When Collaboration and Marketing come together it means two or more businesses share resources to reach a wider audience.  There is so much more ground that can be covered with joint ventures and collaboration, there must be a reason why companies don't do it more often. Or perhaps there's very little stopping them...  

what does syndicate marketing mean PT1

Definition of Collaboration 

Noun: collaboration; plural noun: collaborations the action of working with someone to produce something.

  • "he wrote a book in collaboration with his son"
  • synonyms: cooperation, alliance, partnership, participation, combination, association, concert, teamwork, joint effort, working together
  • "he wrote on art and architecture in collaboration with John Betjeman"
  • something produced in collaboration with someone.
  • "his recent opera was a collaboration with Lessing"
  • Origin: mid 19th century: from Latin collaboratio(n- ), from collaborare ‘work together’.

Definition of Marketing

Noun: marketing; the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

Verbgerund or present participle: marketing

  • advertise or promote (something).
    • "the product was marketed under the name ‘aspirin’"
    • synonyms: sell, retail, offer for sale, put up for sale, vend, merchandise, trade
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 - one of them costs you money and the other makes you money!

Meaning #1 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 is of absolutely no use to a CEO looking to increase his or her reach to new customers!

Meaning #2 Collaborating with other businesses to reach a market

This description should fill the average CEO with a combination of excitement and dread and here’s why.

Excitement; because of the opportunity to gain access to the customers and prospects of other businesses. This could mean an increase in 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.  Wow! Sounds great doesn’t it…

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 the bulk of the work and then one of the companies in the group becomes accountable to all the others – which is 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.

Definition of Joint Venture

Noun: A joint venture is a business or project in which two or more companies or individuals have invested, with the intention of working together.

  • Business related: It will be sold to a joint venture created by Dow Jones and Westinghouse Broadcasting.

Definition of Syndicate

Noun: syndicate; plural noun: syndicates

  • a group of individuals or organizations combined to promote a common interest.
  • "large-scale buyouts involving a syndicate of financial institutions"
    • an association or agency supplying material simultaneously to a number of newspapers or periodicals.
  • a committee of syndics.

Forming a Joint Venture Syndicate: A Cost-Effective Strategy

It is extremely cost effective for businesses to create a syndicate and use a collaboration and joint venture framework, as it can mean a significant increase in reach to new customers.

Exposure of your brand or company is quicker and far more effective via collaboration because the marketing message reaches the ideal, warmed up target (i.e. the respective customers of each member) rather than the ‘hit-and-miss’ of a traditional scattergun approach.

Key areas to look out for when establishing a syndicate group are as follows:

  • Find businesses who sell to the same decision-makers or target markets as you 
  • Choose organisations that operate in a similar geographic area
  • Work with companies of a similar size in terms of staff
  • Try and establish the number of customers each collaborator has so there is no one company disproportionately benefiting from the group
  • Appoint an independent company to do the marketing

Appoint an Independent Marketing Company

When it comes to establishing the strategy, I recommend that the syndicate group engages a new marketing team expressly for the Joint Venture project.

The new marketing company can liaise with each of the existing marketing departments of the collaboration groups and report back to the CEOs.

The benefits of this approach are as follows:

  • No one organisation is lumbered with the all work
  • All parties contribute to the marketing expense
  • Decisions can be made on new activities and the cost split between all members
  • The activity is kept separate from the workload of the existing marketing teams

What’s in Part 2

Once you have realised the benefits of belonging to a marketing syndicate, then the next stage is going to be, how to get things moving.  Click below to read part two on how to start a syndicate marketing group



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