Co-marketing or Partner marketing

Co-marketing or partner marketing is potentially a low-cost option for increasing reach, but it does require time to set up and maintain partnerships. It’s most suited to companies that already have a known brand and audience, so it’s not generally suitable for early stage startups.

It involves identifying other complementary organizations with a similar or larger reach and similar target audience that you can co-develop and co-share content with. You can combine your audience by jointly sending out announcements through email to each partners lists and sharing to social media marketing followers.

For example, two or three years after the launch of Smart Insights, I set up co-marketing projects with larger businesses including event organizers (Technology for Marketing), publishers (MyCustomer), marketing technology providers (HubSpot) and trade associations (The IDM and Chartered Institute of Marketing). As a relatively unknown brand, this gives the benefit of associating with larger, better known companies)

It can be more effective if you join forces with more than one other organization. For example, in B2B marketing I’ve seen this is a common approach for webinars, research reports or roadshow events to involve several related companies. Within digital marketing a combination might be an agency, an email, content marketing and search marketing platform.

These are B2B examples and this is perhaps, the sweetspot for partner marketing, but similar thinking can be applied to B2C businesses.

See the Smart Insights channel and partner marketing guide for guidance on how to improve your channel marketing effectiveness.


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Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
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About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

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