Effective Co-Marketing Strategies for SaaS Companies. There is no secret formula for guaranteed brand marketing success, only proven and tested ways to increase the chance of achieving beneficial results.
Creating brand awareness and increasing the company value is the ultimate objective of any marketing strategy; thus, it will always be a continuous battle for every SaaS business to grow and succeed in a highly competitive market.
Sure, there are many traditional techniques to increase the reach of a brand marketing campaign. But SaaS companies should be smart enough to invest in those channels that will bring significant impact, and Co-Marketing strategy is the most popular and most cost-effective among those channels that can boost brand growth without risking too much of the company’s knowledge and resources in return.
But First, What is Co-Marketing?
A strategic partnership to boost marketing efforts is often referred to as a co-marketing strategy. It is the collaboration of two or more non-competing companies with a similar audience to develop promotional efforts and powerful brand marketing campaigns.
It is the fastest-growing strategy often used by organizations with complementary products to broaden their audience, drive brand awareness and generate leads to increase sales and revenue.
Both companies agree in a beneficial relationship to share their ideas, expertise, and resources and to reap the fruits of their collective effort and achieve the same objectives while performing lesser work. It is an effective strategy that SaaS companies of all sizes can use at any point in their business cycle.
Benefits of Co-marketing
Co-Marketing is cost-effective
Marketing highly depends on promotional costs, as companies want to save as many preventable expenses as they can.
Co-Marketing gives companies the luxury to develop quality campaigns without hurting the financial aspect of their branding.
Two or more organizations sharing the cost and skills of creating a promotional effort is indeed very cost-effective.
Co-Marketing helps build brand identity
It is a win-win scenario for both companies, as big brands benefit in capturing the specific audience that they failed to make a stand, while small companies who associate their brand with a larger one help their brand establish its identity.
Co-Marketing broadens the audience
The collaboration of the two companies also means wider exposure for both brands.
This partnership makes two different groups of potential customers that may already be familiar with both brands to be interested and trust what the other brand offers.
It’s like hitting two objectives in a single campaign and reaching an expanded audience for the benefit of both brands.
Co-Marketing provides convenience to the public
Since it’s primarily the alliance of two companies offering complementary products, it will be convenient for the public to look for combined advertisements in finding related offers. It is also one way to effortlessly promote your brand at the right time to the perfect audience. Cross-promotions also open wider opportunities to reach unlooked-for audiences.
Co-Marketing increases sales and revenue
Every marketing campaign shares the common goal of influencing buyer decisions to make purchases. Co-marketing can result in an immediate increase in sales because of the entry of new customers. The right partner will always lead you to the right customers, therefore, increasing the chances for purchases and then positively affecting profitability.
From being more cost-effective, maintaining customers’ trust, and sustaining brand reliability, co-marketing strategies provide more favorable benefits than other traditional marketing techniques. Though they all share the same goal of helping businesses to grow, co-marketing delivers more opportunities for every brand marketing campaign to attain positive results.
Guides to a successful co-marketing strategy
Just like any brand marketing campaign, there’s no way co-marketing will perfectly work without a well-planned strategy. It’s more than just two companies agreeing to promote their brands together, but how they can intelligently put into work their combined expertise, resources, and other necessary things to consider.
Below are the seven steps to guide SaaS companies to get started in creating a successful co-marketing strategy.
Find the right partner
Finding the right company to collaborate with is the most crucial part of executing co-marketing.
It is essential to consider choosing the one with the same target market and goals as yours.
A brand with a good reputation and easy to work with can also help build this valuable relationship.
Define roles to perform
This step entails discussing all the responsibilities and obligations of each party.
To minimize the possibility of disagreements, later on, it’s necessary that in the early stage, both parties are clear in identifying who’s responsible for what aspects of the project and the funds that are to be contributed.
Conflicts arising halfway through the partnership can only cause interference in the completion of every objective.
Determine each strength and weaknesses
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses each party can bring to the table is best when assigning the role to be performed.
One company can fill up the limitation of the other, while the other contributes the things they are better at.
And through this, both companies give an equal share of efforts to create more effective and efficient strategies.
Set common objectives
First, it’s a give and take process as one listens to the goals of others and sees if it complements what they set for their own.
Then, aligning those goals to reach a mutual decision to work for a common objective.
The more each party understands where each of them stands, the more the strategies will become successful.
Misaligned and unclear goals will never help companies get the value they expect from the partnership.
Agree on the kind of valuable content to be developed
Co-Branded content is the heart and foundation of this brand marketing strategy.
No brand should be greater or lesser in developing valuable content that is equally beneficial to be shared with both audiences.
Both companies should talk about and agree on the topic, theme, content type, and the way of promoting.
And also, every idea should be relevant to the set goals and planned campaigns.
Sign a co-marketing agreement
To come up with an agreement requires trust and understanding from both sides, but not sticking with the promises made might complicate decisions in the long run, so a written contract is needed.
This agreement also formalizes the partnership to form a solid and authorized alliance with a clear understanding of all the involved details from the content ownership, project timeline, goals, and the sharing of leads.
It is also a way to set everything straight when there is miscommunication between brands.
Set a timeline
Be specific and strictly follow the deadline for completing the projects and the ideal time to release them.
Timeframes ensure both parties are in the same phase so that they will simultaneously meet at both ends of the project completion.
If both sides can timely deliver their part, it will inspire everyone to be time-invested and focus on accomplishing the objectives, since time is of the essence.
Effective Co-Marketing Strategies that SaaS companies can adopt
There is a big chance that you already came across a co-marketing campaign and have been influenced by one.
Being on the opposite side is indeed a heavy part to carry, but remember that co-marketing is a battle fought by two companies working together to deliver a successful strategy.
Take a look at some of the brand collaborations where SaaS companies can find inspiration for running a successful campaign.
Partnership for a cause
Working with a non-profit organization for a good cause can pay off in a variety of ways.
In 2015, Target found the opportunity to help underserved communities through a campaign with UNICEF to generate global awareness regarding malnutrition.
The same strategy Procter and Gamble used to assist the National Breast Cancer Foundation in their valuable research.
Both organizations sustain their goal while increasing their reputation and reaching a demographic they do not have access to before.
Co-branding campaign by a fast-food chain and a food company
Brands of the same leagues complement each other.
Tacos and Dorito Bell were overwhelmed by the extraordinary success that their Loco Taco Doritos campaign received when they decided to join hands.
Being in the same food industry helps this advertisement appeal to both of their brands’ audiences, thus boosting both brands’ influence and sales.
A car company associated its brand with a theme park
The association of Volvo and Legoland to reach customers of all ages centered on a campaign with a family-friendly approach.
It was an unusual but wise move by both brands to be linked with the other being the leaders of their respective industries.
Though it may seem that the Lego company benefited more from this campaign, we cannot deny that this strategy further widens the reach of Volvo.
Collaboration between a clothing company and brand designers
Co-marketing is also well-known in the clothing industry.
And H&M’s collaboration among prestigious brand designers is the most highly celebrated among those.
H&M offering affordable products became the gateway of well-acclaimed designers to present their brand to the general public.
On the other hand, this highly anticipated collaboration of H&M among different designers became a yearly tradition to the online and offline market, thus creating buzz-worthy attention for H&M.
The union of a credit card company and an eCommerce giant
To help small businesses compete with large brands, Amazon united with American Express through a co-branded card that customers can use to buy goods from Amazon while keeping up with their purchasing activities.
Both companies share the same commitment of supporting small businesses to grow while also increasing their brand’s performance through their joint and continuous efforts.
Famous league partnered with an audio brand
The NBA is a globally renowned league followed and watched by millions of people across the globe partnered with Beats to be the official supplier of all audio equipment for the NBA.
It’s the best way for Beats to debut its brand through well-known teams and athletes.
NBA also found a reliable partner in Beats to provide quality and trusted products to reach their worldwide audience.
A music streaming app joined hands with a riding app
Nothing is more perfect than enjoying a ride while listening to your favorite music.
It is the idea that Uber had in mind when they joined hands with Spotify in their campaign to gain more users.
The joint effort of two entirely different products is possible if brands can find the perfect match to impress and give customers the best experience.
The combination of two software developers
It is a powerful combination of two software to cater a user-friendly experience to the user.
HubSpot combined its expertise with Chat fuel to assist users through AI Bot.
This campaign increased the leads for both brands, calling it a successful promotion to bring convenience to the customers.
And in case you need the assistance of a convenient tool for your campaigns, you can also rely on APIs to deliver.
A footwear manufacturing company runs with a technology business
To provide a better experience to customers, both Nike and Apple created a perfectly planned move to affiliate themselves with each other.
As fitness enthusiasts find a companion in music, Nike took advantage of this to bring Apple to their customers through technology.
This hyped up the public to look forward and support every product as both brands have good reputations, and offer only the best.
An alliance among luxury brands
BMW and Louis Vuitton. An effortless alliance between two luxury brands to reach the same audience base who desire high-quality artistry and wealthy brands.
Both brands value luxury and provide only the highest quality, making this a one-of-a-kind and anticipated pairing for the illustrious.
To share the common goal and the highest passion for creativity has been the ultimate priority of co-marketing.
In this highly competitive market, whether a small, big, well-established, or start-up SaaS company, this strategy, if properly executed, will surely bring valuable results.
A single company can only do what its efforts and resources can offer, but a partnership with other brands will enable companies to deliver extraordinary and excellent outcomes. There are so many ways for this strategy to bring beneficial results to both parties, but never be afraid to try different campaigns, even with other partners where you think your SaaS business can benefit the most.
Nothing will ever excite a curious audience than a powerful collaboration with an equally reliable brand. After all, the more positive relationships you gain from the market, the higher the chance you will succeed with the help of your extended network.
Author bio for this guest post:
Yen Pedrajas is a digital marketing and technology enthusiast who loves to read, review and write content regarding the latest technology trends, online marketing insights, and ideas.
Currently, she manages public relations and customer operations for Removal.AI – an AI technology used to create transparent background from images and photo editing solutions for e-commerce, photographer, web and app development, and other related purposes.