One of the very best ways to get your brand noticed and your message spread to new audiences is by aligning with strategic partners. It’s a trend that every organization can take advantage of as part of an integrated marketing approach. I recently attended the first ever Partner Awards held by the 4A’s, which seeks to recognize the most innovative strategic partnerships. The winners, a handful highlighted below, clearly demonstrated the amplification that’s possible when partners unite behind a big idea.
- “What’s in the Box:” Nissan partnering with Amazon.com for a new model announcement
- “It’s On US:” Partnership to End Sexual Assault:” The White House, Generation Progress, PVBLIC Foundation
- “American Red Cross Hope.ly:” American Red Cross, Bitly
In collaboration with our clients, we’ve seen dramatic results by deploying strategic partnerships. For example, we forged a partnership between DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and The HISTORY Channel’s “American Pickers” TV show to tell DAV’s story in new ways that resonate best with our shared audience—patriotic middle America. Utilizing “American Pickers’” host Mike Wolfe to interview veterans of different generations, we were able to elevate interest in and attention to DAV’s important mission. Additionally, HISTORY partnered with DAV to promote DAV’s Thank A Vet video creation platform in the lead up to Veterans Day, offering a content generation and social sharing opportunity to millions.
Working with EPA’s ENERGY STAR program over the past five years, we’ve seen first-hand how the organization’s 16,000 strategic partnerships with manufacturers, retailers, businesses, home builders and more have helped to make this the most successful voluntary energy efficiency program in history. Brand amplification through those partners is the main reason ENERGY STAR enjoys an outstanding 85% brand awareness and understanding of the label as the mark of energy efficiency. At ENERGY STAR’s annual Partner of the Year Awards, it’s clear to see the unity and passion for the cause by those in attendance. With the help of these partners, the ENERGY STAR content we create in the form of videos, Point-of-Purchase materials, social media graphics, and more, extends ENERGY STAR’s reach far beyond what’s possible if EPA were to market this important program alone.
If you’re considering strategic partnerships as part of your marketing efforts, leverage these best practices:
- Identify relevant partners with shared audiences and interests
- Check brand alignment to ensure shared values
- Schedule advanced planning time to allow up-front collaboration
- Agree on win-win objectives and outcomes from the start
- Share relevant insights to formulate big ideas
- Create an integrated paid, earned, owned and shared marketing approach as the powerful message multiplier
- Develop authentic content that enhances all partners’ brands
- Share results and aggregate learnings to inform future partnerships
When relevant partners merge forces, amazing outcomes are possible. Set the partnership on the right course and watch how the collaboration can amplify your message and deliver success for your organization.