A strategic partnership is an arrangement that will be of mutual benefit between two (or more) people or organizations who have complementary resources or assets that can be leveraged.
Resources and assets?
We mean products, services, machinery, equipment, buildings, unused capacity, and a customer list (or audience) that can be leveraged by the owner or whoever approaches the owner with a partnership proposal.
“If you help enough people get what they want, you will eventually get what you want.”
A partnership or “joint venture” can refer to the formation of a legal entity by partners for the purposes of a specific project to be concluded within a definite term (limited timeline). There are legal and tax implications which the partners must discuss with their own counsel. When we refer to partnerships here, we are discussing the concept more broadly. The legal implementation is up to you, your partners, and your attorneys!
Now that we have that out of the way,
Partnerships are known under many names. Brand collaborations, tie-ins, tie-ups, joint ventures, strategic alliances, channel partnerships, endorsement marketing, hidden asset marketing, reciprocal marketing, fusion marketing, and more.
These terms essentially refer to the same strategy and, if you look around, you’ll see many examples there in the world. For example, when you see a commercial for McDonald’s you almost always see a pitch for Coca-Cola.
The General Idea.
The most basic partnership is simple: Business A agrees to include Business B’s offer or an endorsement letter in a communication to their customers or audience – either for a fixed fee, a percentage of sales, or if Business B agrees to do the same for them. The result is instant access to a whole new set of customers without having to spend any money on advertising or market research to find them.
A partnership is a win-win situation because everybody gains, and nobody loses. We cut through the top-heavy expense of finding large numbers of customers from scratch.
You don’t need to do lengthy market research. You don’t need to rack up massive ad spend. You don’t need to weed out unqualified clients. Partnerships drive right to the customer in a straight line. You capitalize instantly on the other’s party’s resources – and they’re glad to let you do it because they benefit as well.
Strategic partnerships are successful because of the old business rule that says: “People like to buy from someone they know and trust.” Yet, according to our experience over 15 years, less than 5% of all business owners use these strategies properly and most don’t know how to use them at all.
Don’t be passive and wait on those one-off referrals and occasional collaborations. Make partnerships a core element of your growth strategy today.