Small Business Matters: The Best Marketing Strategy of All Time
In today’s business world, there are so many ways to market your business!
In fact there is a book titled 465 Ways To Market Your Business, so clearly there are no shortage of ideas. The key though is to discover for your business what the best marketing strategies are, and to select the right four or five methods. This may take a little bit of experimenting but when you uncover what they are, the results in extra client traffic and interest to your website and sales for your bottom line will justify these methods, over and over again.
Having said this however, I think that there is one marketing strategy that everyone should be using in their business and I consider it the best marketing strategy of all time. This is a strategy called Partnership Marketing, also sometimes referred to as Strategic Alliances or Joint Ventures. This is where you find other businesses that share the same (or similar) customers to you and then agree to promote their product or service to your customers with an agreement that they will reciprocate with their business. E.g. if you are a hairdresser, complementary businesses may be personal trainers, beauty clinics, massage therapists and fashion boutiques , and if you run a window cleaning business, partners could be real estate agents, interior designers and painters.
Now that you’ve got a better understanding of what I mean, let me share with you the top five reasons why Partnership Marketing is a smarter way to promote your business:
1. It’s Faster
Let me ask you a question. What do you think is easier, finding 1,000 new customers one at a time or finding one business that is happy to tell their 1,000 customers about you? The first option may take you weeks or even months and a lot of time and $000’s, however the latter may take just a few hours – a much better option if being efficient with your time, money and client coverage is important to you.
All you need to do is create a list of prospective partners then do some research on their businesses as to how you can add value to them. Once you have done your research, call or send them an email with the following message, “Over the years a lot of my customers have asked me if I know a good (different business)? Currently I’ve been referring them to the Internet however I would love to change that and recommend to my clients about your services. From the information I found on your website I think you would be the best business for me to refer my customers to. Let’s catch up in the next few days so I can explain how we could help each other and better serve our customers?”
Of course this is a rough and ready example but if you follow it, maybe you will find that four out of five businesses will agree to meet you and then you can both take this wonderful opportunity even further.
2. It’s Cheaper
I know some businesses that are currently spending upwards of $100 to generate a new lead. Now of course if you have a successful and profitable business then that might be a good spend, however using this example though you would need $100,000 to acquire 1,000 leads. Now that is a sizeable amount of a marketing budget that not many businesses will have access to, especially as this is money to build the business and there may not be much initial return on investment.
However if you compare that to a successful Partnership Marketing arrangement, where there are no major costs, the only investments would possibly be a few hours to set up a tracking link and write a promotional email or two or maybe a few hundred dollars to print some brochures that will go into your partner’s next direct mail campaign.
3. It’s Much More Effective
When you spend money on traditional marketing, most of the leads coming in are going to be cold. Why? Because even though many of those leads may want and need the product or service you offer, most are going to be sceptical and need a lot of time and convincing as to why they should choose your business over that of your competitors. However when you put into place a Joint Partner marketing arrangement then when your business is promoted or endorsed by a person or a company that already has trust and credibility something wonderful is going to happen. The power of being a trusted brand is automatically passed to you.
This is sometimes known as Endorsed Marketing and in my experience it’s at least 10 times more powerful than marketing to cold prospects that have never heard of you before. In effect, you become your client’s trusted advisor which is a very powerful place to be.
So not only will you be getting leads, but it’s going to be much easier to convert these leads into sales. This means you’ll be shortening your sales cycle, bringing money into your company faster and leaving you with more funds to reinvest into your business sooner.
4. It Helps Your Customers
Your customers are going to seek out other complementary products or services, which you will not receive any recognition for. So if you don’t refer them on to people that you already have a great relationship with, they could waste a lot of time finding their own people or worse, if they don’t know anything about this new company and they are not careful, then they could very well be taken for a ride by an unscrupulous operator.
If you find a trustworthy business and inform your customers about them, then you will be providing a value-added service that your customers will love you for. And remember, when your customers are in love, they will come back time and time again, and they will happily tell more friends about you and your business.
5. It’s Good For Your Brand
If you’re a new business and your brand is still largely unknown, partnerships are a great way to make you look bigger than you are. By displaying the logo of your partners on your website, people will feel that you have more strength and presence, and at the same time you are helping them to take the risk out of their decision to use you. Prospective customers will think, “Well if they are associated with this company and that company, then they must be alright.”
So not only will you be benefiting from the new leads off your partners, but you’ll be better positioned to more easily convert the leads. Existing Partnership Marketing makes it easier to attract new partners and the upward spiral for your business will continue.
So there you have it, five powerful reasons why Partnership Marketing makes total business sense. While I have done my best to simplify the process here I urge you to firstly, learn more about it and then secondly, do it! If you master this art, you are effectively writing your own ticket to larger, lasting and more profitable business success.
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information. Before you make any financial or investment decision you should seek professional advice to take into account your individual objectives, financial situation and individual needs.