3 Killer Tips: Building A Profitable Association Partnership

HandShakeCongratulations! You just finished a phone conversation with an executive director for logo sponsorship at your next event. But if you think your work is done here, think again. It’s time to research additional marketing trades that could lead to a yearly partnership contract.

First, investigate your new partner’s website to uncover products and services offered to their members. Check-out their event, product and career pages. Do they offer a publication like most associations do? Make a list of your organization’s marketing channels and offerings. Draft a well-balanced proposition with multimedia opportunities you both can benefit from. Then, schedule a pre-proposal meeting to start the negotiation.

Why Marketing Partnerships Are Profitable
With the pace of our economy’s growth continuing at a crawl many associations find value in the formation of marketing partnerships. Pulling resources from outside your department can result in substantial savings associated with graphic design, printing and list rental costs. Some larger associations expand their reach even further by entering into third or four party agreements. Forming a partnership is also a great way to generate new leads.

As non-profits continue to thrive they pass down many benefits to their members. Once a new regulation, event, or whitepaper is announced on their website, new partnership opportunities arise. Once, I partnered with CTHRA to develop a white paper. CTHRA supplied the content, we provided the graphics and covers. Within the report we advertised a 20% member discount off job postings on our career website. End result: $9,000 in online job board revenue.

Trades on Digital Platforms Can Include:

  • Logo display
  • E-Newsletter Banner Ads & Articles
  • Email Campaign Trades
  • Event & Webinar Sponsorship
  • Job Board Discounts to Members
  • Whitepaper Downloads
  • Social Media Posts
  • Content
Get our free marketing partnership contract template click here.
partner

3 Killer Tips for a Successful Marketing Partnership

Marketing partnership contracts can include lines and lines of promotional items. The sheer weight of your plan will constitute a juggling act for your graphic designers and those responsible for email deployment, advertising and event management. That’s why it is important to conduct research on your potential partner before you sign the dotted line. Follow these 3 steps to help maintain a profitable, effective and manageable partnership program.

1. Research your Partner’s Audience
Is it a good match? Not every organization will produce a profitable alliance. To help determine the right fit, analyze their audience to determine if your products, services or mission is in sync with their day-to-day challenges.

2. Determine the Value Proposition
What’s it worth to you? In order for partnership marketing to work, estimate the ROI associated with each campaign effort you provide and vice versa. Ensure that what you deliver to your affiliate is matched with equal value to you. Make certain you have resources readily available to carry out each request. In the past, I have signed contracts consisting of more than 20 line items, none of which would have been profitable if a viable project management plan was not in place. What appears great on paper may not always be profitable if deliverables are not met.

3. Implement a Smooth Production Process
Can you meet all deliverables on tight deadlines? A proposal without a strong project management plan can easily result in lost opportunities and profits. When implementing a production process, consider these 3 points: 1. Who are the team members you will assign to facilitate each advertising request? 2. Can you afford to allocate their services to work on the additional partnership projects? 3. How will communication between team members be managed?

Assigning Value to Promotional Trades

Equating a value can vary and can include a commission, cost per lead (CPL), referral, or sale delivered by multiple platforms:

  • Advertising Rate Card: banner & text placement
  • Commission Percentage: whitepapers & links
  • Member Discount: savings off registration, subscription or Job Board posting
  • New Prospects Per Medium: email, direct mail & press distribution
  • Affiliate Links: flat fee, cost per click (CPC) or pay per click (PPC)
  • Email & Website Visitors: click & open rate percentages

With multiple projects and deadlines good communication is vital. After the contract is signed, email all those involved in the production process, contact information and a list of deliverable due dates.

Profits presented by partnership marketing can expose your organization to an entirely new stream of business with none of the upfront marketing costs you’d otherwise be forced to take on. By leveraging your marketing channels and available human capital in a new way, you can build a stronger foundation for your non-profit and form a strategic partnership that pays off far into the future.


barbbauerBarbara J. Bauer
Digital Marketing Strategist
Principal, MedMarket Intelligence
To Contact: click here

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