What is Marketing Collaboration and why you should be considering it
Marketing collaboration is either something that costs you money or 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 activity that requires more than one person, those people need to work together. Marketing is one such beast, with so many activities it is imperative to have a strategy that ensures all work is completed on time and so on.
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 is why!
Excitement; because of the opportunity to gain access to the customers and prospects of other businesses. This could mean after 10 times increase in more customers and more long-term revenue, interested referrals increased referrals, lower marketing costs and overall increased profitability. Increased brand awareness, faster route to market to increase brand awareness.
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 however the real headache is, who does what? Even if each company has its own Marketing Department, someone is going to end up doing all the work and then one of the companies in the group becomes accountable to all the others – not good.
This scenario can lead to distrust and ultimately a breakdown of the collaboration group, unless there is a third-party marketing company involved.
Appoint an Independent Marketing Company
When it comes to establishing the strategy, I recommend that the collaboration group engages a new marketing team expressly for the collaboration project.
The new marketing company can liaise with each of the existing marketing departments of the collaboration groups and report back to the CEOs.
Amazing Cost-Effective Strategy
It is extremely 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%.
Exposure of your brand or company is quicker and far more effective than via collaboration because the marketing message reaches the ideal, warmed up target rather than the hit and miss of the traditional scatter-gun approach.
Key areas to look out for when establishing a collaboration group are as follows:
- 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 benefited from the group
- Appoint an independent company to do the marketing
To review salesXchange, an alternative collaboration marketing strategy, click here.
About the Author
Nigel is the Founder & Managing Director of salesXchange and has been helping SMEs for over 25 years to develop their marketing, technologies and infrastructure to generate more profits, more efficiently. His recent book book "Integrate! The Essential Business Technology & Marketing Handbook" can be downloaded from Amazon.