For some time, we have sounded a drumbeat to advocate for partnership, a broad term that encompasses a wide range of partner types, from major media companies to influencers, loyalty communities, channel partners, and affiliates. Most companies are already active in at least some areas of partnerships – in a recent survey we conducted of more than 1,200 brand leaders worldwide, we found that 96% of retailers, travel companies, and financial services companies were active in partnerships.
So, yes, we talk about partnerships a lot. But our commitment to helping brands benefit from the totality of the partnership space is much greater than simply advocating for it. In fact, much of what we do as a company is guided by what we call a partnerships enrichment strategy that triangulates technology, expert advice, and AI-powered Intelligent Partner Discovery, based on a client’s specific business goals.
Finding new partners can be a powerful avenue to growth. After all, new partners can bring valuable benefits to a healthy and well-managed program:
- Broader offer distribution, which results in greater reach and potentially greater frequency against key prospect customers.
- Ability to reach and connect with new target audiences that may not be regular users of your existing publisher partners.
- Opportunities to borrow credibility from brands and publishers that may be extremely important to prospects.
- Ways to grow the overall buying funnel by broadening it where bottlenecks currently limit your potential sales volume.
That said, all partners are not the same. Most of us know of examples where brands have amassed thousands of partners, only to later learn that most can generate only small slivers of revenue, if any. In fact, some brands have found that they increase sales when they cull weaker partners and focus their time and energy on working directly with a handful of major publishers, ensuring they capitalize on every opportunity with these “workhorses.”
Partner enrichment is designed to identify the best ways that brands can drive the most growth through partnerships. That might mean working with new partners, new types of partnership and partner, and new ways of working with existing partners. Often means a combination of “all of the above.”
Let me take you through some of the elements of Partnership Enrichment.
First, our platform is designed to streamline and automate the key tasks of partner recruiting, on-boarding and management. From a flexible system to deliver both standard and bespoke Ts and Cs, to a simplified, three-step sign-up process, we work very hard to streamline the steps that partners must take in order to join and participate in client programs. We have also implemented a screen overlay tutorial system in our platform that helps partners learn the platform and complete key tasks like inputting their payment account details quickly and easily.
Partnerize also offers unparalleled international partner payment capabilities, along with a streamlined invoicing and payment process. For invoicing, partners can either raise an invoice at their leisure in the platform or set up automatic invoicing every “N” days. All those individual invoices are totaled up by Partnerize so that the client receives one consolidated invoice from Partnerize to cover all the individual partners. Once the client pays that single invoice, the partners all receive payment within one business day. Further, we make payments in more than 60 currencies, so partners can receive the type of money they prefer.
Partners particularly appreciate that last element because it means they don’t need to wait days or weeks for payments or convert money themselves. Some platforms make payments only on certain days of the month. We make payments every business day.
Our platform also delivers identical data to clients and partners alike, which significantly reduces the potential for discrepancies. Clients control how much data is shared, and whatever is shared is reported simultaneously. Another great aspect of our tech is that clients can create custom groups of partners and deliver bespoke commissions, offers, and creative to them. This is helpful because partners don’t sometimes fit into a discrete pre-set bucket or category. And because clients are in direct touch with their partners, they can more easily collaborate than with a network middleman in the mix.
Finally, when partners have technical questions or concerns, their questions have the same priority as those of clients, which usually means far faster resolution.
While tech offers some great points of differentiation, so too does the counsel of our partnerships team. Partnerships is fundamentally a people business after all. Our focus here is on helping clients focus their energies on integrating and working with the high potential partners that can really move the needle for them. From a partner perspective, we are offering the same value – to help them find brands that dovetail with their audiences and approaches.
Our team delivers partner gap analysis to identify key partners that you may not yet work with. From there we help you identify what I’ll call “non-traditional” partners that align with your growth and other goals. Many clients find this perspective valuable, and they appreciate the high-level introductions that our team offers here. Because such partnerships make take slightly different forms than do agreements with more traditional partner types like affiliates, we provide introductions and then get out of the way so you can form such partnerships directly. That speeds negotiation, integration, and launch considerably.
We have also made it a priority to have experts in each key region around the world because the partner ecosystem and partnership best practices vary so comprehensively in different markets. I am proud to say we have experts in region in North America, of course, but also EMEA, APAC, and Japan. Within each region, our team is also constantly looking for new partners of both traditional and nontraditional partner types, so that we can provide new ideas and options over time and keep your program running.
Our approach is quite different than the core services provided by many networks. At Partnerize, we believe that our clients and partners need to focus their energies on agreements that can drive the greatest possible business value. Therefore, sometimes we focus on helping clients find new partners, and other times we make people aware of incremental sales and revenue available from closer collaboration with existing partners.
When clients switch to Partnerize, they often find that our recommendations are less “long-tail” oriented because we believe that many have greater business potential available from additional focus on existing partners, or adding heretofore unknown new partners of significant size. Another element of our people strategy is to create periodic in-person events where clients and new or existing partners can discuss new ways of working together. We want all stakeholders speaking to one another rather than through a middleman mouthpiece because the results are almost always better.
AI-Powered Intelligent Partner Discovery
The third leg of our partnership enhancement “stool” is a unique-to-Partnerize feature called Intelligent Partner Discovery. This new feature uses AI, machine learning, and proprietary algorithms to essentially score thousands of partners based on their fit with your program and goals, and then surfaces recommended “best next” partners that represent the best next opportunities on which to concentrate your energies. With Intelligent Partner Discovery, our system examines each partner with respect to, among other characteristics:
- Historical partnership revenue generated by a publisher (total and in vertical)
- Target partner audience and contextual content fit
- A partner’s historical propensity to drive sales at scale for new clients and campaigns
- The similarities of a potential partner to your most successful current partners
We surface and flag the recommended “best next” partners.
From there, the brand growth leader can see a profile of data on each potential partner.
After examining their new partner options, the brand can invite those partners they want directly from the platform with a couple of clicks.
Our platform, people, and AI-powered discovery capabilities offer a formidable combination that helps partners and clients make more money faster. It truly is a partnerships enhancement approach. To learn more about how we can help you, get in touch with us at Partnerize.com.