What Is Partner Marketing and Is It Right For My Business?

Partner marketing is a marketing strategy involving the strategic collaboration of two businesses, or between a business and an individual that has a solid personal brand, in which both work to accomplish mutual goals together.


Benefits of a Marketing Partnership

  • Increased brand awareness 
  • Improved Clarity of Brand Identity
  • Works well as a B2C or B2B Marketing strategy
  • Broadens the purpose and scope of your marketing strategy
  • Can save time and money
  • Expands your target audience
  • Extends your Marketing Budget and Capability
  • Your giving added value to both audiences

Let’s establish that partnership marketing is kind of a broad term that includes many different categories underneath it. 

So we are going to uncover some of the popular types of marketing partnerships, what they are good for and whether or not they could be a good strategy for your business to implement.

Remember when pursuing potential partnerships, to first consider your future vision and goals. This will help you choose the partnerships that will most likely lead to mutual success, while also benefiting and connecting to your target audiences.


Most Popular Types of Partnership Marketing

  1. Affiliates, Influencers, and Ambassadors

A partnership with bloggers, social media influencers, and other content creators who your audience trusts within your niche. 

These kinds of partnership marketers will promote your business on their own channels, and then place the links to your business on their website, blogs, profiles, etc. . This means that when a person makes a purchase using an affiliates link, you will pay the affiliate or influencer a commission of that purchase.

This is best for companies that have high retention rates, mainly because they are more likely able to afford to pay their affiliates a commission every time they bring in a sale. 

Brand Ambassadors are similar, but their purpose goes a bit deeper. They intend to form a relationship with your audience, in hopes to influence them to take a desired action. They do so by sharing more authentic stories and experiences they have had with your business or product on social media.

Affiliates and influencers on the other hand, usually focus more heavily on making as many sales as possible. So while similar, they do have their differences. Making it important to establish goals and expectations early on, in order to know which is best for you.

Affiliate marketing programs usually work best for ecommerce, beauty, apparel, tech, health, and subscription based businesses.


  1. Strategic Alliances or Strategic Partnerships

These are carefully considered partnerships between two individuals or businesses that share the same values, visions, or goals. 

In a successful strategic alliance each partner is able to:

  • Increase their resources
  • Expand their audience
  • Strengthen their brands
  • Accomplish mutually beneficial goals
  • While still remaining independent.

If you’ve heard of co-marketing, affinity marketing, outsourcing partnerships, or even equity alliances, each are variations of a strategic alliance.

These types of partnerships are known to work beneficially for any type of business. As long as the partnership is formed with good intentions and careful consideration.

Since these alliances do tend to be long term in nature, there are some commonalities that make them so sustainable.

Some Common Traits of Successful Strategic Alliances:

  • The strategic partnership is essential to the achievement of a main business objective.
  • The partnership is indispensable in creating or maintaining any business aspect that functions as a competitive advantage.
  • The partnership improves the ability to overcome competitor threats.
  • The partnership builds, supports, or maintains strategic decision-making.
  • The partnership significantly reduces risk.

3. Nonprofit Partnership Marketing

Many brands like to form partnerships with a non-profit organization, and for good reason.

This is great because it benefits the non-profit, as they gain a new avenue to raise money and awareness for their cause, while the business gains points and credibility in the eyes of their audience too.

Non-Profit Partnerships can be one of the best opportunities to grow your brand’s impact, awareness, and trust. 

Your audience will certainly recognize when a partnership is established only to advance your business status, while lacking true compassion and empathy for the cause that you now claim to support.

Prioritizing good intent will ensure that whichever partnership you choose, will be carefully aligned with your purpose, values, and vision.


Important Questions to Ask When Searching for A Strategic Partnership:

  1. Is the potential partner’s audience similar enough, but not a direct competitor?
  2. Will both audiences benefit or gain something from this partnership?
  3. What could this partnership accomplish in order to provide maximum value to both of our audiences?
  4. What strengths and weaknesses do both partners bring to the table?
  5. Have I done my own research on the potential partners audience?
  6. What Benefits or value can I offer in this partnership?
  7. Do my values and visions align with theirs?
  8. Have both partners discussed and identified relevant mutual goals, and established what each partner can realistically accomplish within this partnership?
  9. How do we plan to track the progress of this partnership?
  10.  How do both parties plan to support each other throughout this partnership? This helps you make certain that everyone involved is satisfied with the direction of the process as it progresses.

Leading with good intentions and maintaining communication can be the key to forming a long-lasting and beneficial strategic alliance. Partnerships should be a clear two-way street.

Strategic partnerships are known to be massively beneficial to grow the awareness, impact, relatability, and overall success of your business.

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