In today’s competitive market, organisations are challenged to drive sustainable growth and continually shift their marketing mix to keep pace with an ever-evolving digital landscape. Building strategic partnerships with other brands or with affiliates who will promote your product or service can enable you to expand your audience and increase sales. Consider how adding brand to brand marketing (also referred to as affinity marketing), affiliate marketing or influencer marketing as a marketing channel can drive more customer conversions and greater revenue.
Access new markets through brand to brand marketing partnerships
Brand to brand or affinity marketing is a type of partnership in which your brand partners with another brand on a marketing campaign. Usually, one group provides a product or service to another. In exchange, they get access to their partner’s customer base.
It’s common for sports teams and sneaker companies to form affinity or brand partnerships with other organisations. The sneaker company provides free shoes for the players to wear during games, getting immense exposure in return. It’s a win-win situation.
Brand to brand marketing campaigns take many different forms. Sometimes, it simply involves one company placing its logo on another company’s product. Other times, the two groups go so far as to develop new products together.
The most successful brand to brand or affinity marketing campaigns are mutually beneficial for both groups. They work best for brands looking to:
- Increase memberships: Brand to brand programmes are popular with nonprofits and membership associations. AARP is just one organisation that has built its business around this type of partnership. Their members receive special discounts at all the stores and restaurants in their network. This helps them to attract new members.
- Target specific demographics: Brand to brand marketing can help increase brand awareness and tap into new markets. Brands that partner with AARP, for example, are those looking to reach the 50+ audience.
- Optimise marketing budget: Brand to brand marketing is a collaborative effort between your brand and another brand. With both of your marketing teams working on a brand to brand programme, you’ll save money on your campaign.
Related: Brand to brand partnerships 101
Boost reputation and broaden your audience with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is a type of partnership in which an affiliate (also referred to as “partners” and “publishers”) is paid on a performance basis to generate some sort of desired outcome for a brand—be that a sale, lead, new customer, etc.
Affiliate Marketing uses tracking cookies and a pixel placed on the brand’s site in order to track and measure their partners’ marketing activity. The metrics generated from this tracking structure tend to be more tangible than other forms of marketing and can lead to a highly reliable ROI calculation for the brand.
A home decor blogger might partner with Amazon to promote their brand. Each time they mention a product that’s in the Amazon catalogue, they’ll include a link to Amazon.com. If the customer buys a product from that site within a given amount of time, the affiliate gets a cut of the sale.
This marketing strategy has many benefits, including:
- Rapid growth in traffic: An affiliate with a large following can drive large amounts of people to your site. Even those who don’t convert to customers will learn about your brand.
- Boosts your reputation: Bloggers and social media personalities have loyal audiences who trust them. An endorsement from the right affiliate can have a big impact on your reputation.
- Cost-effectiveness: Most affiliate marketing programmes are commission-based. So, you’ll only pay for results.
Influencer marketing delivers focused content to your target audience
In an influencer marketing partnership, a company pays an influential person, such as a social media personality, to promote their product or service.
Unlike affiliate marketing, these partnerships aren’t usually commission-based and don’t have to include a deal or discount.
DeWalt might partner with a popular DIY YouTuber as part of their marketing efforts. The YouTuber might demonstrate their products, give them a good review, or agree to use only DeWalt tools in all their videos. The company gets its products in front of its target audience. In exchange, the influencer is compensated for their endorsement.
Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular as it helps brands:
- Build trust: People trust online influencers far more than they trust traditional ads. Working with influencers is a way to get word-of-mouth referrals from people who are valued in their respective niche.
- Reach a target market: By working with influencers who create content about your niche, you’ll get your products in front of the people who are most likely to buy them.
- Advertise in a non-invasive way: Influencer marketing doesn’t involve sidebar ads, pop-ups, or other types of intrusive ads. They allow you to insert your advertisement into the content your audience is already consuming.
Brand to brand, affiliate or influencer marketing: which marketing channel is right for you?
Compare these three different types of marketing channels side-by-side to determine which one (or a combination of all three) might help elevate your brand’s marketing strategy:
While each type of marketing channel delivers a number of benefits, the best way to maximise these opportunities – and your marketing budget – is through a partnership marketing agency.
A partnership marketing agency has the resources and expertise to help you:
- Identify the right mix for your brand and stay on top of evolving trends in the partnership marketing landscape.
- Find potential partners to promote your products, cultivate existing relationships and seek out new or non-traditional partnerships.
- Negotiate contracts, set deliverables and manage your collaborative marketing campaigns.
- Measure results to ensure programme success and make data-driven recommendations.
Working with influencers, affiliates and other brands can be an invaluable tool for your brand. With the right partners and campaign management, you can expand your market, boost your brand reputation and drive sales.