You may be putting a lot of effort into a number of marketing activities but still wishing that you could reach out to a wider audience than that currently available to you. So how do you do this? Well one of the ways may be through co-marketing.
Co-marketing is where you find a business that provides a complimentary service to your own, one that is aimed at a similar target market. For financial advisers, this more than likely will be an accountant, a tax consultant, a legal firm or some other form of business consultancy. You then agree a programme of shared marketing activities that will be aimed at both of your client bases, promoting both of your brands. The ultimate aim is to increase each partner’s sales opportunities with the other’s clients.
How is this different to how many advisers currently work with, let’s say accountants? Well from my experience, most existing relationships currently operate in a one-way direction. The accountant refers a client; the financial adviser sells a product and may compensate the accountant. Co-marketing is different. It is shared activities.
So why would you do it? As stated in the title of this article, you can first of all significantly increase the reach of your marketing efforts by opening up your marketing activities to your co-marketing partner’s clients. This shared activity also gets both you and your partner onto the radar of a whole new group of clients. Also by partnering with another strong brand, this will reflect positively on your business and give you added credibility. So obviously it is important to find the right co-marketing partner!
Once you find the right partner, what sort of activities can you roll out together? There is a wide range of potential activities and here are some that might be the easiest and quickest for you to implement together.
The first area to collaborate on is sharing content. We all know the effort that goes into writing newsletters, blog articles or other expert pieces. Co-marketing is a great way to get this content to a wider audience. Post each other’s content on your website & in your blogs as guest posts. Give each other a “guest corner” on your newsletters, increasing your exposure. This will make each of your website blogs or newsletters more engaging, will reduce the struggle for new content for both of you and will hopefully also result in some new client enquiries from your partner’s clients.
If you use video on your website, co-marketing offers a great opportunity to move away from the monologues that so often feature on sites. Pick a topic that is relevant to both organisations’ propositions and have a discussion about it. Apart from being a different and more engaging format, this approach will also increase the breadth in which a topic can be covered, hopefully resulting in some enquiries from clients.
Client seminars are a great form of co-marketing as they offer a whole range of benefits. First of all, you can examine a topic from different angles. For example, an accountant might talk about pensions as one important strand of tax planning while you might discuss different pension investment strategies. One topic can very seamlessly segue into another.
Seminars also offer the opportunity to actually meet your partner’s clients, as you will both invite clients to the event. Both of you get exposure to new potential clients with the opportunity to present to them…and impress them.
Of course another benefit is that you’ll share the cost of the seminar!
A joint brochure
A number of advisers that I’ve worked with have developed corporate brochures and then try and encourage any accountants who refer business to them to hand out the brochures to their clients. While this makes sense of course, unfortunately the brochures are unlikely to stay right at hand in the accountant’s office…. However if the brochures have a shared message and feature your co-marketing partner equally prominently, they have a good chance of gaining pride of place in their office too.
Co-branded sales propositions
While this one will definitively take a little bit more work, the potential rewards are very significant. This is where you develop an actual sales / advice proposition, delivered by both parties and demonstrably packaged as a single proposition. For example, it might be a wealth transfer proposition in which the partner would bring their tax / legal expertise and combine this with your advice in relation to life cover for inheritance tax purposes, ARFs etc. This offers a very clear demonstration of your partnership in actual practise and can directly result in actual revenue for both parties.
These are a few ways in which you can co-market successfully. Are there other activities that you’ve carried out that have worked well for you, maybe an event or a particular campaign? Please share your thoughts below!