Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Power of Partnerships

Too many companies try to do it all themselves. They advertise on their own, they create their own collateral, they empower their own sales force. All fine and good, but a mere fraction of what they could be doing.

Partnerships allow companies to extend their reach exponentially and to customers or markets that they may not have been able to otherwise reach on their own. And this is true for both B2B and B2C.

Case in point: I was vacationing in Key West this past week and wanted to rent a scooter. I asked the concierge to recommend a couple of rental companies and to our delight, she went one better: she arranged for us to be picked up and taken to the scooter rental company where our scooters would be waiting.


Now, there are dozens of scooter rental options in Key West, but because this rental company established a partnership with the hotel, they became the preferred provider. Had I searched on my own for rental companies, I would likely have ended up somewhere else. Instead, Pirate Scooter gets ALL the customers that think to ask the hotel concierge for help.

The thought process is simple: who is my target customer (in this case, vacationers), what other companies are courting the same customers (in this case, hotels), and how can we work together to promote each other (in this case, the hotel sends guests to Pirate, and Pirate agrees to provide door-to-door service, which keeps the hotel guests happy)?

Often times the partnership opportunities are obvious, simple to set up, and lucrative. For many small companies, it can be the ticket to survival or even prosperity.

What partnerships can you establish?

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