What is Marketing Collaboration and why you should considering it?
Marketing collaboration is either something that costs you money or it makes you money. Your outlook will determine which one!
If you do a search on Google you will come across several search results that have collaboration and marketing in the main title, but upon closer examination there are two very different meanings.
Getting marketing people to collaborate
As with any business activity that requires more than one person, everyone needs to work together as a team to accomplish the task at hand. Where multiple activities are undertaken, such as in your marketing department, it is imperative to have a strategy that ensures all the work is completed on time and to the highest possible standard.
Therefore, one of the search results that comes up for collaborating marketers is "marketing collaboration software" from vendors such as Huddle and Smartsheet. Great software, but of absolutely no use to a CEO looking to increase his or her reach to new customers!
Collaborating with other businesses to reach a market
This description should fill the average CEO with a combination of excitement and dread. Here's why!
Excitement; because of the opportunity to gain access to the customers and prospects of other businesses. This could mean more interested prospects; increased referrals; lower marketing costs and overall increased profitability. When you also add in the increase in brand awareness and a faster route to market, collaborating with other businesses seems to be all ‘upside’, because ultimately it could lead to a large increase in customers and more long-term revenue.
Dread; because every CEO knows that to instigate any form of collaboration means negotiation. Not just in terms of finding partners but more importantly, who does what?
When larger companies get together, the CEOs can make a quick decision. The real headache, however, comes when deciding on the division of labour; who is going to do what now that the decision has been made to work with another company or companies? Even if each company has its own Marketing Department, it is likely that one of the companies will end up doing the lion’s share of the work. Consequently, they will then be accountable to all the other companies in the group, which could cause friction and, ultimately the demise of the group.
However, there is a solution. If you are committed to working with other businesses and don’t want your company to be saddled with all work, then read on.
Appoint an Independent Marketing Company
When it comes to establishing the strategy and undertaking the work, we recommend that the group engages an independent marketing company expressly for the collaboration project. The strategy, if there isn’t one in place already, could be drawn up by the independent company, identifying the objectives, tasks and responsibilities of the group members and the marketing company. They would coordinate the activities and set up and manage the automation required to distribute the content. As this company would be impartial, they would act as the central point of contact for the group liaising with individual marketing departments and providing feedback to the CEOs.
Amazing Cost-Effective Strategy
It is amazingly cost effective for smaller businesses to use a collaboration framework, as it can mean an increase in reach to new customers by as much as 400% and build brand awareness with a new audience.
Exposure of your company is quicker and far more effective via collaboration because the marketing message reaches the ideal, warmed up target rather than the hit-and-miss of the traditional scatter-gun approach.
The key areas to consider when looking to establish a collaboration group are:
- Find businesses who sell to the same decision-makers or markets as you do
- Choose organisations that operate in a similar geographic area
- Work with companies of a similar size
- Try and establish the number of customers each collaborator has so there is no one company disproportionately benefitting from the group
- Appoint an independent company to do the marketing
At salesXchange we have designed a Syndicate marketing strategy, which meets all these criteria.
We do the legwork for you by bringing the group together and handling all the syndicate’s marketing. To review salesXchange Syndicates, an alternative collaboration marketing strategy, click here and if you have any questions then give us a call on 0800 970 9751.
About the Author
Nigel is the Founder & Managing Director of salesXchange and has been helping businesses for over 25 years to develop their marketing, technologies and infrastructure to generate more profits, more efficiently. His recent book "Integrate! The Essential Business Technology & Marketing Handbook" can be downloaded from Amazon.