10 Steps to Develop a Co-Marketing Strategy

10 Steps to Develop a Co-Marketing Strategy

Nearbound.com 9 min

When it comes to marketing your business or product, you can make more, faster by partnering with another brand. By leveraging relationships with other businesses and entering a co-marketing partnership, you can maximize your marketing impact to reach new customers. 

Have you ever noticed when two major brands market their projects together like Uber and Spotify? Or, Redbull and GoPro? Both are examples of successful co-marketing partnerships. Brand partnerships are possible when adjacent brands share a common client base, and their products/services complement each other when purchased together.

Co-marketing doesn’t just have to be for major businesses― even small and medium-sized businesses can reap the benefits of strong co-marketing campaigns. By using Reveal, you’ll unlock audience insights that will help you identify potential co-marketing opportunities. 

What is co-marketing?

Even if you’ve never heard of the term co-marketing, you still probably know what it is. Simply put, it’s when two businesses form a strategic partnership to promote each other’s products or services in an effort to widen their own client base. By teaming up, businesses can generate new leads from each other’s customer base respectively, and save money doing so. A co-marketing partnership yields more customer insights and pools marketing dollars for the same ad space.

Co-marketing is slightly different from co-selling. Instead of teaming up to market the product together, co-selling is when two brands sell their respective products jointly. For example, a telco company might bundle one of its products with a streaming service. In these cases, the customer pays both parties in one transaction and the revenue is shared by the businesses. 

Now, if you’re not sure where to start identifying a potential co-marketing or co-selling partner, you may want to consider reaching out to Reveal. The platform has an amazing tool that allows you to better understand the key players in your market and gain access to their audience. This will help you generate highly qualified leads and determine the best companies to partner with for co-marketing campaigns. 

Is co-marketing actually effective?

Co-marketing and co-selling can be extremely effective when the businesses and their target customers are the right fit for each other. An extremely popular example of co-marketing is Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos. The result of a partnership between two companies that understood their customer base and created a flavor combination that has remained a popular menu item since it first launched in 2012. 

When we talk about co-marketing, we’re talking about tapping into new leads with the help of a like-minded business. Companies that have entered Reveal’s ecosystem have seen win rates up to 200% higher

How to pick your co-marketing partners?

This is where a platform like Reveal comes in handy. Reveal gives you access to an ecosystem of other businesses that are targeting the same customer base you are. As they successfully reach their customers, those qualified leads can be passed onto you, and in turn, your qualified leads can be passed onto them, creating a mutually beneficial lead generation cycle.

This also opens the door for co-marketing and co-selling opportunities. The insights offered in the Reveal platform will show you the most strategic companies to partner with and enable you to launch co-marketing campaigns to help grow your business. Reveal works a little bit like a social media platform, they have a network of 500,000 companies and they help you find new valuable partners within that network. 

How to plan a co-marketing strategy?

Okay, so you’re ready to get started on co-marketing. Just like any good promotional campaign, you are going to want to establish a solid strategy and understand your goals. It’s also integral you have a solid understanding of the value of your content and any weaknesses you may be coming into the partnership with. The following steps in this co-marketing and co-selling guide will outline where to start and how to maximize your potential. 

1. Determine your goals

Before you reach out to the business that you want to conduct co-marketing with you should think through what you hope to achieve from this campaign and importantly put yourself in their shoes too. What goals do you have in common? What would success look like for both of you? A handy way to create clear goals is to write down the desired outcomes. Is it a 10% lift in sales or is it getting mentioned in the press? By mapping out a realistic vision for the co-marketing campaign you can be sure that your goals are achievable. 

2. Set a budget

One of the great things about co-marketing is the potential to save money because two companies are working together to target the same customer channels. It also opens an opportunity to buy advertising that your company alone might not have been able to afford(this is a tactic some companies use to secure Super Bowl advertising). With that in mind, you should think through what kind of results a successful campaign could drive for your business. You’ll want to be able to show that the investment you made into this campaign was worth it and helped your business acquire new leads that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. 

3. Decide upon an idea

This is the fun part. Every successful co-marketing campaign has a great idea behind it. Companies often look at each other as competitors rather than allies no matter what business they’re in. Even by considering the potential for co-marketing you can generate ideas that would have seemed impossible when you were just thinking about your own business. By getting a list of other companies in your target market through the Reveal ecosystem, you can start to brainstorm the possible dream co-marketing partnerships that could occur. Also, keep in mind there may be companies that you do not want to partner with. By looking at the companies that you admire and see synergy with, you’re getting a head start on the creative possibilities you can have together. 

4. Determine the timeline

Having two brands involved means you’re going to need to allow more time for feedback and approvals. Make sure you account for the other business’s marketing team size as well as the general campaign approval timelines when you agree on a combined calendar. 

5. Produce a co-marketing agreement

It’s essential that your respective legal teams are involved in a co-marketing or co-selling agreement. As you’re now jointly investing in the campaign you’ll want to draft up contracts that clearly outline each business’s financial obligations and how any proceeds should be managed. It’s also integral to understand limitations on usage rights for each other’s brand names and the campaign itself, to avoid problems down the track. 

Try using this sample agreement

6. Produce content

Time to start creating! You want to make sure that the key creating team members from both parties contribute equally to each part of the content creation process, from ideation to production, feedback rounds, and delivery. Your teams will need to find a way to work within each others’ brand style guides. Often this requires some kind of compromise. It’s important to bring the key decision-makers from both sides into this process to ensure each brand is being reflected the way they want to be. 

7. Finalize agreed content

When you have your co-marketing content ready both sides will need final approval. It’s important to consider all elements of the campaign which can include images, video, post descriptions, titles, and other collateral. When you’ve reached an agreement confirm both parties have visibility on the campaign timeline and the specific channels where the content will appear. Problems are more likely to occur with more cooks in the kitchen so visibility on all aspects of the campaign is key. 

8. Go live with the campaign 

Depending on the type of campaigning you’re running, you may want to handle setting the campaign live on your end or delegate it to the other team’s marketing stakeholders. Ideally, both teams will be running their own aspects of the co-marketing campaign. In either case, make sure this is part of your action plan from the beginning. This way you can trust that there is no uncertainty about who is setting the campaign live and to which channels. 

9. Measure your results

Once enough users have seen your campaign you’ll be able to understand its effectiveness. The data that determines success will be completely dependent on your goals and your co-marketing partners’ goals. As outlined earlier in this co-marketing guide, you will want to establish your joint goals from the outset and this includes determining what constitutes success and how you both plan on measuring it. This can include pipeline growth, conversion rates, brand awareness, and of course, the marketing contribution to revenue. 

10. Follow up and report your results

Sharing regular updates on the performance of your campaign on different channels will allow you to strategically invest more or less in the campaign and target the audience that the campaign resonates most with. Much like the solutions offered through the Reveal platform, an ideal co-marketing partnership will see both sides sharing customer insights and data that can complement each other’s lead generation. 

Action your co-marketing strategy

Co-marketing is a powerful tool that can enable you to delight your audience and reach new customers who would have otherwise never have discovered your business.

The best co-marketing partnerships feel natural because both companies complement each other and understand the synergy of each other’s target markets. With just a few simple steps, great tools like Reveal, a spark of inspiration, and a clever partnership you can create fruitful co-marketing and co-selling campaigns that your customers will never forget. 

Nearbound.com 9 min

10 Steps to Develop a Co-Marketing Strategy

Ready for the benefits of collaboration? Co-marketing with partnering businesses puts you right in front of the audience you want to reach.

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