Finding the ideal strategic partners for your business is something akin to striking marketing gold. A strategic partner is a fellow business owner who shares your target market but is not your direct competition. Sometimes called joint ventures, strategic partnerships are a powerful marketing tool that foster creative collaborations. So, a children’s toy retailer would make an ideal strategic partner for a children’s clothing store. These two businesses can easily create marketing collaborations – and marketing products – that play on the natural appeal of their shared audience.
The benefits of the right strategic partnerships are plentiful. They’re an easy way to double or even triple the reach you have into your target market. They also let you easily and readily conduct market research including testing marketing efforts, campaigns, and platforms. If your business is digital, the right partnerships can increase your online footprint and presence. If your business is a local one, a strategic partnership is a good way to increase your business presence beyond your own brick and mortar location.
Be creative in your pursuit of strategic partnerships. Don’t limit your strategic partners to companies who share your exact target market like the children’s retailers in the examples above. Strategic partnerships can also include companies who share products and services who complement each other’s personalities and goals. For example, an auto dealership might create a strategic partnership with a finance company or an auto body or repair shop. Similarly, a website designer might collaborate with a skilled copywriter or a wedding planner might collaborate with a florist.
Strategic partnerships might also include corporate or small business sponsorships. They could also include non-profit and community organizations you sponsor or advocate for. Think about it – if your business supports a local charity or community sports team, leveraging those partnerships is a savvy marketing move. Get permission from those agencies and non-profits to use their name and logo on your marketing materials. When like-minded consumers know you support and advocate for the same organizations they do, they’re more likely to do business with you.
You can also form strategic partnerships with causes you champion and the agencies built around those causes. Does your business support recycling, sustainability, and the environment? Does your business support diversity, equality, and fair hiring practices? Create a partnership with other businesses and agencies who champion those same causes.
Identifying your strategic partners – and you should have more than one – is only half the marketing battle. Creating a powerful combined marketing presence is another. The kind of shared marketing you pursue together will depend largely on each business owner’s marketing plans and goals. Try using the customization features of our DIY small business design tool to create shared print marketing campaigns. What can you create?
Strategic partnerships are a success strategy for small business owners. They’re a simple way to create alliances that grow your business, create out-of-the-box marketing campaigns, and boost your online and social media presences. Get started with our small business design tool today. It works where you work – in the cloud – and make marketing and branding your small business easier than ever.