As more brands seek to expand internationally into foreign markets, they will need to overcome a few hurdles to become successful. For example, brands will need to establish recognition in new markets, get a leg up on competitors, and penetrate new market segments. One way B2B companies can address these challenges is by strategically partnering with other businesses.
B2B partner marketing is the collaboration between two businesses where both parties work together to accomplish mutual goals. There are many types of marketing partnerships that B2B companies can invest in. A few include affiliate, distribution, dealership, and co-marketing partnerships.
All types of strategic partnerships can deliver significant benefits for B2B companies. For example, partnerships can expand a company’s value proposition. Companies can leverage their partnership to deliver new content, enhance customer experiences, broaden sales avenues, and engage new audiences. Companies can capitalize on their partner’s customer base in hopes of reaching a wider audience. Not only will this increase brand awareness and visibility, but it can help them expand into different markets and verticals. Brands can also utilize partnerships to develop relationships with other leaders in the market.
An example of a successful B2B marketing partnership is GoPro and Redbull. At first glance, these companies do not appear that similar; a portable camera company and an energy drink company. However, the fact that GoPro and Redbull are both action-packed, extreme lifestyle brands makes them a perfect match for co-branding campaigns. GoPro provides the equipment and tools to capture RedBull’s races and events around the World. Another example of a partnership would be a B2B software company partnering with a tech review site to get leads and promote their software. This would be considered an affiliate partnership.
Who to partner with?
Partnerships need to be practical for both parties involved, as well as their audiences. It can be beneficial to choose a partner with a similar target audience, but who is not a direct competitor. A partner should be knowledgeable about your customer and be able to provide content that is beneficial and engaging if they are an ambassador or affiliates. A partner’s values should align with your company’s and never class. For example, a company that has a purpose in sustainability should probably not partner with a company in the fuel industry. Before formally entering the partnership, make sure that you and your potential partner could both offer something to your audiences together.
How to Create a Successful B2B Partner Marketing Strategy?
- Establish mutual goals and define your KPIs
- Set up a reporting process for tracking campaigns and outcomes
- Consider all stages of the sales funnel
- Take advantage of digital marketing channels (SEO, PPC, email, content marketing)
- Keep your partners in the loop
- Create a partner portal so they can access resources