I recently read an article about two companies that had partnered along a very unusual line: ‘the colour of beer’. One company had trademarked it in the same way Cadbury trademarked their colour purple and was producing a beer. The other, presumably having been granted a license, has made an aerosol paint .

While it is not uncommon to see two entities working together to broaden their marketing audience, it is unusual to see two products that are so different trading on their similarity.

Of course, the partnership was mainly about grabbing headlines, but it does serve as a timely reminder of the power of partnering with others. And you don’t need to be as far removed from each other as a brewer and an aerosol supplier to make it work.

Finding another business that sells to the same market but is non-competitive with your own, can achieve these outcomes:
1. Reduce your promotional expenses through shared marketing
2. Give you access to a database you would otherwise have to buy or create from scratch
3. Improve your standing with your existing clients by helping them with something else
4. Increase your credibility in the eyes of both prospects and clients alike, and
5. Rapidly grow your business.

A real life example

For one client in the Managed IT space we’ve managed to secure a relationship with a larger entity that sells software to legal firms and conveyancers.

Our client is executing a series of webinars at the invitation of the larger entity that cover everything from online security to cloud computing and the IT implications of the notifiable data breaches scheme that has just come into force.

Both companies sell to the same market: legal practice managers. But neither company is a competitor to the other – one sells IT services and one sells software. Our client is offering their expertise to the listeners, making the software vendor look good. In turn, the software vendor is providing direct access to its client base, served up on a platter because they take care of the marketing that attracts webinar attendees. Both companies win.

What other kinds of company deal with the same prospects as you do? Talk to your clients about their other suppliers. What could you offer those suppliers to convince them to give you access to their clients?

An easy start for many companies is to consider the benefits of a blog article swap. Publish each other’s articles and push links to each other’s website. As long as you are both reputable companies without a history of dodgy SEO activity, you can be reasonably confident that you’ll both benefit.

Then you might move to joint marketing events, webinars of the type we discussed or even joint advertising, depending on how closely aligned you are.

If you’d like a helping hand from a marketing consultant to get started, please call 1300 36 20 27 or fill in the form on our contact us page.


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