Your 5 Minute Guide to Partnerships Marketing Success

Successful Partnerships Marketing

by Lu, OTL City Guides & Seat Fillers; Updated in April 2023

There's a lot of buzz about "partnerships marketing" these days. So we thought we should explain what it is, whether or not it works, and how OTL Seat Fillers offers highly effective private partnerships marketing.

What is Partnerships Marketing?

Partnerships Marketing is a customer outreach strategy involving two or more companies working together through cross-promotion for the benefit of everyone. It can help you gain new clients and engage your current clients in a unique way, like by giving away an exclusive offer or creating better content about how your companies work together.

This collaboration can be in person, through an event, or on social media channels or advertising networks. It may also involve exchanging resources, or it can be simply a mutual support strategy.

You could think of partnerships marketing as the business version of being social. It's about awareness, expansion, and building trust and loyalty with others in your industry.

Why Partnerships Marketing is Effective

This particular marketing tactic is effective because it increases brand visibility, monopolizes relevant online search results, and builds trust with potential buyers.

When two (or more) brands tag team together, they both gain exposure to their target market. It's like having double the number of employees! All this partnership takes is a little bit of effort and good communication.

benefits of partnerships marketing, marketing partnerships

Benefits of Teaming Up

Running a partnerships marketing campaign has some unique benefits. For one thing, it's cost-effective since two companies can pool their marketing resources and get twice the reach for each dollar spent.

Partnerships marketing is also an exciting proposition because it gives you a chance to tap into your competitor's customer base for little or no cost.

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The Basics

These focused marketing plans are as diverse as the organizations involved. There’s nothing set in stone that says, “one company provides X, and the other provides Y.” That’s the beauty of this type of approach. So, it’s ideal for “out of the box” marketers and promoters.

  1. Find someone who has a similar target market to you or whose product or service complements yours somehow.
  2. Try dividing your promotional plans into two phases. For example, one company might create content using the other company's product. Then, both companies could use this created content on their own channels.
  3. Don't wait until you have a partnership idea to build your company's social media following. You'll need that audience for this marketing strategy to work!
  4. You’ll find that this type of marketing is far from a cookie-cutter approach. You’re creating something new and testing the waters. So, just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it won’t work.

Examples of Successful Partnerships Marketing Plans

We can talk about the Ps of marketing or concepts like niche marketing, virtual presence, and an SEO strategy. But the wheels start spinning when you see some actual examples, so here are a few collaborative examples.

Scenario 1 – Combining Products

Let’s say you have a small Italian restaurant, and your local wine shop is down the street. The two of you could pool your resources and develop a takeaway or delivery package.

Party of Three

You could add a florist as your third partner and be Valentine’s Day-ready. The florist provides a basket, and small arrangement for your dinner, and a bottle of wine. All three of you would promote the package through your individual advertising channels, mentioning your partners and linking to their sites as well.

Think about expanding the possibilities to a unique delivery service. You’ve got three of you splitting the costs as well as the profits. It’s a super affordable plan with very little investment required.

Scenario 2 – A Successful Online Strategy

A partnership marketing campaign that was particularly successful and well-known is the partnership between HubSpot and Moz.

HubSpot's content marketing platform has an open API, allowing other companies to use their software as a foundation for their own software. This partnership permitted HubSpot to tap into the network of about 80,000 marketers who used Moz products for their marketing efforts.

Dual Benefit for HubSpot and Moz

The partnership was beneficial to Moz as well because it now had access to the HubSpot user base and could even take advantage of any content made by those users.

When you think partnership marketing, think growth and development! The partnership between HubSpot and Moz helped both companies develop new features that buyers were asking for; this partnership even helped Moz raise the price of their software!

Scenario 3 – Private Partnerships

For more than seven years, OTL Seat Fillers has relied on partnerships marketing as the basis of the local seat-filling concept. We refer to it as private marketing, as partners aren’t publicly promoted.

That may seem counterintuitive to what we’ve outlined in this post, but it’s an effective promotional strategy based on partnerships.

OTL teams up with local shows, events, activities, and services when the organizations could use a little boost. They might have unsold seats for a play, or Wednesday might be a slower day at the movie theatre or museum. Or, maybe it’s a cooking class that could use a few extra students.

Beneficial to Both

Whatever the reason, when OTL’s partners have extra tickets or admission, they privately provide them to the club. Then, OTL posts the opportunity for members and compiles a reservation list.

Seat Fillers have fun things to do, and OTL’s partners benefit from more traffic, increased food and beverage, and the introduction to new patrons.

Win-Win for everyone!

partnerships marketing tips, marketing tips and tricks

Collaborative Marketing Tips

Many companies are turning towards partnerships marketing to increase their presence and marketability. Here are some tips that you can implement right away:

- Try using partnership marketing to make new content instead of just repurposing your own. You'll create a partnership-specific piece of content that you can both use for this campaign and in the future!

- Don't forget to upload your partnerships marketing content onto your brand's social media outlets. This will increase the number of eyeballs on your ideas, services, and products!

- Use the partnership to introduce new marketing ideas. If a partnership doesn't work as anticipated, you can still market your existing ideas in a different way that still benefits both companies!

- Be flexible with the expectations of each participant involved. It's not successful partnership marketing if it's not going to benefit both parties!

Partnerships Marketing: The Future of Customer Engagement

This particular promotional strategy works because it feels more authentic than the traditional one-sided approach brands take when they just want to sell their products.

Partnerships marketing builds trust between your company and customers because you show that you care about more than just selling them a product or service. You care enough about their needs to find someone who can help them meet those needs!

Contact us today if you have a show, event, service, or activity and want to give OTL’s private partnership marketing a go!


What is partnerships marketing?

Partnerships marketing is a tactic whereby two or more businesses or organizations join forces to promote each other or a common product, service, or activity. It's an ideal way to split the work and get more exposure for everyone involved.

How do I get started with partnerships marketing?

If you're starting fresh with a new idea, the best way to find a partner is to narrow your list by geography or other businesses or organizations that complement yours without being a direct competitor. If you have a show, event, or activity to promote, you can contact OTL Seat Fillers any time to partner on filling seats.

What are some tips for effective partnerships marketing programs?

Successful partnerships marketing should benefit both parties, although it doesn't have to be 50/50. Expectations should be spelled out ahead of time so that all participants are on the same page with messaging, social media posts, sharing information, and other responsibilities. Plan for a partnerships marketing program by building a social media presence, email opt-ins, and allocating enough staff to properly implement everything.