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Collaboration Marketing-Expanding your Marketing Circles for Increased Profits

Jul 17, 2008
Let's say you have a successful Internet business with a successful e-marketing platform, and you feel you have good relationships with existing customers and fair success at gaining new business but then you hear about Collaboration Marketing and you wonder why all the hype? Why should you consider changing anything or expanding in a new direction?

Collaboration Marketing may not be a must for your business, but it's certainly something worth exploring. You may not need to collaborate with other companies to grow your business, and you may be satisfied with the size and scope of your business. But even if you are not looking to grow, change, or expand, a collaboration strategy may help you maintain the smooth running of your current operations, which could mean less day to day work for you.

There are two distinct types of Collaboration Marketing that are important to understand. One deals with the actual advertising and marketing of your products, the other relates to the market in which you sell and distribute your products. Before making a decision about whether a collaboration strategy is right for your business, it is important to understand and explore both aspects of this type of marketing.

Advertising Collaborations focus on shared industry resources and word of mouth partnerships. If you have a small business specializing in making wedding cakes, you will benefit by making contact with other wedding industry professionals such as photographers, caterers and consultants. If a photographer has a client who has not yet decided on a bakery for their special cake, the advertising collaboration creates a point of contact and referral to recommend your wedding cake business to the client.

By the same token, if you have clients who have not yet selected a photographer for their wedding, you can recommend your collaboration partner, who is a wedding photographer. The success of your Advertising Collaboration will depend on your ability to form and develop successful business relationships.

Market Share Collaboration deals directly with the market in which your products are bought and sold and may be a large undertaking, but it's an important process to understand in any marketplace. This type of collaboration has to do with banding together with other small businesses in your area, and forming a small cooperative to maximize cost savings for products you all use or need to do business.

For example, the Central Minnesota Buckwheat Growers formed a 16 member cooperative in order to market their buckwheat directly to larger buyers, and they received a substantially higher price for their product than they could have received individually.

You are probably not growing or selling buckwheat over the Internet, but this model holds true and translates across the board for any business. If you are a small business, you may benefit from partnerships with other small businesses in your same industry just like the Buckwheat Growers did when they formed a collective.

Collaboration Marketing is a model I believe you will find merits exploration. If done properly, it will provide a helpful way of expanding and solidifying your business for years to come.
About the Author
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A strategic Collaboration Marketing consulting firm empowering business owners to discover and implement Integration, Alliance, and Joint Venture marketing tactics to solve specific business challenges. christian@synertegic.com
http://christianfea.com
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