joint venture marketing
The incredible popularity of social networking sites, such as FaceBook, MySpace, and Yelp, demonstrate that individuals are collectively looking for ways to connect with each other. Yelp, a popular social networking recommendation site, is based solely upon individuals sharing their own opinions, experiences, and insights regarding local businesses and activities.
Businesses are social too.
And businesses are jumping in on the social networking trend. According to the Institute for Corporate Productivity, 65% of business professionals utilize social networking websites, while 55% of business professionals utilize social networking web sites to share their “best practices” and experiences with their colleagues. Thus, the question remains – how does social networking relate to collaboration marketing?
Collaboration Marketing: the Sibling to Social Networking
An effective collaboration marketing strategy is akin to the fundamental popularity of social networking websites. Individuals, as well as small businesses, are looking to utilize the internet as a wealth of knowledge. The best way to research a company, product, or even supermarket is to ask someone who has experienced it. Thus, social networking sites, such as Yelp, are abounding with individuals asking for advice and recommendations.
This is where collaboration marketing becomes powerful and strikes the core need for individuals to garner “first hand” advice regarding the products and services they should purchase. Therefore, any successful collaboration marketing campaign utilizes the trust built between the company and its client base to promote with credibility.
Successfully bridging the Business and Community Relationship
However, there is a fine line that must be walked in collaboration marketing, which is parallel to marketing efforts through social networking sites. In a relationship where trust and credibility play important roles in the end user’s buying decision, it is critical that the sense of “community” be developed. If the customer believes that the company is not contributing to the relationship or worse yet, are exploiting the customer, then the efforts become negative.
Therefore, when you are formulating your collaboration marketing strategy, it is absolutely essential to ensure that the “recommendation” does not appear exploitative or too aggressive. In fact, the more “real” the recommendation sounds, such as the use of minor critiques, the more likely the customers will trust the recommendation and convert into a paying client. Another effective strategy is to couple the recommendation with a discount, which prompts the end users to believe that indeed, the recommendation is in their very best interest.
christian fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A joint venture marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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