I’ve been doing a little thinking and planning lately around the future of Harpeth Marketing – noodling on a variety of strategies and tactics – and one of the things I’ve realized is that a key driver of our past success has been ‘relationships’… no, not just the buyer-seller kind, but the ‘partnering’ kind.
In fact, in the 3½ years that we’ve been in business, we’ve been fortunate to have built and maintained relationships with some of the most highly regarded organizations in our industry, including Quirk’s, CASRO, MRA and Greenbook. We’ve provided them with information and education (in the form of articles, webinars and live presentations) for their members & subscribers…and in return, we gain exposure and credibility that might have been difficult to acquire as quickly as we did. We’ve also partnered with a consulting firm to produce a marketing & sales workshop, Instant Impact™.
This got me to thinking about our industry and the opportunity for firms in it to partner with other organizations in meaningful ways. For example…
- Like us, partnering with the associations, publications, events and websites in the market research industry.
- Partnering with the associations, publications, events and websites in the industries you serve. In fact, if you’re a research provider, this ought to be a higher priority than #1 above.
- Partnering with the associations, publications, events and websites in your local market, if doing business in your own backyard makes sense for your firm. This could include a Chamber of Commerce, the local chapter of the AMA or even the local newspaper, business magazine or Business Journal.
- What about partnering with businesses that offer complimentary services? For example, if you’re an independent moderator, could you partner with a small quant shop to go after bigger, more diverse projects? If you’re a technology provider, could you partner with a fieldwork agency to help with your sales effort and in return, give them something new (and profitable) to sell?
Opportunities for these kinds of partnerships exist… if you take the time to find the right partner, develop ideas/projects where both parties win and then make sure to nurture the relationship over time. When you find the right partners… you just might discover that 1 + 1 = 3.
Have you been part of any interesting partnerships? We’d love to hear about it.