Keys to Successful Co-Marketing Campaigns

It can be difficult to design a marketing campaign with only one company involved; adding one or more partners can significantly complicate the design and execution of a campaign. By being aware of potential pitfalls, using the right resources, and instilling accountability in all partners, a co-marketing campaign can meet or exceed all expectations.1    Overcoming ObstaclesOne of the challenges is finding the right partners to form a co-marketing alliance.  Many co-marketing campaigns occur naturally, when partners working together on other projects decide to initiate a new campaign together.  However, in some cases a smaller company may have co-marketing campaign ideas that could involve a larger company, and may need assistance in approaching a larger company to form an alliance.Some of the major obstacles that can be encountered in forming a co-marketing alliance include:•    “We don’t have the time/money.” – Many organizations may initially balk at the time, money, and personnel that are required to create a co-marketing campaign, without really understanding what really is required.  Many co-marketing campaigns can actually save all of the partners time and money in the long run because efforts aren’t duplicated by each partner.•    “I don’t even know where to start.” – Organizations that have never developed a co-marketing campaign may feel intimidated by the process.  One option is to work with an alliance partner that has significant expertise developing its own co-marketing alliances.  Many larger companies have significant marketing experience and the in-house staff to adequately design and manage co-marketing campaigns.Once an alliance has been formed, the design and execution of the marketing campaign can also contain many pitfalls, including:•    Poor Planning – Alliances that fail to plan are planning to fail.  A successful co-marketing campaign requires integrated planning by all partners within the alliance at the very start of the design process.•    Misalignment with Partner Messages – A large partner could potentially force a smaller partner to conform to the large partner’s established messages, even if they don’t exactly align with the message that the smaller partner wants to portray.•    Not Using Available Tools – Each partner in a co-marketing campaign has their own resources that they can provide, whether it’s funding, personnel, or software tools.  If one partner does not take advantage of the tools that the other partner has provided, then they reduce the overall value of the campaign.•    Overly Complex Messaging – Messaging between personnel and partners within a co-marketing campaign has to be tailored to each of the parties receiving data.  For example, CFOs will want to stay on to

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