Sunday, April 02, 2006

Partnering Creates Synergy

As a self employed person you may feel a little isolated at times. You may feel it is me against a mob of other faceless entrepreneurs. It doesn't have to be this way. You can effectively mobilize each others skills and enthusiasm through a marketing technique called partnering.

So what is partnering? Partnering is when two businesses help promote each other through joint marketing efforts. If done correctly a synergy can be created between the two where the sum is greater than the individual parts. Partnering also keeps each business owner accountable to each other for their actions. I also believe it can be a great way to enhance motivation for marketing and help another business owner get motivated.

Some ways to use partnering:
  • Each partner hands out a coupon- As an example a romantic restaurant may hand out a coupon for a discount on a spa getaway and in turn the spa would give away coupons for the restaurant.
  • Start a partnering network- Gather together a bunch of complementary businesses and brainstorm ways you can help promote each other. Downtown business associations do this fairly well.
  • Hold co-facilitated seminars or information sessions- As an example an investment consultant could hold seminars with a lawyer on Investments and Estate Planning. A massage therapist could partner with a chiropractor and do Back Care seminars.
  • Start a cause- Is there a issue in your community that can be advocated for such as homelessness or youth initiatives? Why not partner with one or preferably more business to start a group. The main thing is that it has to be a cause you believe in. The recognition you gain should come secondary to your genuine concern. If this is not the case your cause will most likely fail. People will also think of you as slick and dishonest if they perceive that you are exploiting a group for your own financial gain. A number of communities have also started groups to fight the entry of Walmart in to their community. Is their any other issues related to business that could be advocated for?
  • Mention each other in press releases- Again going back to the massage therapist and chiropractor example. A massage therapist could include a quote in there release from the chiropractor and vice-versa.
So there are some ideas to utilize this marketing techniques. Here is another article on this technique form the Duct-Tape Marketing Blog that I thought was informative. Give one or more of these a try and share your experiences with me.

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