How to find the right marketing partners

The first step, as with anything in marketing, is you need to know WHO you are targeting. WHO is going to buy your product or service. This is why the planning stage is so important. You cannot make good marketing decisions, without first knowing who your market is.

Learn as much as you can about your target customer. Complete what is called a Buyer Persona. This will help you visualise WHO it is you are trying to reach, and ultimately understand their behaviour and make marketing decisions that suit them.

Don’t limit yourself to just industry and job title. Delve deeper. Think about their demographics, their age, their gender, their location. Ask yourself, how do they behave? What are their goals? What motivates them?

You need to understand how your target behaves and what drives them in order to tailor your message, and send it out via channels that they use! For example, the CEO of a biotech with a new orphan drug designation seeks a platform to showcase their drug and hopefully, get the funding they need to continue R&D and ultimately get their drug to market. Whereas the Brand Manager within a Pharma company is looking for the best way to promote their product, to patients or to clinicians. At the World Orphan Drug Congress USA, we have both. And we are sending targeted messages to show this off!

HubSpot have a great Buyer Persona template – download it here >

The next stage in your search for marketing partners is Research. Time to look for the right partners!

  1. Past partners – who do you already have an established relationship with? Has it worked in the past? If so, then work with them again.
  2. Competitive landscape – easy win! See who your competitors work with. These partners may well be right for you.
  3. Keyword searches – use Google, but use it smartly. “Marketing blogs” will give you millions of results. Including mine! Instead try “top marketing blogs in NYC”. This will hopefully give you more targeted results.
  4. Seek out influencers – don’t limit yourself to traditional journals or online magazines. Find the top 20 tweeters or the best LinkedIn groups, and get them involved. Ask them to share your stuff!

The trick to this is, don’t limit yourself. You want to work with anyone or anything with an established network of people that match your buyer personas.

Now, you need to contact them.

Always call first. Don’t be another face behind a email. Go that extra step. If they are based in the same city, meet them. Let them see or hear your passion. Passion is infectious. If you’re enthusiastic, they will be too.

Then you follow up by email. Ensure you are prompt with your response, but be specific. Don’t cheat and send the same generic email or the same generic media partner proposal to everyone. What if they don’t have the capability to send out an email? What if they don’t have a Twitter account? Make sure you answer their questions in the follow up. Make sure that your proposed agreement is realistic – and suits their business. Oh, and of course, their needs. This is a partnership. If you are paying for advertising, this is different. But for barter deals, don’t waste their time or yours. You know you want to work with them, so don’t put them off!

Follow-up regularly. Don’t let the conversation stop. Don’t pester either. I typically wait between 3-5 working days.

What happens if you don’t get them on the phone? Fair question.

Same rules for the email applies. Of course, you need to introduce your product and this will likely be a template. You can find a lot of information about a potential partner online! Be specific. Set your email apart from the crowd. Use A.I.D.C.A.! A great copywriting tool. It’s not just for sales emails!

Then you negotiate!

4 steps to finding and (hopefully!) securing the right marketing partners for your business.


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