Specific Ideas For Partnership In Uncertain Times

Mar 23, 2020
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In our last post, we reviewed some general advice for going forward. But what about more specifics? What should we be thinking about and pursuing?

MAINTAINING FOCUS

We know lots of companies are facing the challenge of how to provide value while being sensitive to uncertain circumstances that surround us. The most important thing we can all do is to protect the health and well-being of our families, ourselves, and our friends and coworkers. We strongly urge everyone to do that. It’s also a good time to reflect and formulate ideas and plans for the months ahead.

We think creativity can help make things better for our customers and our businesses. At our core, we believe partnership can help solve problems. It creates customer experiences that people like, welcome, and need.

In that spirit, please read on.

PARTNERSHIP CAN DO A LOT

Partnership has characteristics that make it very useful in meeting specific business challenges. Our Customer Success experts have been working on a list of concepts to meet specific challenges our clients are facing, and we thought it would be useful to share some of those ideas.

GETTING BEYOND BUSINESS AS USUAL

Active, strategic management of partner programs yields the best results. If you’ve always used broad-stroke approaches to the channel, but have more specific and immediate needs, now is the time to consider how partnership can help address those needs. Here are some examples of how partnership can solve specific tactical business issues you may be experiencing right now, especially in retail:

Moving brick and mortar purchases to online

In-store retail is facing different degrees of challenge in different markets. What’s clear is that more people are turning to digital commerce to meet their needs. It’s important for your messages and offers to be available when they consider where to buy. By ensuring adequate offers and maintaining your partner footprint, you can retain and grow your customer base. Your email/CRM team is likely very focused on this; partnership is a no-risk way of reaching more people in those efforts. A specific example, if you have a strong click and collect business but shopping is restricted in your area, new offers emphasizing home delivery can be valuable to shoppers. News reports show that some retailers, including Amazon, are showing increased demand as more purchases shift to digital.

Inexpensive reach for new programs and plans

In telecom, you can respond to changing consumer needs by creating or highlighting different service plans. As always, partnership is an inexpensive way to gain awareness and reach in high credibility environments. Test and analyze response.

Supporting digital customer acquisition methods

Some brands gain their customers primarily through on-premise conversions, even though they offer online mechanisms as well. We are seeing companies work to create new customer acquisition flows by communicating these options for the first time. They can also structure commissions to pay (or pay more) for new customers. This seems to be of growing popularity in financial services.

Selling items already in inventory/overstocked items

Some companies find themselves with a great deal of inventory in some sectors, and much less in others. By creating campaigns that specifically focus on highly available goods, you can help drive revenue without taxing challenged supply chains. For example, structuring programs to apply specifically to those goods/categories.

Mitigating risk of returns

Some brands are concerned that return rates may increase during these times. Partnerships can be structured so that you pay partners AFTER a return period concludes. For example, if your customer buys on day 1, and you have a 30-day return period, you set up your program to pay on day 31. Then track specific sales against returns. This strategy is a favorite in the travel industry (where it is called purchased versus consumed) but it is likely to become more popular among retailers.

Driving more digital trials

Some subscription services companies are stepping up their partner marketing efforts to drive trials while more people are spending their time at home. This is particularly true in the entertainment industry.

MANY MORE IDEAS

This post merely scratches the surface of what is possible when you apply creative partnership to specific business circumstances. Reach out to your partner management solutions provider to discuss specific business circumstances and how partnership might be shaped to address them.

For Partnerize clients, reach out to your CS lead to discuss the problems you need to solve. Together, we can find ways to meet more consumer needs and solve real business challenges.

Thanks for reading. You can also read our first post on general ideas and advice for the way forward.

Stay safe!

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