19 Aug 2016
Could your marketing benefit from a strategic alliance with another business?
Written by Doug D'Aubrey

A strategic alliance is an arrangement between two companies that have decided to share resources to undertake a specific, mutually beneficial project.

Where marketing is concerned, this is generally an agreement to share each other’s details with their client base, or split costs to conduct a joint marketing campaign.

A strategic alliance is less involved and less permanent than a joint venture, and does not usually constitute a legally binding agreement.  It is simply two compatible businesses agreeing to work together for mutual gain.

Some businesses do this very well, but it can be a forgotten avenue of marketing in this tech-led, digital age!

One of my clients that does this very successfully is a wedding boutique who has formed a strategic alliance with a local jeweller. When better to capture brides than at the purchase of the engagement ring?  They have placed a bridal display with a dressed mannequin in the jewellery shop, offering a 10% discount on wedding dresses if they purchase their engagement ring at the jewellers. This is an incentive for the customer to make their purchase with that specific jeweller – and provides the bridal boutique with a new prospect.

There are a number of ways strategic alliances can work for marketing purposes.

Here are a few suggestions.

Reciprocal links on your websites
Include an ‘our trusted partners’ page on your website and list your network of professionals with compatible businesses – in return, ask them to do the same with a link to your website on theirs.

Displays in each other’s shop
As illustrated with the wedding boutique example, an eye-catching display coupled with the right offer can bring fantastic results.

Joint campaigns
Team up with a relevant business to promote a joint campaign.  For example, a hotel could link with a local attraction or two to promote a family deal – bed and breakfast at the hotel plus tickets to the local attractions at a discount price.

Joint flyers
Share design and print costs and produce a double sided leaflet that promotes both businesses.

Joint stand at networking events
Exhibiting at networking events, particularly larger, industry-specific events like the Birmingham NEC’s wedding show, can prove extremely costly.  Splitting the cost of a stand with a compatible partner business can allow you to have a presence without the extortionate price tag.  OK, you halve your space, but it’s better to have some presence than none.

Page advert in a magazine or newspaper
Splitting the space in a magazine or newspaper advert can work in much the same way as exhibition space.  Promotional activity that could otherwise be out of reach due to cost, suddenly becomes a viable option.

So, spend half an hour writing down which businesses might ‘fit’ well with yours and get in touch.  As long as you can offer them something of value in return, why would they say no? It’s worth a go!

If you would like more insights on marketing and growing your business, book a FREE business review with Doug today.