Have you contemplated launching a partnership marketing program but are unsure where to begin? Heard of other businesses experiencing exceptional results from partnership channels like affiliate marketing and ready to get in on the action? Do you already have an affiliate marketing program but are disappointed with the results you've achieved thus far?
If your answer was a definitive "Yes" to any of the above questions, then you should consider working with a partnership marketing agency with proven success and unparalleled in-region support. Before you fire up your favorite search engine and start searching through agencies that serve your industry, it's vital that you know what to look for in a prospective partnership marketing agency.
Below, we reveal 7 attributes that great partnership marketing agencies possess. You can use these attributes to vet potential agency partners and find the ideal agency to help you achieve your partnership marketing goals.
7 Attributes to Look for in a Partnership Marketing Agency
Whether you're just starting out with a new affiliate program, scaling your influencer partnerships, or looking to elevate and expand your existing partnership marketing program, it's important you've done the research to find an agency partner that will be the perfect fit for your brand.
At Acceleration Partners, we believe these seven attributes are non-negotiable for any great partnership marketing agency:
1. Strategic Partner Acquisitions
Strategic partner acquisitions should not simply be a term of meaningless marketing jargon. In reality, it is a powerful concept that can maximize the efficacy of your partnership marketing program. This reality holds whether you're building your program from scratch or revitalizing an existing one.
Your agency partner should be able to clearly explain their strategy behind the partners they choose for your program, the insights they have gathered already on these partners, and solid performance goals that can be accurately tracked and measured.
Strategic acquisition refers to carefully screening and selecting partners based on the unique needs of your business. During this process, marketing agencies should analyze your company's values, beliefs, challenges, pain points, and goals and KPIs.
The agency should then select partners that align with your organization. Ideally, this will help you forge long-lasting relationships with the right partners and generate sustainable growth.
2. A Client-Centric Approach
When you meet with an affiliate marketing agency for your initial consultation, pay particular attention to the tone and direction of the conversation.
Is the conversation centered around your company's needs and how partnership marketing fits into that equation? Or does the agency's representative take over the discussion and make it all about their standard plans, go-to partner mix, and generalized tactics without taking into account any of your brand's detailed objectives?
If you find that the latter is true, then most likely the marketing agency does not use a client-centric approach. Instead, they rely on generic tactics not tailored to your needs and pain points.
The best agencies make it clear that the program strategy is about your business from the moment you meet with them. They should take the time to listen and understand before proposing a solution.
3. Measurable Results
Any competent digital marketing agency is going to talk about the results they produce for their clients. However, the top partnership marketing agencies demonstrate their talents by providing you with hard data that showcases valuable outcomes that line up with their clients' previously discussed goals and KPIs.
When searching for an agency partner, you should thoroughly explore each agency's website. While browsing their pages, be on the lookout for a case study tab somewhere on their site. Case studies break down what services the agency provided a specific client and what results those solutions produced.
In addition to reviewing case studies, you should check out client reviews or testimonials. Again, reputable agencies will place this information in a prominent location on their website because they are proud of the work they do and confident in the results they produce.
4. A Dynamic Range of Services
Partnership marketing is an incredibly powerful outcomes-driven channel that offers brands a strong return on ad spend (ROAS) compared to some other marketing channels, such as paid search and paid social. However, if your brand wants to truly capitalize on this lucrative channel, they'll need expertise from an agency that can navigate the nuances.
There are several facets of partnership marketing, which include affiliate, influencer and brand-to-brand marketing. A great partnership marketing agency not only has experience in all of these areas, but proven success and boots-on-the-ground support and resources.
5. Total Campaign Management
The best partnership marketing agencies will manage your campaigns from start to finish. They can create, plan, and manage one-off campaigns or recurring ones as part of your holistic program strategy and objectives.
This approach will take the burden off of your in-house staff and allow them to focus on other responsibilities.
When speaking with potential partnership marketing agencies, find out what level of involvement they have in campaigns they manage. Ask tough questions like "Do you generate reports and review the data with my team?" or "How frequently do you provide updates, and how will you respond if the campaign is underperforming?"
6. Ongoing Support
Premier partnership marketing agencies will provide you with comprehensive support during every stage and season your program goes through. They will oversee campaign planning, the launch of a new program, enhance existing programs with improved performance and incremental growth, optimize programs to attain maximum efficiency, and help you expand your program into new markets or regions, if you so choose.
After the end of every campaign, a great agency partner will meet with you to assess its performance and take proactive steps for future success. They will take a deep dive into what worked, what didn't, and how they are going to improve your program moving forward.
7. Clear Communication
During your initial consultation with a partnership marketing agency, set clear expectations regarding future communications. Explain who you want them to communicate with and at what frequency you expect to receive updates.
This guideline will ensure that everyone is on the same page from the outset of the partnership and minimize friction during the height of partnership marketing campaigns.
Ready to Work with a Premier Partnership Marketing Agency?
Interested in partnering with a partnership marketing agency that embodies all of the traits outlined above? If so, then it's time to schedule a consultation with Acceleration Partners.
Acceleration Partners has a reputation that speaks for itself within the partnership marketing industry. We are a trusted resource for clients around the globe. Our team has helped clients break into new markets, exceed growth goals, and cultivate dynamic partnership marketing programs that continue to produce results to this day.
Connect with our team to begin leveraging the benefits of an outcomes-driven channel through our world-class agency.