Yesterday afternoon, I had a key conversation with the leader of our strategic alliance partner Databid.com. We worked on some methodologies to keep our name in front of clients and (notably) develop a follow-up marketing strategy for the key prospects for Ontario Construction News.
The value of effective strategic alliances cannot be underestimated. To succeed, the initiative must be mutually beneficial, easy to manage and administer and not put our primary businesses at risk.
What’s in the deal for Databid? We offer connected, ongoing, and visible news coverage in the Ontario market — an area important to the leads service provider — as well as in Chicago. Along with the news, we promote DataBid’s services on our website and in our publications and eletters, all without any cash cost to DataBid. And, as part our arrangements, we’ve agreed to pay a modest but helpful fee based on revenue/sales benefitting from the alliance.
What’s in the deal for us: DataBid has a solid database of prospects, the ability to send out email marketing messages, and it has leads and project information data that helps to give our publication substance and relevance.
Notably, DataBid isn’t in the “newspaper” publishing business and we aren’t in the leads service business. Our major competitor offers both of these services — so, by working together, we create a great counterbalancing product/offering.
In my opinion, effective strategic alliances can truly bolster your business. Your challenge in determining how and when to form these alliances relates to the boundaries of competition/independence and the value/level of effort and reward each alliance participant must consider.
If relatively little effort is required to maintain the alliance, direct costs are low, and there are not competitive hurdles, then alliances are no brainers and should be a core part of your marketing program.