In a perfect world, partnerships would rule. Why? Because they are the most cost-effective community building model for success. When a business contacts us for marketing advice, strategic partnerships always make our list of recommendations. When you build a mutually beneficial relationship, you can pool your resources and talents to turn something good into great, and build meaningful relationships along the way.
Earlier this year Remember Marketing helped coordinate a statewide effort to support the future of Ohio’s food and farms. The effort was done in partnership with four strong partners: Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, Ohio 4-H Foundation, Ohio FFA Foundation and Bob Evans. The results drove significant traffic to Bob Evans over a two-day period and raised more than $13,000 for the organizations it supported.
Partnerships can be a lot of work, but they are most often rewarding. Here are a few tips to consider when building the perfect partnership.
Align your partnership mission and partner with people you enjoy working with.
Above enjoying working with your selected partners and making sure you’re both working towards the same goal, it helps to find partners that can introduce you to a new market that you aren’t currently serving. With the right partner this means cross-promoting in different business sectors that would ultimately benefit from your product or service, therefore benefiting all partners.
Discuss costs and distribution of resources upfront.
The partnership will flow from the beginning if all the details are agreed upon from the start of the relationship. It’s also helpful to have one lead coordinator for the partnership project to keep everyone on track.
Set goals for success.
“What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed.” This is one of our favorite mantras. Set goals in the very beginning stages of the partnership that you can work towards and measure once your partnership takes off.
Use collaboration tools.
There are several document sharing tools out there (essential for partnerships) that make it easy to share information. Google Docs is one of our favorite free resources because of its ease of use but there are several others, such as Dropbox, Slack and Trello. Collaboration tools are a must for making your teamwork effective.
Track your efforts.
Remember what we said about measuring results? Use the same collaboration tools to track efforts of partnership success, such as news mentions and other important outcomes specific to your partnership. This will help everyone involved feel good about your partnership efforts, plus gain support for future projects.
Envision a long-term relationship.
What good is going to all the effort of setting up a partnership if you don’t see a long-term future as partners? Partnerships, as with any relationship, are a lot of work. However, the work is worth it when you find the right fit and commit to a long-term partnership.
We wish you the best of luck in making your next partnership perfect!
Shannon P. R.