The importance of partnership marketing

Partnership Marketing is a discipline that continues to stand the test of time, yet we are only now seeing the growth it deserves as brands search for alternative and innovative ways to engage today’s savvy consumers.

As partnerships consequently become more important in today’s marketing mix we need to be clear that it isn’t as simple as approaching a brand / organisation and slapping a partnership together. You need to have a strong strategy with real thought given to the nature of the partnership ensuring that it is likeminded, you then need to work collaboratively (the true definition of partnership) and have clear goals in place.. And remember that all successful partnerships that have stood the test of time didn’t happen overnight!

So what do great partnerships look like? To demonstrate here are a few of the most powerful combinations that have grown brands in the Australian market over the years:

National Breast Cancer Association (NBCA) and Pink Ribbon Day, it all started with a single partnership turning a brands product pink and today there are multiple brands turning their products pink for the whole month of ‘Pinktober’.

Not only do the retailers/services raise a lot of money for charity, the attention and rewards have been reciprocal. ‘Anything PINK’ now drives sales and engages shoppers on a more emotional level, with shopping never feeling so good – or that’s how the 150+ products or services that are now aligned with the world’s most successful marketing partnership program want you to feel.

Target Australia started their ‘Designers for Target’ programme in 2007 as part of Target’s mission to make high-end fashion more affordable and accessible for everyday Australians. These partnerships have gone on to be sought after commodity by most, as let’s face it anyone who is fashion conscious knows Target and the likes of a Collette Dinnigan aren’t exactly of the same calibre or sit within the same price range. Which ironically is the very reason the two brands came together in the first place.

Target Australia are now renowned for their successful designer collaborations with multiple high-end international and local designers, with the programme not only allowing Target & the designers to both support their brands positioning but reach a new audience and demonstrate their passion to provide customers with exclusive shopping opportunities. Getting the formula right is imperative and definitely the case for Collette Dinnigan with the success leading to multiple ongoing collaborations across the target range.

Tourism Australia is another example of a brand that thrives on the right partnerships and knows when to act. Initially taking one of the most successful tourism campaigns – Tourism Queensland’s 2009 “Best Job in the World” promotion and making it bigger by bringing on most state tourism boards, Airlines and hotel chains in a collaborative effort to promote Australia internationally with a single voice.

Secondly with the unprecedented use of the global spotlight that was created by Oprah Winfrey’s visit to Australia. Knowing the popularity of the talk show host and that she has an audience that really listen when she speaks, Tourism Australia took this visit and owned it by demonstrating to the world why ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ for a holiday and executing the entire visit as ‘Oprah’s Ultimate Australian Adventure’.

While these may be some of the bigger partnership examples, the whole point of a partnership is that the success of one brand will bring success to its partner brand; it has to be a win-win for all, big or small.

Strategic partnerships at any level continue to prove that when masterful combinations are executed properly they produce benefits for consumers, brands and organisations alike. They are a highly effective way to build a brand, boost awareness and break into the realm of the previously untouchable consumer’s let’s give them their rightful place as an important part of the marketing mix

For more information on perfect partnerships and partnership marketing, contact Alicia Beachley or Terina Gill-Durrenberger on [email protected], or call us at April5 Agency on (02) 9977 6255.

Post written by Terina Gill-Durrenberger, Senior Acct Director April5 Agency.