Marketing Lesson from Selecting a Business Partner

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Marketing Lesson from Selecting a Business Partner
By Stuart Ayling

(and bonus marketing planner worksheet - see download link below)

Yesterday I attended a half-day seminar for the ICT (Information Communications Technology) sector at the Information Industries Bureau in Brisbane. The presenter was Margaret Brown, a Partner at the national firm Minter Ellison Lawyers. Margaret spoke about how to select and engage a partner for business development (such as in an alliance or partnering arrangement).

Part of this topic was to address what exactly you would want from a "partner".

It could be any of the following:

1.Sales leads
2.License sales, or account sales
3.Ability to do installations, implementation, training, or support
4.Collect revenue for support/maintenance
5.Focus on a geographic area, or an industry vertical
6.To grow with your business into new markets
7.To provide references, case studies, white papers, testimonials
8.To promote follow-on sales, upgrades, additional services

Although the list above is skewed towards technology-oriented businesses, the same thing applies when you consider marketing for your business (any business - not just technology).

Before you can make sensible marketing decisions, be clear about what you are really trying to achieve with your marketing.

The business outcomes you might target from your marketing might be one or more of:

1.More new clients
2.Extra sales from existing clients
3.A greater number of referrers
4.Increased revenue from previous client base (repeat business; new services)
5.Increasing the 'average sale' value
6.Additional enquiries via your web site
7.Increased awareness amongst key client groups
8.Attracting interest from potential joint venture partners
9.Introduce new services
10.Gain registrations for a workshop or seminar you are running
11.Sell a specific "package" of services
12.Shortening the decision cycle (making faster buying decisions)

Do you need a marketing schedule to plan a full 12-months of marketing activity?

Download your free marketing planner here (Excel worksheet 20KB)

From experience I know the best results come from achieving synergy between business objectives and marketing outcomes. The time taken to clarify what you want from marketing will be worth it. Less wastage. Less frustration. Better results.

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