Partnerships are a popular and effective way to enhance customer value propositions and to drive outcomes for all parties involved in influencing customer loyalty. They help in at least these 4 areas.
Partner promotion opportunities include advertising and branding cooperation, product placement and joint marketing such as events and content. Partnering increases the reach of brand messages and promotions. They can reach customers you do not know, and vice versa.
Partnerships can increase the suite of benefits offered to your customers, allowing benefits to be richer and more diverse. This can also include discounts, giveaways, and experience. Plus, novelty and variety in your marketing appeals directly to an important group of customers who will otherwise disengage, and partners let you ‘mix it up’ for them.
Product / Services
Consider product co-development opportunities with your partners including complementary offerings and product/service bundles.
Partnering can also provide operational benefits such as shared resources across marketing efforts, technology, and operations. Joint venture opportunities also may exist. Share data (preserving privacy) to establish a hub of collaborative commerce, exploiting the network effect to each Partner’s benefit.
What are the benefits of acquiring Partners?
Better customer insight through richer customer data from multiple sources.
Exposure: Reach a new customer base, this provides many opportunities to communicate to a larger audience.
Revenue: Create new streams of income through partners.
Uplift: Drive increased spend and retention through network effects and communicating to more customers.
Efficiency: Leveraging common resources such as marketing and technology to create cost savings.
Brand: Leveraging brand synergies can help strengthen all parties brand positioning and awareness.
3 key steps to developing partnership opportunities
To start your partnership strategy, consider these three steps …
Step 1: Identify by creating a longlist of candidates and categorise them by value to you and your customers
Create a longlist of potential partners in the market and categorise according to complementary value and attractiveness of their customers.
Step 2: Define a range of opportunities
Apply a decision framework to identify specific partnership opportunities and align on objectives.
Step 3: Validate and assess the viability of the opportunity
Evaluate. We recommend a Balanced Scorecard approach with multiple perspectives including financial, customer, processes, resources, and assets / systems. This provides a comprehensive view of the partnership viability
Characteristics of successful loyalty program partnerships
A partnership strategy is one component of the overall loyalty initiative. Ensure that your program:
Is integrated into the full experience
Uses data to drive insights
Solves customer pain points
Maximises perceived value
Allocates loyalty investment
Aligning partnership initiatives to the overarching brand message will help create a successful customer loyalty strategy. Customers love the idea they can earn rewards in lots of places.