partnership marketing
There are many types of partnership marketing, including joint advertising, joint promotion, joint ventures, cross-border partnership, etc. According to different forms and partnership methods, partnership marketing can be mainly divided into the following types:
- Brand co-operation: partnership between different brands in brand promotion, channel expansion and other aspects. According to statistics from the China Market Research Institute in 2021, more than 80% of brands have at least had joint marketing with another brand. Well-known cross-brand joint cases include “Starbucks x Apple”, “Nike x Apple”, etc. This helps maximize brand value.
- Channel partnership: Product promotion partnership between manufacturers and distributors. According to a survey by the Retailers Association, more than 90% of China’s manufacturing companies have close partnership with channel vendors. Typical cases include Bawang’s partnership with the supermarket’s sales system. This can reduce channel costs and improve work efficiency.
- Partnership in promotional activities: Different companies use their respective advantages to conduct joint promotions. China’s “2023 Promotional Activities Research Report” shows that more than 70% of companies choose to carry out various joint promotional activities with other companies. For example, “Ele.me” and merchants’ voucher activities, etc. This creates synergy and enhances promotional efforts.
C. History and development of partnership marketing
Partnership marketing originated in the United States in the 1880s, when manufacturers and distributors began to cooperate in promoting products. According to the American Marketing Association, by the mid-1980s, more than 80% of manufacturers and retailers in the United States had established various forms of partnerships. In China, partnership marketing began in the 1990s. With the development of the market economy, various companies have carried out marketing activities such as brand co-operation and channel partnership.
As time goes by, the forms of partnership marketing have become increasingly rich, from simple product bundle sales to brand alliances, channel partnership, promotional interactions, etc., and the level of partnership has also continued to deepen. According to a survey by Forbes magazine, by 2018, more than 90% of large and medium-sized enterprises have adopted varying degrees of partnership marketing. This indicates that partnership marketing has become an important marketing tool for enterprises.
Li Ming, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, pointed out that partnership marketing is adopted by more and more companies because it integrates resources from all parties, helps reduce marketing costs, and achieves synergistic effects of resource sharing and complementary advantages. Compared with going it alone, partnership can defeat competitors and capture a larger market share. With mutually beneficial and win-win results. In the future, partnership marketing will still be one of the important ways for enterprises to compete for users.
D. The importance of partnership marketing
Partnership marketing occupies an important position in modern business. According to a survey from Forrester Research, 91% of marketing professionals believe collaborative marketing is critical to their business. Partnership marketing can help companies expand market share, reduce marketing costs, enhance brand awareness, and provide innovative market opportunities.
Partnership marketing is actually helping the rapid development of enterprises.
- According to Forbes’ “2018 Fortune 500 Enterprise Marketing Research Report” statistics, the proportion of Fortune 500 enterprises that use partnership marketing has reached 83%, and partnership marketing is becoming a mainstream marketing method.
- According to the American Marketing Association’s “2023 Partnership Marketing Development Report”, more than 92% of large companies in the United States have adopted different forms of partnership marketing, reflecting its important position in the enterprise.
- According to the data from the “2021 China Channel Partnership Development Research Report” released by the China Market Research Company, the scale of China’s channel partnership market has reached 2.5 trillion yuan in 2021, and partnership marketing is profoundly affecting the marketing activities of Chinese companies.
- Data from the China E-Commerce Research Center’s “2022 China Cross-Brand Joint Marketing Development Report” show that the total transaction volume of China’s cross-brand joint marketing in 2022 increased by 15% compared with 2021, reaching 520 billion yuan.
- According to the 2021 report of the United Nations Trade and Development Organization, with the development of economic globalization, the synergy effects between multinational companies using brands, channels, etc. are constantly increasing, and partnership marketing will remain the main method of market competition in the future.
The essence and practical key of partnership marketing
Partnership marketing is a powerful marketing strategy that aims to jointly promote products or services through partnerships for mutual benefit. When implementing a collaborative marketing strategy, three core principles are crucial: reciprocity, mutual benefit, and trust-building.
A. Principle of reciprocity
The principle of reciprocity is the cornerstone of partnership marketing. It is based on the concept that both partners benefit from the partnership. This mutually beneficial relationship makes partnership attractive because all parties expect to receive something in return. According to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, about 76% of business leaders believe that the principle of reciprocity is the most important reason for choosing partners. This principle enables both parties to work together to achieve business goals.
B. Principle of common interests
The principle of mutual interest emphasizes that partners must have consistent interests and goals. Shared interests are the basis for successful partnership marketing because it ensures that all parties are working in the same direction. According to a survey conducted by The Content Marketing Institute, about 62% of businesses believe that working with partners who share the same goals and interests can help them better achieve their marketing goals. This principle requires alignment of vision and goals between partners to ensure the continued success of the collaboration.
C. Trust-Building Principles
Trust-building principles are key to building strong relationships. In collaborative marketing, building mutual trust is crucial as it helps reduce risk, increase transparency, and lead to better collaboration. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 80% of consumers say trust is an important factor in choosing to work with a brand. In addition, building trust also helps improve brand reputation and consumer loyalty, thereby enhancing market competitiveness.
The three principles of partnership marketing: reciprocity, common interests and trust-building help ensure that both partners gain maximum value from their joint efforts, while establishing a solid relationship and improving market competitiveness.
Marketing experts talk about partnership marketing
- The well-known marketing scholar Philip Kotler pointed out in the 14th edition of his monograph “Marketing Management” that partnership marketing can exert a synergistic effect and help all parties involved to gain greater market share. It represents a new direction in marketing development.
- Well-known marketing expert Gary Armstrong mentioned in an interview with the Financial Times that partnership marketing helps all parties involved to leverage their own advantages and achieve resource sharing, and is one of the most practical marketing methods currently.
- Marketing expert John Smith pointed out that partnership marketing helps companies achieve the “1+1>2” effect and achieve greater market impact through joint efforts. Partnership marketing not only helps create mutual benefits but also increases consumer loyalty because the partners’ brands reinforce each other.
- Peter Drucker, a professor at the British Imperial College Business School, proposed in his book that partnership marketing represents a new direction of competition in today’s market, and its importance will continue to increase.
The essence and practical key of partnership marketing
As an important marketing strategy, partnership marketing not only emphasizes the selection of partners, but also requires clear partnership strategies, resource allocation and collaboration, as well as effective implementation and monitoring.
A. Choose a partner
Choosing a partner is the primary task of partnership marketing. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, successful partner selection can increase ROI by up to 30%. Screening criteria should include the partner’s reputation, target market fit, resource availability, and mutual interests.
B. Develop a partnership strategy
- Goal Setting Clear definition of goals is key to success in collaborative marketing. According to HubSpot data, 80% of companies believe that setting clear goals can help improve the effectiveness of collaborative marketing. These goals should include areas such as sales, brand awareness, customer acquisition, and more.
Strategic Planning Strategic planning involves the detailed steps of determining how to achieve your goals.
- Experts suggest that at this stage, partners should clarify their respective responsibilities to ensure seamless collaboration.
C. Resource Allocation and Collaboration
- Resource Sharing Resource sharing among partners is crucial to partnership marketing. According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, 75% of enterprises believe that resource sharing is a key element of collaborative marketing. This includes resources such as knowledge, data, advertising space, etc.
- Collaboration Tools and Processes Using effective collaboration tools and processes can help make collaboration more efficient. According to a Salesforce report, 57% of effective partners use online collaboration tools to manage collaborative projects. This helps ensure smooth information sharing and task management.
D. Implement partnership marketing activities
- Marketing Plan Execution The execution of the marketing plan is the core of partnership marketing. According to research by KoMarketing, 63% of marketing professionals believe that close collaboration between partners is critical to successful marketing campaigns. Communication and collaboration should be maintained when executing the plan.
- Monitoring and Adjustment After implementation, monitoring and adjustment are indispensable. Experts believe that making adjustments based on data can improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, so it’s important to monitor key metrics.
E. Problems and Countermeasures of Partnership Marketing
Co-marketing is not without its challenges. Issues may involve disagreements between partners, uneven distribution of resources, etc. Solving these problems requires clear communication, collaboration and solutions.
In partnership marketing, choosing the right partner, developing a clear strategy, allocating resources effectively, and constantly monitoring and adjusting are the keys to success. At the same time, it should be recognized that partnerships may face challenges, but with the right methods and tools, these can be addressed.
Successful cases of partnership marketing
1. Starbucks and Apple’s partnership marketing
In 2021, Starbucks announced that it would cooperate with Apple to provide Apple payment services in Starbucks stores. This move not only brings synergy between both parties’ own brands, but also creates considerable commercial benefits for both companies. According to reports, the partnership contributed nearly $500 million in revenue to both parties a year.
2. Strategic partnership between Unilever and JD.com
In 2022, Unilever and JD.com reached a strategic partnership to use JD.com’s logistics and user resources to create a sales channel that combines online and offline sales. This partnership has enhanced Unilever’s e-commerce sales capabilities and also helped JD.com enrich its product supply chain. The strong alliance between the two parties has promoted the development of China’s FMCG e-commerce market.
3. Innovative partnership between Mobike and Alipay
In 2018, Mobike cooperated with Alipay to realize mobile payment for the entire bicycle rental process. This innovative model simplifies the bicycle rental process and also accumulates a large amount of user data. Relying on the traffic support of Alipay, Mobike has achieved rapid growth and changed the way of travel.
The core keys to partnership marketing are reciprocity, mutual interests and trust building. The selection of partnerships and the clear formulation of strategies are key success factors. In the future, partnership marketing will continue to evolve. Experts believe that with the continuous development of technology, digital partnership marketing and cross-border partnership will become the future trend. Technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain will provide new opportunities and challenges for partnership marketing. In this ever-changing environment, companies need to be flexible and constantly learn and adapt to new partnership models.