How to Perfect the Art of Strategic Partnerships

By aiwpadminFebruary 8, 2018

by Eric Schaal

You might think you’re ready for more customers, but market forces could say otherwise. In some cases, competition in a niche nabs the client you coveted. In other situations, rising costs put a clear play out of your reach.

At times like these, a brand has to accept its limitations and see a way around the obstacles. Strategic partnerships can help you achieve the growth you need to move forward. However, it takes more than good instincts to pick a winner.

In a morning workshop on the opening day of LeadsCon 2018, Workbook6 CEO JT Benton will guide CMOs, CEOs and business development pros through the process of winning with your next partnership.

Customer Acquisition Headwinds
Ask any performance marketing pro about the struggle to get new clients in 2018 and you’ll hear similar responses. Many point to the escalating costs and disappearing margins. That’ll happen with brands just engaged in a bidding war. Undoubtedly, they’ll agree lifetime value (LTV) isn’t what it used to be.

“Essentially, we’ve entered a ‘new normal,’ wherein customer retention values are rapidly changing,” Benton said.

“Costly new customers [can be] largely price-focused and have very little brand loyalty. This imbalance frames the crux of the problem: The performance marketing ecosystem faces unit economic crisis.”

Still, some will be reluctant to sacrifice control by forming a partnership. While some hesitation is understandable, it’s important to remember there are no easy fixes to growth in the current marketplace. Strategic partnerships may be your best shot.

Benton, whose Workbook6 specializes in partnerships, will break each step down into chapters and offer case studies on getting it right.

Identifying Risks and Forming Partnerships
As with anything your company tries, mistakes can happen with partnerships. In some cases, the revenue impact will not be worth it. In others, the consumer will see little benefit in such an alliance. Or maybe the brand with which you’re partnering does not make sense for the market you’ve cornered.

Technical problems also arise.

“The programmatic interfaces that many media teams are accustomed to aren’t useful in strategic partnerships,” Benton said. “If a brand is hoping to properly leverage strategic partnerships, they’ll need to be willing to work hard to make the programs successful.”

Without question, the focus must be on the “strategic” part. Some keys include:

  • Identifying a partner offering a new revenue stream.

  • Staying true to your brand.

  • Closing a deal in which everyone’s winning.

  • Matching the billing format to the marketplace.

  • And seeing the next opportunity simultaneously.

Benton’s 4-hour workshop is devoted to sending attendees home with a plan for each part of the process. Quick takes on typical challenges will intermingle with deep dives into opportunities brands could see in their industry.

“These programs themselves are almost always unique,” Benton said, “and the programs take time and care to create.”

If revenue is a priority for you in 2018, consider what the right partnership can offer.

“When you depart from an auction format and instead negotiate terms that allow both partners to be successful, these programs are highly aligned to the interests of each party,” Benton said. “Partnerships allow for a combined focus on the consumer’s experience, which means that customers can win, too. Win, win, win.”

Click here to register for LeadsCon Las Vegas 2018.

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