by Kathleen Ruiz
As the world is putting everything on hold due to the Coronavirus, many previously planned marketing campaigns are going by the wayside. But now more than ever, your faithful customers need to hear from you. One area in particular that I urge brands not to pause is partnership marketing.
But what does partnership marketing look like in this new normal? How do we go about partnerships when we can't even shake hands with one another? Let's explore why partnership marketing is such an important marketing strategy. But first, let's define partnership marketing.
In simplest terms, partnership marketing means collaborating with one or more brands to create a marketing strategy using shared resources.
Since I am always the hopeless optimist, I believe partnership marketing, or as I like to call it, partnership matchmaking, will become an even bigger opportunity in this new world. Partnership marketing can lead to brand success when leveraging the following 5 factors. (Of course, you have to choose the right partner based on your objectives, but we'll save that for another post.)
The Buzz Factor
In today's climate, with so much bad and sad news coming at us daily, news about interesting and unique brand collaborations is getting noticed. In the spirit of partnership and togetherness, we want to see people and brands come together in unexpected ways.
Partnering with another brand provides exposure to a new set of consumers while providing current customers with new products or experiences. With so many brands pivoting resources, it's the perfect time to partner or collaborate with a brand you may have never thought of that will expose your brand to a completely new customer base. Over the past month we have seen brands come together with a common goal or cause, bringing in a new set of fresh eyes.
Let's face it, we are always in need of more content. Brand partnerships are an effective content generator that leads to added consumer engagement. Having something to talk about to your consumers is sometimes half the battle. Executing a partnership campaign provides new content and conversation for digital, social and virtual channels.
Here is where my optimism comes into play. Why can't we leverage consumer experiences in new and creative ways? Imagine being one in 500 people in a 60,000 capacity stadium. Or scoring tickets to an exclusive drive up concert to see your favorite band? What about an invitation to the Met Gala? Or personal shopping for any customer? These ideas would have seemed far fetched only weeks ago.
Technology plays a key part in the new experience opportunity...think smart mirrors that try on clothes for you, or display different makeup looks with touch of a button. These are experiences that your customers won't forget and virtual technology will enable us to provide this now more than ever.
Now is the time to take the marketing rules you've lived by for the last decade and throw them into the trash. It's about moving past the “tried and true” and exploring. Take risks, but be authentic. Get unstuck but don't forget your core values. Throw out the rule book and take out the can't in every idea. No one ever achieved success by saying I can't.