What Are Partnership Strategies? (Types and How-to Guide)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 2 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A partnership strategy can be a collaboration between two independent business entities that combine their resources to achieve a common goal. Partnership strategies may help raise brand awareness, build and maintain meaningful relationships with other companies and reach a wider audience. Understanding partnership strategies and learning how to form these strategic partnerships can help you in deciding if forming partnerships may be good for business. In this article, we define partnership strategies, review types of partnership strategies, highlight content styles for different partner marketing strategies, explore how to form a strategic partnership and outline the benefits of using them.

What are partnership strategies?

Partnership strategies are business partnerships involving two or more non-competing businesses coming together to form a mutually beneficial relationship. This arrangement may involve combining and sharing resources, risks and profits to help each other grow. Developing solid partnership strategies can help B2B companies in growing from startups. Companies with similar target customers but different customer bases can form strategic partnerships as it allows the companies to cross-sell to their partners' customers, resulting in large sales.

Types of partnership strategies

The types of partnership strategy may include:

Financial partnership strategy

In this type of partnership, a company may decide to allow its partner company to handle its finances. The partner company may have the financial expertise and competency to handle accounts exclusively. For example, allowing another firm to handle accounts can give a company the opportunity to focus more on internal activities and not worry about funds. Companies that have a strategic partnership with certain banks can encourage their employees to create accounts with the banks.

Technology partnership strategy

It can be critical for a company to ensure that it has the resources to stay up to date with developing technology. A company can decide to work with another company that maintains their computers at a reasonable price. For example, a partnership between a web design company and a computer repair shop. A technology partnership allows a company to gain technological knowledge that it may need but cannot deliver from another company.

Marketing partnership strategy

In this type of partnership, one business can be in charge of manufacturing while the other focuses on selling. The aim of this partnership may be to get into a new market and gain new clients. For example, a fast-food outlet can decide to partner with a delivery company. The fast-food outlet may focus on making the food and the delivery company can deliver food to the customers. In a marketing partnership, one company may refer their clients to the other company, as many customers are likely to require both services.

Supply chain partnership strategy

In a supply chain partnership, multiple organisations can work together to create the end product. For instance, a tiny production company can work together with a larger production company, pooling their resources to create a film. The small company can handle the shooting and the post-production, while the larger company manages the production phase. The finished product can be proprietary, making supply chain partnerships exclusive.

Integration partnership strategy

The goal of integration partnership can be to bring separate elements together. Businesses can work with payment app providers to make shopping easier on their websites and in their physical stores. A partnership between a cab company and a music streaming service provider can be a good example of an integration partnership. The consumer can get a pleasant ride, the cab company grows in popularity as more people choose it over its competitors, and the music streaming service provider becomes more well-known. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.

Related: A Complete Guide to Business Partnerships (With Definition)

Content styles of different partner marketing strategies

A secondary company can work on content style by creating content for a primary company to promote its products. Here are some content styles B2B companies may use in different marketing strategies:

Blogs

Writing blogs that are relevant and high-quality may intrigue audiences. Blogs may be a powerful tool for establishing trust, authority, conversations and relationships between a company and customers. Audiences can easily share blogs and find them on search engines, making it a good content style to create awareness for brands.

Videos

Video content may help in engaging the audience, increasing shares and comments, increasing conversations and driving traffic to a website. Video content about a brand may broaden the audience's reach. Many customers may find product videos to be helpful and may be more likely to buy a product after watching one.

Podcasts

Podcasting can provide a platform for a company to have a powerful voice. Podcasts can highlight the organisation's mission, vision and values by using the chosen content. As a result, the company can attract more customers and achieve the sales targets naturally. Podcasts allow a company to develop more honest client interactions.

Infographics

Infographics can be easy to understand and share. They can be an excellent format for partner marketing strategies because they attract website visitors more than text-only data. Infographics may combine ideas, data and other information into a single straightforward and engaging piece of material.

Electronic books

Electronic books are literature that people can download in PDF or HTML format. This material can be an excellent way to share knowledge, skills and boost a brand. E-books can help in authority building, generating leads, growing an email list and expanding the entire content, because they reach many people.

How to establish a strategic partnership

You can follow the following steps to establish a strategic partnership:

1. Express the value of both companies

Before looking for a partner, define and calculate the value the company seeks and the value it can give to the partnership. Establish the partner's work with size, industry and capabilities. A company can decide to partner with a small or a big company depending on the service it requires.

2. Specify goals

Have a precise goal in mind and define whether the company may want help with distribution, marketing or its finances. Knowing what the company may want to achieve is the only way to measure the benefits of the partnership. Once you've established the company goals, look for a partner that may help the company achieve its objectives.

3. Research

Gather information on which companies can effectively assist the company in achieving its objectives. Assess which companies are likely to enter a partnership. Find a company looking to add value to the other party to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership. You can do research online, conduct a business call to ask a few simple questions or speak with people in your networks.

4. Negotiate to see if you can be suitable partners

Negotiating with a partner can ensure that both partners clearly understand the common objectives before implementing a partnership. Check to see whether the partner company's culture can sustain a dynamic partnership and that both companies have the same goals. The alignment of goals is essential to strategic partnerships.

5. Create a contract

Consider having an official agreement established by a legal practitioner after locating a company that would make a suitable partner. In a partnership, each party may have certain conditions and requirements, which is why hiring a lawyer may be necessary. A strategic partnership agreement may include the following elements:

  • a list of all services that each partner offers

  • a list of all companies engaged in the partnership

  • the specific terms that all the companies agree on

  • all the signatures of the parties in the partnership

  • the duration of the partnership

6. Keep the agreement and the connection alive

After a partnership, a company may want to consider its partner's needs. Keep in touch with the partner as often as possible, continue to refer to them or uphold the arrangement by offering services. Because the goal is for both organisations to benefit, make sure a partner agrees with the contract terms.

Related: How to Improve Communication Skills (With Definition and Examples)

Benefits of using partnership strategies

Businesses can benefit from partnership strategies in a variety of ways, including:

Increasing brand awareness

Partnership marketing can increase brand awareness by exposing them to various target consumers. When organisations work towards a similar goal, it can improve the customer experience and give partners access to their audiences. Having a partner who can introduce the brand to new opportunities increases brand awareness.

Saving money

You can build strategic partnerships by sharing resources between two independent business entities to achieve a common goal. Businesses save money by contributing funds to a joint marketing campaign. Sharing costs during an event or marketing campaign can be less expensive instead of sponsoring the event alone.

Building new networks

A company can expand its network by interacting with potential marketing partners. These partners can be companies in the same industry or industries that may be similar. Partners can also interact with each other's contacts and build their networks.

Related: Why Is Networking Important and How to Start Networking

Gaining a different viewpoint

A partnership can help a company gain a new perspective on what it might have overlooked. It's easy to develop blind spots regarding how a competitor may conduct their business. A partner can critique the current business methods and help a company grow.

Encouraging new content

Partnering with someone might provide a company with a broader range of skills for many aspects of the company. By having partner companies, doing new commercials and exhibiting unique items, partnership marketing can help businesses develop new content for consumers. Co-branded content can also help companies reach a wider audience.

Explore more articles