The Right Partnership
The right partner can offer access to a tailor-made database perfect for your exact target audience demographic. They can also enable you to achieve incremental income to support your current revenue.
The right partner will hold strong relationships with its customer base - this includes brand loyalty - and with this strength of relationship will be able to effectively deliver its partner's message
The right partner will have the same voice and tone in the way they talk to customers and is willing to share the marketing effort and spend for mutual reward
The right partner is equally responsive, committed and collaborates to help each business stand out from the competition
There comes a time when margins start to decrease, a business database is exhausted, and as much value as possible has been extracted from current marketing efforts. It's at this point where affinity marketing can really come into its own.
Affinity Marketing Ltd works hard on our clients' behalf to identify the right partner that can share databases, marketing resources and marketing spend for mutual reward.
It starts with:
- Agreeing the requirements in identifying a partner, to ensure the brand values match
- Understanding the business drivers of our client and potential commercial models that may interest a prospective partner
- Understanding how success will look to both parties
- Clearly establishing the commercial objectives over the short, medium and long-term
When a partner has been identified, Affinity Marketing Ltd is able to take on an account management role, which includes:
- Working with the client team, particularly in the early stages of the partnership, ensuring regular and clear communication
- Supporting client analysis of results, to build on success and work to improve under performance
- Giving clients unbiased feedback on progress and potential areas of conflict that might occur
Affinity Marketing Ltd helps you to work with your partners in the best and most effective way. We encourage direct conversation between partners and are always in the sidelines to help facilitate effective communication.
Our partnership relations service starts before the partnership is put in place; from helping to form the marketing agreement and ensuring the partnership is right for our client.
The first thing that ever goes wrong with a marketing partnership is soon after the partnership comes together, when it is believed that the 'job is done' and communication therefore stops. This is actually when you need to collaborate more than ever - to set yourselves on the path for long-term success.
We specialise in supporting your business throughout the partnership; ensuring that both sides are working towards the same goal and that any conflicts or disputes are quickly resolved. There are clear definitions of success that all parties buy into, accept some things will not immediately work like a well-oiled machine. You are learning about each other and this may take some time.
Affinity Marketing Ltd:
- Assists in the contractual negotiations using our knowledge and experience to ensure our client gets the best deal
- Mediates and assists when negotiations become complex and some issues are difficult to resolve in achieving a balanced agreement
- Is there during the life of the partnership supporting our client as part of our ongoing objective to 'make it work'
Senior negotiation skills
An important part of affinity marketing partnership relations is the ability for direct and open communication between senior members of each business.
A partnership is a complex relationship covering commercials, people, products and services together with detailed business plans from both parties; attention to detail is critical. Once a contract is signed, it is too late to then try and re-write if it is found that one or more aspects of the relationship have been omitted in the haste to tie-up the deal.
Even the most experienced sales professionals and senior directors will find partnership contracts and discussions 'new ground', but this is not a time to still be on the learning curve, it could cost you money and reputation.
We strongly recommend that each business has a very clear structure around how it is going to present its case. You will often be in competition but might not know it; planning and preparation will make the difference, don’t treat any aspect as trivial. It is often the case that what one partner thinks is minor point is in fact a major issue to the other party, all of the detail is in the initial discussions, don’t miss any messages.
Finally, do not be concerned about the pace of discussions, it will be different for both parties, always check understanding at regular points in the negotiations and actively seek any points of contention, do not pretend they don’t exist. Questioning, objecting and even declining on some points is to be planned for in your discussions, it doesn’t mean you won’t work together, it just may be on a different basis than you first planned for.
Our team is able to provide senior-level negotiation skills training and support, which is particularly important at times of conflict. Please do get in touch if this service is of particular interest.
Whether we have supported a client through the identification and ongoing relationship with their partner/s or whether a client comes to us with an existing, long-standing affinity marketing partnership agreement, we are able to help ensure that a partnership is working well and should continue to do so for the long-term.
Affinity Marketing Ltd will independently:
- Ensure the client commercials are right and that the products and services are still appropriate in the current climate
- Validate the distribution channels to ensure all opportunities are being exploited for both parties
- Provide an independent evaluation of existing partners
- Facilitate appropriate bench marking to ensure clients are working with ‘best in breed’ for their customers
The aim is to establish whether the existing partnership remains the right one, or whether there might be a better opportunity available for a partnership that will reap greater rewards for our client.
A partnership audit may also result in the recommendation that whilst an existing partnership continues to work well, it may be time to create a partnership consortium - bringing new partners into the fold.