Form strategic alliances for better marketing exposure

Here is a great idea to market your business to a larger audience than you have now. Form strategic alliances with like-minded companies who provide complementary products or services.

What exactly does that mean and how does it work?
It’s really quite simple.

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If your company sells office supplies here are some people you could form strategic alliances with:
• Website designer
• Commercial insurance broker
• Office furniture company

Each of you provides a valuable, necessary product or service for a business. By partnering and working together, you can all be more valuable resource.

If you are a realtor, it would make sense for you to form strategic alliances with:
• Mortgage broker
• Homeowner insurance company
• Investment advisor

The object being that you can promote each other to your respective contacts and gain more brand exposure for all.

Look for businesses in the same market with the same target market but not direct competitors. Another example might be a house cleaning service and a window cleaning service and/or a landscaping service.

Great Idea but where do I start?
1) Make a list of 10 companies you think you would like to have a strategic alliance with.
Ask around about their reputation, see what they are talking about on their social media, are they on LinkedIn? Connect with them. See if they have a blog on their website. Don’t forget to look around you – they may be closer than you think. Are they in your networking group? Do you already have a casual relationship with them?

2) Contact the business owners on your list.
Explain your thoughts on partnering – why it would be mutually beneficial and provide added value to each other’s customers. Toss around a few ideas you have and see if you are on the same page.

3) Schedule a time each month.
By phone or in person, plan to get together once a month to discuss what you can do for each other, upcoming events, promotions, specials, holidays, etc. You can even bring in a marketing or promotional person every now and again for a strategy session to help in brainstorming ideas.

Mutually beneficial is the key part of strategically aligning with other businesses. You want to promote each other’s business to each other’s customer lists so be sure they are the same target market.

Strategic alliances can boost your marketing efforts for little cost…and ensure the success of all businesses involved. So get out there and form some alliances!

Jeanne Willson

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