Why Togetherness is a Smart Business Strategy
Addressing customer needs through partnerships demonstrates organizational responsiveness, agility, and customer focus and engenders customer loyalty and trust. Partnerships can also lead to consumers having access to otherwise cost-prohibitive technologies, like microwaves to lifesaving technology partnerships that lead to one-third of all COVID-19 vaccine candidates (Louise C. Druedahl, Timo Minssen, W. Nicholson Price 2021)
Customers also benefit when partners share, collect, and analyze data, resulting in customized targeting and responsive product development. It also allows for more high-value customer interactions along several micro-moments while maximizing a brand's reach to include its partners’ niche markets.
From a digital perspective, partnerships allow for broader access to digital services, including online tools, calculators, databases, and other resources that would otherwise not be available in one place.
This can be seen on zeroenergyproject.com, a website that serves the homebuilding/ renovation industry with a mission to teach, promote, and advance zero-energy homes. Most of the site's visitors are building and design professionals looking for better ways to build zero-energy homes. The site's Zero Energy Professional Directory, which includes industry partners' membership listings., acts as a zero-energy community aggregator, allowing visitors to research and locate experts who can help all achieve the united goals of reducing carbon emissions and energy consumption nationally.
Creating this free service provides a deeper level of value for the visitor. It increases the website's relevancy and engagement while providing greater visibility and sales leads for partner organizations, like the Structural Insulated Panel Association, and their members.
For homeowners a recent Porch survey reported that 34% of homeowners have renovated recently to make their homes more eco-friendly. Yet, many generic online contractor referral services struggle to capture this valuable customer segment contractor network without a formalized "green" program. Wouldn't partnering with niche green homes online content providers like Elemental would be wiser? Green, whose visitors include a small but affluent eco-friendly homeowner?
Another great way to leverage the power of partnerships is through providing online educational content for contractors and design professionals who need continuing education for licensing requirements. Manufacturers often partner with organizations like The American Institute of Architects to provide approved, generic online courses broadly supporting their product categories. In this way, the brand is extending a free service through partnerships with AIA that increase brand value and visibility among their target customers, who otherwise might have to take time off to attend own-person courses. This form of content marketing is a win-win for all involved. You can see examples of this type of educational marketing with the series of studies Holdfast Construction developed for BASF, the Chemical Company.
About the Author: Mary Macleod Jones owns Holdfast Communications, a public relations and content provider for the sustainable construction industry in Buxton, Maine.