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Transformational Partnerships: The Next Step in Partner Marketing

Apr 28, 2017

Head of Client Services & Integrations for APAC


Over the last ten years, we’ve seen the traditional affiliate landscape evolve into the much broader partner and affiliate marketing space we know today. Brands are now looking towards a forward-thinking partner marketing model based on data, scale, and analytics. Transformational partnerships are the next step in this digital marketing progression, allowing brands to drive customer acquisition and stronger customer loyalty as well as become more efficient with their time and resources.

So how do transformational partnerships work and what are the real benefits of partnering with other brands?

Traditional partnership models have relied on driving traffic to brands, resulting in increased sales in return for commissions. Transformational partnerships typically are unique partnership models between two brands who usually operate in different verticals. However, these brands usually have business objectives that are surprisingly aligned or very complementary.

There are four key benefits to transformational partnership:

  1. Data Sharing – Acquire relevant data about your target customers that wouldn’t be available without another brand, e.g. obtain enriched shopping behaviour data from a retail brand.
  2. New Customer Acquisition – Generate new business from highly desirable target customers with demonstrated high life time value for the other brand.
  3. Stronger Customer Loyalty – Offer partner products and services to your customers that are relevant to them, improve their customer experience, and therefore, increase loyalty and lifetime value for you.
  4. Increased Sales Across Specific SKUs – Up- and cross-sell products, such as products that are highly profitable, slow moving, at the end of the season, or similarly oppportunistic SKUs that can move fast through other partner brands. 

Examples of Transformational Partnerships 

With clear benefits to establishing transformational partnerships, more and more brands are designing and implementing these unique partnerships and driving results across different verticals.

Transformational partnerships work best when you’re really thinking about your customer’s journey and what their next step is post-purchase. A great example of this is when travel and retail brands partner together. Imagine you’re a travel brand and a customer has just purchased a flight or hotel with you for their next tropical holiday. When they get to the purchase complete page, you could partner with a retailer to offer them a discount on something relevant to their holiday such as luggage or swimwear. This not only generates a sale for the retail brand, it allows the retailer to pay you a commission and ultimately improves your customer’s experience as they are only being targeted with things relevant to them.

ING Direct Blog ImageAnother great example incorporates brands from the finance and retail verticals. With the changes to banking and credit card fees, Australian banks need to focus more than ever on increased margins and new customer acquisition. For example, a bank could offer a retailer’s $250 gift card for new customers who sign up for an account, open a credit card, or similar. This would result in a new customer for the bank and increased sales for the retailer.  In addition, both partners benefit from deeper insights into their customers behaviors as well as the halo effects of being associated with a leading brand in a different vertical. An example of this type of partnership was recently implemented by ING Direct and The Iconic. 

Getting Started

So how do you get started with a transformational partnership? The Performance Horizon team can help you to answer:

  1. What are your campaign objectives?
  2. How would you define the value in a partnership?
  3. What data do you want to capture?
  4. Would this be a long term partnership or a one-off campaign?
  5. What are the budget implications of the partnership?

If you’re ready to start thinking about how your organisation can use next generation partnerships to further optimise your digital partner marketing campaigns reach out to the Performance Horizon team today.

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