E-commerce Link: Mutual Benefit
• Manage the relationship launch. Once your project gets the green light, what needs to be done to get the project up and running? A relationship launch questionnaire distributed to all parties involved in the partnership can be a helpful tool in seeking this type of input.
• Strive to hit deadlines. If you hope to roll out a co-op partnership into a business development deal, it behooves both partners to hit their deadlines. If a partner falls behind on its set-up, however, you may want to delay the launch of your side of the program in case the delay becomes permanent.
• Create a win-win situation for both parties. This involves monitoring performance from your partner’s perspective, as well as your own. Ask for reports on how its side of the program is performing and how much revenue you are generating for the partner, so you can be aware of how well the program, as a whole, is measuring up to the goals you agreed to at the start. If halfway through the program you determine one partner is benefiting more than the other, you have the opportunity to make changes necessary to improve performance. The biggest problem with many co-op deals is that one party comes out on top because, even though it did an equitable exchange, it put more effort into optimizing the program. So, the more you strive to make it a win-win situation for both parties, the better the chance you’ll have to continue the relationship.
Cooperative marketing partnerships can be a powerful tool for any marketer willing to think outside the box. The key is to be flexible. As in the early days of the Internet, there are no hard and fast rules to these deals. So stay tuned. In my September column, I will discuss the specific steps involved in putting together a cooperative marketing partnership deal.