Marketing data and analytics are amazing! They provide better decision making. They quantify processes and results leading to business success. Except it ignores the human element. Emotional connection drives business development. People buy from people. Clearly, branding helps. However, recognize that branding is assigning human characteristics to products, services, and organizations. Think about it. Do you count a brand, or like a brand? Essentially to grow a business, it needs a personality. That personality must be appealing, or at least truly likeable. Collaborating with appealing partners goes a long way toward sustaining communal growth.
Building a mutually beneficial voice in the marketplace is the core of Connective Marketing. Beyond finding a partner who agrees to share goodwill, this tactic coordinates joint values and resources to present to the marketplace. Connective Marketing is a strategy that links organizations through intentional relationship and partnership. As a matter of fact, partnerships between non-profit and for-profit organizations are particularly positioned to maximize this benefit.
For example, a program that provides Social-Emotional Learning tools to troubled students collaborates with a business that provides learning supplies to secondary students. Their common message is the holistic development of successful students. Cross-marketing opportunities focus on community events and websites that target over-indulgent parents looking to provide their children education tools. The comprehensive message is developing students with the intelligence, aptitude and social skills for ongoing success. Between events and multi-media content, the combined entities can attract customers to their cooperative services and tools for more successful students. As an extra bonus, the combined delivery results in more happy and satisfied parents.
To build momentum regarding both organizations, strategies must be deployed that connects both entities’ offerings. Considering that a brand is what the customer experiences as opposed to what the seller claims, coordinated images, verbiage and intent requires uniform presentation. Using the same branding methods and images is too simplistic. The coordinated messages must be in alignment across channels and audiences. Beyond claiming marketing synergy among the partners, the organizations must be very conspicuous in synchronizing messages.
While synergy is essential, results emerge because the partners intentionally coordinate their messages to leverage cooperative benefits. Both organizations benefit because they share a common target audience and provide a complementary benefit. A running club partnering with an athletic apparel retailer meets that objective. Both entities pursue a healthy, communal clientele. They both target prospects with personal characteristics emphasizing attractiveness and achievement. Intentionally aligning brands through coordinated messages and channels easily results in synergistic and cost-effective marketing to their audience.
Beyond typical measurements of effective marketing, the impact to prospects and customers must be central to all tactics. Coordinating joint benefits to the target market is critical to the relationship. Furthermore, leveraging individual reach and audience must include both partners’ resources. Their storytelling must be coordinated such that all constituencies contribute and benefit from the same narrative. Connective Marketing becomes a significant part of their branding. Besides, who does not want to connect with a group who already demonstrates their ability to deliver more for their partners?
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC