A solid co-marketing partnership is one of the better ways to reach a previously untapped audience, generate positive publicity, and create a wealth of valuable marketing collateral. When done right, it’s a mutually beneficial, thoroughly productive way to boost your marketing efforts as a whole.
Aligning yourself with an industry peer can pay off in spades, but these kinds of relationships aren’t easy to start and sustain. Your partner’s interests and qualities need to complement yours, and the companies you work with have to be reliable enough to consistently pull their weight.
Finding a company that fits that bill is hard in its own right, but once you’ve identified one you want to work with, you’re faced with the challenges of successfully contacting them, corresponding with them, and convincing them to work with you.
Those processes can be hard to figure out on your own, so to offer you some help, we spoke with three HubSpot experts about how they found strong co-marketing partnerships and the steps you need to take to do the same.
What do you look for in a co-marketing partner?
When asked about what they look for in a co-marketing partner, our experts all seemed to agree that the number one priority is alignment in audience, messaging, and image. As HubSpot Senior Marketing Manager, Margot Mazur, put it, “We look for partners who speak to similar personas and address their needs. Specifically, we want to make sure our partners have a similar audience and voice — with similar values and goals to meet.”
Though finding a company that checks those boxes is central to a successful co-marketing partnership, there’s still a lot more to the process. You might identify a potential partner that lines up well with your brand identity and appeals to a similar audience, but co-marketing partnerships need to be productive and mutually beneficial — you need to know you’ll get something out of it.
According to HubSpot Marketing Manager, Diego Santos, “Once we are happy with [a potential partner’s] suitability, we classify them according to a co-marketing matrix — one that takes the partner’s popularity, relevance, and objective into consideration. This process helps us to prioritize collaborations and look at the big picture.”
Ideological and objective-oriented alignment isn’t enough. There needs to be hard, quantifiable potential behind a co-marketing partnership. As Mazur said, “We also look at a potential partner’s audience across social and email channels, making sure that our businesses are of a similar size.”
Co-marketing partnerships are, at their core, strategic plays. They can be invaluable assets in targeted marketing efforts. For instance, HubSpot Marketing Manager, Clara Landecy, spoke on how they can be leveraged to target specific areas, “I always look for partners who have a strong presence in targeted regions. Partnering with local partners is essential if your company does business in multiple languages and across the globe.”
Santos succinctly captured all those points when he laid out the key questions to consider when finding co-marketing partners, “We usually ask ourselves the following questions to make sure they are a good fit: Who are they? What is their area of expertise? And who — and how big — is their audience?”
It’s important to have a firm understanding of what you want out of a co-marketing partnership before approaching potential partners. Find a company with similar values that will enhance your ability to effectively reach your target audience — one that will pull its weight, complement your messaging, and ultimately suit your long term goals.
How do you approach and connect with potential co-marketing partners?
Our experts stressed the importance of a personal touch in connecting with potential co-marketing partners. As Santos put it, “A more personal, network-oriented approach is usually much more effective than a cold introductory email or message.”
Co-marketing partnerships are inherently personal, so it’s only fitting that you start your relationship with your partner off on a personal note. But how do you get there?
Well, according to our experts, your best bet is leveraging resources and co-workers from within your own company. Landecy said, “To increase your response rate, ask your colleagues if they have any contacts at the companies you’re looking to partner with, warm outreach always helps.”
Santos agreed, “We always try to leverage the connections we already have in HubSpot. When we are looking for partners in a particular area, we reach out to everyone in the relevant regional team and encourage them to send ideas of potential collaborations.”
Mazur reiterated their points but added some insight about what she does when she can’t reach potential partners through her colleagues, “Generally, I’ll see if anyone at HubSpot already has a connection to someone at the partner company. If not, I’ll reach out to a partnership, BD, or marketing person at the company on LinkedIn, using their InMail tool.” As I mentioned earlier, no matter how you reach potential partners you need to do so with a personal touch.
Do your homework. Make sure you have a firm grasp on the nature of the company you’re contacting, what it might need out of a co-marketing partnership, and what you can do to suit its objectives and interests. Or as Landecy said, “Make sure your outreach is personalized! Showing you did the research before reaching out shows you are invested in the potential partnership and makes their work feel special!”
But let’s say you don’t have the know-how and personal connections to identify and reach potential co-marketing partners. You’re at a loss when it comes to finding interested companies whose size, values, and interests line up with your own.
What can you do? Well, there are certain tools designed to expedite the process. For instance, Crossbeam is a resource that leverages CRM data to help you find and connect with potential co-marketing partners with overlapping customer bases and other complementary attributes.
Ultimately, a solid co-marketing partnership has tremendous potential that’s only seen after tremendous effort. It often takes extensive research and critical thought just to identify the companies that suit your values, goals, and qualities. And actually conducting the necessary outreach and communication to establish one adds a whole new, often exhausting layer to the process.
Still, there’s a lot to be gained from these kinds of arrangements. If your business is looking for a shot of life to your marketing efforts, pursuing a co-marketing partnership is something to consider.
Dancing with belief
All of us believe things that might be inconsistent, not based on how the real world actually works or not shared by others. That’s what makes us human.
There are some questions we can ask ourselves about our beliefs that might help us create the change we seek:
Is it working?
If your belief is working for you, if it’s helping you navigate a crazy world and find solace, and if it’s not hurting anyone else, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Often, beliefs are about finding human connection and a way to tell ourselves about our place in the world, not as an accurate predictive insight as to what’s actually happening. And beliefs are almost always about community, about being part of something.
Is it helpful?
Air traffic controllers and meteorologists rarely believe that the earth is flat. It’s a belief that would get in the way of being competent at their work. If your beliefs are getting in the way of your work, of your health or the health of those around you, or of your ability to be a contributing citizen, it might be worth examining why you have them and how they got there. Did you decide to have these beliefs or did someone with an agenda that doesn’t match yours promote them?
Is it true?
True in the sense that it’s falsifiable, verifiable, testable and predictive. Falsifiable means that the belief is specific enough that something contrary to the belief could be discovered (“there are no orange swans” is a falsifiable belief, because all we need to do is find one orange swan). It’s not necessary for a belief to be scientifically true, in fact, it undermines the very nature of belief to require evidence. Once there’s evidence, then whatever is true is true, whether or not you believe it.
Do you need it to be true?
Which means that much of what we do to somehow prove our beliefs are true is wasted time and effort. If a belief is helping you make your way through the world, if it acts as a placebo and a balm and a rubric, then that’s sufficient. The problems occur when some people use our beliefs to manipulate us, when they prevent us from accomplishing our goals or contributing to the well being of those around us.
What would change your mind?
If we decide that our belief is actually true, we owe it to ourselves to be clear about what would have to happen for us to realize that it’s not. One of the frustrating things about conspiracies and modern memes is that as soon as they’re examined or contradicted, they’re simply replaced with a new variation. It’s one thing to change beliefs because the scientific method shows us a more clear view of what’s happening, it’s totally different to retreat to ever more unrelated stories in the face of reality. Sometimes, it’s easier for people to amend their belief with one more layer of insulation than it is to acknowledge how the world is likely to work.
OpsStars Virtual Event Preview: Q&A With Rachael McBrearty, Chief Customer Office At LeanData
Now in its fifth year, OpsStars has grown into a must-attend event operations and revenue-focused executives turn to for targeted education and networking./
Demand Gen Report caught up with Rachael McBrearty, one of the LeanData executives shaping the agenda for the event, to get a preview of what attendees can expect during the virtual event on October 20-21—including presentations from high-growth B2B brands Zoom and Docusign.
Demand Gen Report: RevOps was the hot topic at OpsStars last year. How does RevOps fit into LeanData’s vision today?
McBrearty: Last year at OpsStars, we were really proud to spotlight Revenue Operations as an important new operating model for growth in B2B – and the role operations will play in enabling it. Much of our agenda centered around “The Journey to RevOps” as the event’s topline theme.
Fast forward nearly one year, and we’re seeing even greater momentum behind the RevOps movement. The COVID-19 pandemic drove a greater imperative for sales and marketing leaders to improve go-to-market alignment to support growth in a challenging economy. We’ve also seen RevOps expand further into the enterprise. Management consulting firms like Boston Consulting Group have even launched cross-practice initiatives around RevOps to support some of the world’s biggest companies in moving to this model.
Working with our customers, we spotted the RevOps trend early on – even before it had a name! From this vantage point, we strongly believe RevOps will become the dominant operating model for driving predictable, efficient revenue growth in B2B.
DGR: “The Rise of Ops” – what’s the meaning behind your OpsStars 2020 theme?
McBrearty: This year we wanted to shine a spotlight on operations professionals themselves – and the increasingly strategic role they play in the revenue process.
Ops is really the backbone of go-to-market strategy and execution – and ultimately revenue growth.
Even more so in recent years, as this role supports increasingly sophisticated and complex sales and marketing strategies and programs. Yet Ops still operates largely behind the scenes.
We see this changing, however, as Ops play a more visible role and increasingly takes a seat at the table. This year’s OpsStars will recognize “the rise of ops” and their role as superheroes of the modern revenue engine.
DGR: Can you tell our audience more about the “virtual” experience planned for OpsStars attendees this year?
McBrearty: Virtual events are new for everyone this year – we’re all learning as we go! However, we put a great deal of thought into the best way to structure OpsStars in this new format.
Networking is one of the key reasons people attend OpsStars, so we wanted our attendees to come together as much as possible in a virtual setting. For example, although the event is held across two days, we’ve limited each day to four hours to make it easier for people to carve out time to attend and participate without distraction. We also have a number of workshops to bring people together, and we’ll set up a Slack channel to encourage conversations around key topics amongst attendees, presenters and sponsors.
Now in its fifth year, OpsStars has always been an event “by Ops, for Ops.” Through a virtual platform, we aim to continue our tradition of bringing together sales, marketing, customer and revenue operations leaders to share best practices, career development and networking.
DGR: Lead management seems prominent on the OpsStars 2020 agenda. Has that expanded from last year?
McBrearty: Yes, we’re so fortunate to have the ops teams from Zoom and DocuSign giving attendees a peek under the covers at how their teams successfully managed unprecedented spikes in demand nearly overnight due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both for Zoom and DocuSign, their ability to scale lead management to keep up with this level of demand was critical to powering their rapid response to incoming requests.
Nearly all companies were impacted by COVID, however, and automated lead management is essential to helping them pivot to go-to-market in days, or even hours, as business conditions change. This level of agility has become critical for business continuity and execution in these uncertain times.
DGR: Lead-to-Account Matching & Routing recently became an “official” martech category. This is great validation for LeanData. What do you think it says about the future growth of the category.
McBrearty: Yes, this was a major milestone for our company! TOPO (now part of Gartner) released the first in-depth Market Guide for Lead-to-Account Matching and Routing in August. Up to now, this technology has been somewhat of a “best-kept secret,” with B2B adoption estimated at 48 percent. However, TOPO says it is now one of the most critical applications in the tech stacks of modern sales and marketing organizations. We were gratified to see TOPO named LeanData the dominant vendor in this space.
This is no fledging tech category – it’s been in the works for the better part of a decade. But TOPO’s report is a significant validation of what we and our customers have worked hard to create. We believe formalizing Lead-to-Account Matching and Routing as an “official” tech category, with de facto standards and best practices, will create more awareness around the technology and make it easier for more companies to adopt.
How to adapt your SEO strategy to navigate through the pandemic
- When you’re starting with your adapted SEO strategy, it’s important to acknowledge the changes in your working environment. All remote teams need to evaluate their communication needs to improve their efficiency in the ‘new normal’.
- You don’t want more unfortunate surprises during turbulent times. Meaningful reporting can connect content, SEO, marketing, and web activities to give everyone the visibility to plan for future projects.
- The idea is to reduce unnecessary meetings to empower your team to work on their own. Start by communicating your SEO strategy and what everyone will work on.
- One of the first changes should be to look at your website and your content to make it more relevant. Explain how COVID-19 is affecting your businesses and how you’re still supporting your clients.
Right after the initial shock of the pandemic, many businesses are reassessing their strategies to remain successful. Organic search can help you set up a successful SEO strategy to support your business’s recovery.
Conductor has written a post-pandemic SEO strategy playbook with practical tips to explore business opportunities through organic search.
Content created in partnership with Conductor.
The power of SEO during COVID-19
As we are all spending more time at home, Google searches are increasing. There is an estimate of 20 billion searches every day.
This is a great opportunity for businesses to capitalize search traffic to increase sales.
What’s more, SEO is a low-cost and very effective method to increase your brand awareness before you increase your ad spend.
What’s important though is to understand how COVID-19 has affected SEO and how to adjust your strategy.
Defining your remote communication style
When you’re starting with your adapted SEO strategy, it’s important to acknowledge the changes in your working environment. All remote teams need to evaluate their communication needs to improve their efficiency in the ‘new normal’.
Start with internal communications and the tools that will get your team more productive. Foster an environment of transparency and accountability and document the team’s workflows.
Improved visibility can help you prioritize the crucial tasks that you need to focus on. Moreover, the more transparent you are, the easier it becomes to collaborate with different departments towards shared objectives.
Conductor recommends the use of surveys to gather feedback about your website, your marketing campaign or even for content ideas. It’s a great way to plan for short and long-term projects while getting perspective from various teams.
All the findings can help you set up your communication style, how you’re interacting as a team and how you can be more productive.
Create meaningful reporting
You don’t want more unfortunate surprises during turbulent times. Meaningful reporting can connect content, SEO, marketing, and web activities to give everyone the visibility to plan for future projects.
It’s not enough to create reports that nobody is interested in reading. It’s time to build digestible reports that your stakeholders would appreciate.
There are many things that you can measure to support your SEO strategy. You can also work alongside different teams to discover interesting insights that can lead to multiple wins.
For example, working with the sales team can help you spot opportunities to appeal to potential customers. Search insights can help you create the right content while providing valuable data to your salespeople.
Keep in mind, your executives should include what your stakeholders want to see. It’s important to align your tactics with the key factors that will affect your business success, such as traffic, revenue, retention, etc.
Looking for creative reporting? The Conductor team is recommending the use of a five-minute video that can replace a time-consuming report.
Use it to describe your team’s performance and what you’re planning to do next.
Train your team to be self-sufficient
The best way to maintain your productivity in a remote environment is to train your team to be self-efficient. If there are many similar questions from your team, how about creating a report answering these questions?
The idea is to reduce unnecessary meetings to empower your team to work on their own. Start by communicating your SEO strategy and what everyone will work on.
Encourage your team to share their ideas and work on an action plan that will get the most of every team member.
Identify high priority changes
This is the best time to focus on what matters. Work with your team and your key stakeholders to define your priorities and how to spend more time on them.
It’s important to communicate all the changes with your customers to keep them up-to-date with what’s happening.
Start by answering the question:
What do customers want to know about my business and any recent changes related to COVID-19?
The answer can help you work on your internal and external communication to give everyone more clarity on what’s coming up.
One of the first changes should be to look at your website and your content to make it more relevant. Explain how COVID-19 is affecting your businesses and how you’re still supporting your clients.
Look at your current SEO strategy and adjust the keywords and content plan, if needed.
Review your online profiles and business listing to keep all relevant details up-to-date.
For example, ecommerce companies should update all the information around delivery details, product availability and potential offers.
If you are changing your working hours or your business focus, make sure you communicate the changes with your customers.
There’s no over-communication during a crisis.
Looking at the bigger picture
It’s not just about surviving the current situation. Your business should also look at the bigger picture of what’s coming up next.
It’s the best opportunity now for planning, reflection, and collaboration.
If you’re using Conductor, look at your workflows to understand the impact of the crisis in your visibility. Adjust your plans accordingly, if needed.
Stay on top of change with regular monitoring and use your SEO strategy to maintain long-term success for your business.
Ready to explore practical tips to improve your SEO strategy post-pandemic? Download Conductor’s SEO strategy playbook for additional ideas and templates.
The post How to adapt your SEO strategy to navigate through the pandemic appeared first on ClickZ.
Dancing with belief
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