“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
The biggest challenge facing almost all the technology marketers we talk to is a lack of resources. Whether it’s time, a particular skillset, or budget, this lack of resources ultimately can hold you back from creating really impactful programs. Smart marketers are increasingly looking to collaborative marketing to help solve these issues and increase their resources.
What is collaborative marketing? In a recent Forbes blog post, David K. Williams defined it as “…the process of sharing resources to increase leads, brand, and influence.” Simple enough – and compelling (who doesn’t want more leads?). If you’re not already collaborating most likely your two big questions are “who?” and “what?”
There are a few things to consider, of course, to get the most from any collaboration.
Who should you collaborate with? In the technology space there good opportunities including:
- Partners that offer complementary solutions.
- Partners that offer the same solution (but are in a different geography).
- Industry leaders – such as associations and on-line publishers.
- Companies tied to the solution you are offering (i.e., accounting firms for ERP resellers, marketing agencies for CRM, etc.)
What should you be doing? The framework for your collaboration – what you will be doing, who does what, who leads, etc. – are all items to be worked out up front and will depend largely on who you are partnering with. For example:
- Consider an educational eBook and webinar series with a professional services group such as accountants, marketing agencies, and others.
- Share the cost of an eBook with a partner in a similar industry but a different geography.
- Create a more powerful campaign by sharing the work and budget with a company that has a complementary solution.
We recently worked on a collaborative campaign in that last category. Led by Marcia Nita Doron, the campaign brought together three partners and delivered multiple touches through email and social media along with powerful calls to actions like an eBook, infographic, and event. As with any collaboration there were pros and cons and Marcia was generous enough to sit down with us after and allow us to share them. Read about her campaign, the challenges, and the wins in our article Better Together and Collaborative Marketing is the New Black.