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What is Partnership Marketing?
/How To/By Streamline Marketing

What is Partnership Marketing (+ How Can It Increase Sales)


Marketing tactics and techniques are always evolving. And as technology advances, so do the ways how businesses advertise their products and services.

Partnership marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing strategies.

If you’re ready to increase brand awareness and drive sales, partnership marketing cannot be ignored.

But what exactly is it?

How can it benefit your business?

To boost your brand presence and increase sales, here’s what you need to know about partnership marketing.

What is Partnership Marketing?

Partnership marketing is a collaboration with another business to create a marketing campaign that benefits both parties.

Partnership campaigns are mutually beneficial and help both parties reach their objectives.

Primary Types of Partnership Marketing

There are a variety of partnership marketing techniques, and they all work in slightly different ways. The end goal is always to achieve results for both partners involved.

Two of the most effective methods are affiliate marketing and distribution partnership.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a form of digital marketing in which brands collaborate with publishers to promote products to the publisher’s audience. Publishers can be other websites, other brands, or bloggers whose audiences are similar to the company’s target audience.

Working with publishers gives the brand access to new customers they might not already have. 74% of online customers in the U.S. check two or more affiliate sites before making a purchase. Affiliates even influence brick and mortar customers.

Affiliate marketing campaigns come in many forms. Some brands use hyperlinks within content to link to the brand’s website. Others use banner ads, promotional pages, social media, or newsletters.

When customers view the product on the publisher’s website or mobile app and make a purchase, it’s a win-win for both parties involved. The company gets a new sale, and the publisher receives a percentage of that sale or a small fee for directing traffic to the company’s site.

Reviews from trusted publishers continue to be among the most powerful marketing strategies. And some publishers are even going one step further by creating images and video content to drive campaigns.

Heading into 2020, more and more brands are hiring affiliate marketing agencies to create and manage their campaigns.

Agencies have access to an extensive network of affiliates and publishers, allowing for better exposure to the brand. They report data to help their clients focus on techniques that have the best conversion rates.

Agencies also understand the importance of finding the right publishers and affiliates. This is key to growing a successful affiliate campaign.

Distribution Partnership

Distribution partnership works a little bit differently.

With this method, one partner can bundle the other partner’s product or service with their own. In some cases, they may choose to cross-market each other’s products to their targeted customer base.

Distribution partnership has great value for both partners as well as the customer. If a customer has loyalty to brand A and sees that they’re partnered with brand B, they’re more likely to have trust in brand B.

There are a variety of ways to conduct a distribution partnership. Many brands do so with the use of in-store coupons, magazine coupons, email vouchers, mobile coupons, and QR codes.

Some of the other types of partnership marketing include:

  • Event sponsorship (for recognition as the “official” product of a large event, such as a sporting or charity event)
  • Partnering with charities (such as exhibiting at charitable events, contributing to raffle prizes, and sponsoring events)
  • Product placement (like including a product or logo in a TV or film production)
  • Joint product partnerships (involving collaboration with a partner brand to create a co-branded product)
  • Content marketing partnerships (to create co-branded content such as articles, whitepapers, sharing links, or creating joint videos, webinars, or podcasts)
  • Licensing agreements (to allow one company to produce products under another brand’s name)

Benefits of Partnership Marketing

There are significant benefits to partnership marketing that traditional marketing techniques cannot provide.

Marketing through an affiliate or a distribution partner gives you access to a large audience of potential customers. By leveraging partners with existing relationships, you can gain access to your most likely prospects. Some of these customers may be familiar with your brand. Some may be discovering your brand for the first time.

Sometimes, your partner will influence a purchase. In other scenarios, they may simply expose your brand to a larger audience of customers. Either way, that exposure will increase brand awareness and impact future sales.

Another benefit to partnership marketing is that it’s low risk. For the small fee or commission that you’ll pay to your partner, you can ensure that your products align with your targeted customer base.

Partnership marketing is also an effective way to scale sales. With the right partners, you can increase sales, improve margins, and increase profitability.

Learn more about how influencer partnerships are changing business: 25 Shocking Influencer Marketing Stats for the 2020s

Examples of Successful Partnership Marketing

Is partnership marketing the right choice for your business? Could you benefit from working with an agency that takes your partnership marketing management a step further?

Take a look at a few examples of the most successful partnership marketing techniques used large global companies.


Streamline has worked with Visa to create card-linked offer technology. It is one of the most successful examples of partnership marketing to date.

Visa drives incremental sales through a variety of different channels, such as loyalty and rewards programs. From large banks to well-known merchants to small businesses, the Visa card-linked offer allows Visa to partner with brands of all types.

H&R Block

Streamline has enabled H&R Block to increase in-store filings by a performance partnership with Acorns.

Acorns, a leader in the idea of micro-investing, is changing the age-old belief that you need to have a lot of money to invest. This partnership between H&R Block and Acorns has provided value to both companies on either side of the partnership.

Cellular Networks

Streamline has also managed the affiliate marketing program of one of the country’s major cellular network providers. With this partnership, the cellular provider was able to monetize their app via affiliate deals and promotions.

Get inspiration: The Top 5 Co-Branding and Affinity Partnerships + Why They Worked

Building successful marketing partnerships can be difficult to do on your own.

But having an agency on your side can give you greater insight and foster strategic partnerships that are tailor-made for your brand or business.

Streamline can grow your business and enhance your marketing efforts with these methods and more:
  • Develop tactical partnerships
  • Increases data performance
  • Report analytics through custom-built reporting software
  • Align your brand with influencers, content creators, and other brands in your niche

By using varied partnership marketing methods, Streamline helps you scale your business.

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