Types of partner marketing
There are several types of marketing partnerships your business can utilize, such as:
Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest forms of partner marketing, allowing you to collaborate with influencers and brands to increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, and generate leads.
The affiliate marketing process is simple: You pay a fee to your affiliates — the third parties you're collaborating with — when they promote your brand, product, or service. Some of the largest online companies offer an affiliate program, including Amazon, Etsy, and eBay.
Co-marketing is a type of marketing partnership where businesses or brands work together to promote collaboration.
You see a lot of co-marketing in the fashion industry, where top designers work with major brands like Nike and Levi's to create and market exclusive products. These marketing partnerships allow both brands to benefit from each other's reputations, which helps increase brand awareness and reach new markets.
With referral partnerships, you're partnering with another brand or business to refer customers and clients to each other.
For example, a marketing company might form a partnership with a web design company to offer more comprehensive services to small business owners. If a client needs a website built, the web design company can recommend marketing services from their partner. If a client needs marketing services, the marketing company may recommend a website redesign from their partner.
Strategic partners are similar to referral partners, with the main difference being the agreement between the two parties.
In a strategic partnership, you're making an agreement with another brand or company that you will only recommend their business for a specific service. If you agree to a strategic partnership with a web design company, you're agreeing that you'll only recommend that specific company for web design services.
Channel partnerships are a diverse type of partnership between businesses. The idea is that both companies are working to provide mutual benefit.
You may offer a referral fee when a business refers customers to you, or you might partner with a similar company to offer more comprehensive products or services. The exact details of channel partnerships depend on the businesses involved and the goals of those businesses.
With a joint venture, you're making an agreement to combine your resources with another business's resources to achieve a common goal.
Joint ventures are common in real estate because pooling resources gives real estate investors more purchasing power. You can also find examples of joint ventures in the automotive and audio-visual industries.
When two or more businesses, brands, or publishers collaborate to create original audio or video programming, it's called a content partnership.
For example, a magazine may collaborate with a clothing brand to publish original stories and lifestyle content that's in line with both brands. As people consume more content and the demand for original, high-quality content grows, content partnerships are becoming more popular and effective.
If you don't have solid brand awareness, you can use distribution partnerships to distribute your products through a more recognizable brand.
There are different types of distribution partnerships, giving you fast access to untapped markets. You might have a product that you're having trouble selling online, but distributing your product through a major retailer can help you reach a larger audience.
Loyalty programs are a great way to get return customers at your business, and they can play a crucial role in marketing partnerships. Instead of offering a loyalty program for your own business, you can partner with another company to offer rewards for your partner's business.
For instance, if you sell car parts, you might partner with a mechanic to offer discounts on parts after several purchases. That mechanic can offer loyal customers discounts on your parts, and you can offer discounts on their services, so you can both benefit.