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Attracting New Clients Quickly Through Strategic Alliances

Jul 21, 2008
Customer relationships are one of the most important aspects of marketing your business. In business, principally with Internet businesses and marketing, it is particularly important to form strategic alliances to help build your customer relationship base and expand these important customer relationships.

The Internet has allowed a number of niche market businesses to flourish, and a large percentage of Internet businesses offer specialty products and services. These small businesses often sell just one or a few particular items, or a small range of items in one particular category. Once you have reached a number of customers, if you sell only one product or offer one particular service, it may not be the type of thing than necessitates repeat business. And although now you have a customer base, your base may not need a regular refill of the product you offer, which is inherently limiting to your business.

The Importance of Strategic Alliances

Many small businesses are in a similar situation: you've obtained initial business, but because your product or services don't require a large amount of renewal or repeat business, you must constantly work on gaining new business. This can be a stressful prospect, and is why strategic partnerships are so important.

The key to forming a good strategic alliance is not to partner with a direct competitor, but to partner with someone in a tangentially related field. Forming a strategic partnership and collaborating to market your services will ensure your survival.

How do I form a Strategic Alliance?

Let's say, for instance, that your business rents wedding gowns. Except for an unfortunate percentage of the population, this is not a business where you will expect a lot of immediate repeat business. Marketing and word of mouth are vital to your survival.

You will not want to attempt to partner with other gown rental companies that will decrease business for both of you, unless you offer very different styles and designers. What you will want to do is contact a photographer, catering service, or wedding planner to embark on a partnership that will serve both of you, and enhance business for both parties.

For example, if you form a strategic alliance with a photographer, you can refer your clients to his services and vice-versa. Not everyone uses a wedding planner, and if you are putting together a wedding for yourself, you may contact a wedding photographer before you or your fiance decide upon a dress. Because wedding dresses can be prohibitively expensive and it is a dress that (in theory) will be worn only once, many people now opt to rent a wedding dress.

If for instance you've decided upon a photographer, to whom you mention in the course of your discussions and negotiations that you are considering renting a dress for the wedding, he can refer you to his strategic alliance partner, the wedding gown rental company that he knows. This also obviously works in the reverse, if you are assisting a client who has not yet secured a photographer, you will mention your strategic alliance partner.

Strategic alliances and collaborative partnerships are an essential marketing strategy for promoting your online business. It is an established method in most types of businesses worldwide, and lends particularly well to Internet marketing. Strategic alliances will not require a lot of time to maintain, yet are a very important way to ensure the growth and survival of your business.
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
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