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How To Execute Your Partner Marketing Strategy

Executing a partner marketing strategy begins with understanding your brand and your ideal customer. Once you’ve done that however, the real work begins. Successfully partnering with another business—from your pitch to your followup with clients—requires four steps, and we’re here to walk you through each one below.

Step 1: prep for your partners

After all that work you did solidifying your company’s brand and ideal client profile, you’ve got to find partners whose interests align with yours. Part of this is is making sure your brands and clients align. Once you’ve done that, you should vet potential partners for their reach and budget. Does your potential partner have the time and funds to to invest in a partner event? It might seem like something that doesn’t even bear thinking about, but if your partner’s budget is mismatched with yours, you might not be able to successfully fund your event, and no one wants to waste that kind of time.

Aligning partner expectations via email is a great way to ensure you’re on the same page. Once you’ve determined what kinds of partners might be a good fit for a partnered event, you have some options to give them when you send a proposal:

  • Sponsorship: You can bring on a partner to co-sponsor an event in order to cut down on costs and elevate co-branding.
  • Co-hosting: You can bring on a partner as an equal coordinator, sharing outreach, event planning and execution.
  • Speaker: If your partner has access to thought leaders your target audience would want to hear from, or a strong relationship with a specific customer, this might be a fruitful partnership.

A good proposal is going to include what your partner stands to gain from a synced event, agreements about goals for the event and communicating deliverables that your side will be able to supply.

Step 2: keep partners engaged

Once you’ve finalized a contract with your partner (if necessary), it’s going to be all about communication while you prep for your event. Depending on how far out your event is, expect to be sending weekly progress reports to your partner. If you’ve clued your stakeholders in on previous events, this should all be standard operating procedure.

In addition, you’ll be responsible for agreeing on an economical distribution of tasks. Just starting out on your social media? Let a more established partner take the reins. You’ll be dividing other promotional tasks up as well, so don’t worry—there’s plenty to do. Just make sure you’re leveraging each brand’s strengths.

Step 3: execute your partner marketing event

Hosting a normal event can be stressful enough as-is, so you’re going to have some extra challenges on your plate when executing a partner marketing strategy. Make sure you’re communicating with your partner about registrations, and break down whose contacts are whose. This will help you calculate ROI at the event’s conclusion. You should also agree on who’s going to represent each organization at the event beforehand as well.

The content of your event is a great way to work collaboratively with a partner, but this will depend on what kind of event (sponsorship, co-hosting or speaker) that you’re doing. Make sure you have your run-of-show solidified ahead of time as well if you’re sharing the floor too. Since chances are your brands are compatible but not the same, doing this will avoid any unexpected reveals while you’re on the floor.

Step 4: post-event retro

For this, you should follow our existing guidelines in the Field Marketer’s Guide to Events. Just make sure to ask for your stakeholders’ feedback about the partner aspect as well. Once you’ve done this, you should schedule time to with your partner to decamp about the event as well. Some of the feedback you can ask your partners about include:

  • Were their event goals met?
  • Were your shared goals met?
  • Were their event KPIs met?
  • Were your shared KPIs met?
  • What went well?
  • What could have been improved?
  • Would they do this event again?
  • Any good partner leads they need help following up on?

As you continue to work with partners, it’ll become easier to coordinate stellar partner events with them. For more information on how to to crush your partner event, you can download the full whitepaper here.

 

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