Collaborative marketing is a strategy that involves cooperating with similar companies in the industry to build brand recognition, minimize costs, and increase sales. It can also take place between rivals, and in either case, has shown repeated success.
It is one of the longest-lasting advertising and promotion strategies used in the industry. While the principles of collaborative marketing remain relatively the same, it has shown immense success in the digital age.
An example of a successful and strategic Collaborative Marketing Campaign include Taco Bell’s partnership with Doritos to create the Doritos Locos Tacos, which sold a billion units in just the first year of its release.
This is proof that one of the most important effects of collaborative marketing is the fact that it is a way for companies and brands to overlap their markets and grow their captive audience by leaps and bounds.
Successful collaborations not only increase awareness of the brands involved but also improves how it is perceived. Customers are more likely to see both brands as innovative and creative.
With modern marketing collaboration tools, such partnerships are easier and more efficient than ever. However, before we get to the tools, a well-planned strategy must be in place. Here are just some of the most important strategies for better collaborative marketing campaigns:
1. Choose your collaborators wisely
This is where collaborative marketing begins. It is important to be selective with your collaborations, especially since an ill-thought-out partnership can hurt your brand and bottom line. Make sure that the companies you tie-up with share your values and quality of work.
With the right partners, you can not only bolster every aspect of your business, you can do so for a fraction of the cost. A good collaboration covers the weaknesses of everyone involved, and maximizes each company’s strengths.
An interesting example of a well-chosen and equally beneficial collaboration was the interesting partnership between Pottery Barn and Sherwin-Williams, which gave customers the ability to seamlessly select paint colors based off of their furniture from Pottery Barn. It captured two audiences that may not have had much overlap had the collaboration taken place.
2. Remember that the consumer is a powerful resource
One of the most powerful aspects of the digital age is how modern technology has shaped the landscape of commerce. Social media and the internet have expanded our world in so many ways while simultaneously closing the gap and making everything easy to reach. Now more than ever, the average person has a greater capacity to carry and express a meaningful message.
It would do your campaign wonders to remember that the consumer has power. Creating a strategy that relies on and utilizes the engagement and involvement of the consumer can cause the messaging of a collaborative marketing campaign to spread like wildfire.
Even a single consumer, enamored by your campaign, who shares a video or expresses positive thoughts about your campaign, is valuable.
Many marketers and marketing collaboration tools will tell you that organic growth is the most valuable type of consumer reaction.
When given a platform to interact and engage, a consumer will be a carrier for the message, spreading by word of mouth, social media, and so on. Essentially, an empowered consumer can become a beacon of free advertising.
3. Strategize your goals
While it is important to have similar and unified goals with your collaborative partner, it is just as important to tailor these goals to the needs of all involved. It is also important for all brands to have their own goals.
The partnership between Sherwin-Williams and Pottery Barn is a great example of companies who have similar audiences and most likely similar goals come together for a mutually beneficial effect (which has continued for several years).
With the right strategies and an honest approach to each brand’s strengths and weaknesses, there are so many possibilities of what types of companies you can partner up with, and to what goals you can set as partners.
4. Plan, plan, and plan
Rare is the successful endeavor that did not begin with a sound plan, and the same can be said of marketing partnerships.
A good plan begins with research on marketing campaigns from similar companies that have been successful. Ask yourselves what made those plans great, and how you all could embolden your own plans with what you learn.
While it is easier to enact a collaborative campaign with more entities and partners, the planning will be a lot more difficult. Certainly, it might cost less if you all split the costs, and the combined followers of each brand could be redirected to the others. However, the enactment of such steps in a plan must be as the movements of a well-oiled machine.
For this, you will need comprehensive marketing collaboration tools to smoothen the interactions. The bottom line is: the more companies and brands are involved in the process, the more planning the campaign will need.
When a good plan has been made, make sure that the expectations and goals of the campaign are set into writing and contracts so that every member of this partnership will take their commitments seriously.
There is no telling what disastrous events may come to throw a wrench into all your best-laid plans. It may come in the form of a pandemic or a sudden shift in the market—or all of the above. Whatever the case may be, it is important to at least have capable people ready to make backup strategies to adjust your campaign as needed.
Adaptation isn’t just about being ready for disasters or unexpected changes in your circumstances. It can be about adjusting your strategies based on gathered data. Your target markets can react in unexpected ways, and as such, it is always good to adjust your strategies to what you learn.
A good marketing collaboration tool should be able to provide the right data in such events. From there, you can then decide which steps to take to ensure the success of the collaboration.
At the end of the day, it is every company and brand’s hope that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. While this is definitely along the lines of easier said than done, the strategies discussed in this article can help when coming up with a comprehensive plan for collaborative marketing.
If you need the right marketing collaboration tools, we at Market Plan have the resources and expertise to help serve your needs and solve your problems. Send us a message if you’d like to discuss your goals with us; we’ll be happy to help you achieve them.