Business Partnerships: We’re Stronger Together

Amidst what can only be described as Brexit chaos, it stands to reason that businesses across the UK are ‘tightening their belts’ and adopting a quietly cautious approach to non-essential spending.

What’s more, as a result of budgets being squeezed, decision makers are under increasing pressure to deliver a return on every penny spent meaning that each investment, big or small, needs to meet and exceed any Key Performance Indicators that have been set.

One business function which seems to have been disproportionately impacted during this period is the marketing industry, which recently reported a six-year period of budget growth come to a disappointing, and rather abrupt, end.

According to an article in Marketing Week marketers are ‘battening down the hatches’ in search of a cost effective option that will still deliver those impressive results that brands have become accustomed to.

Where partnerships can help

We all know that hosting events can be both time consuming and costly which, in the current climate, doesn’t scream realistic; however, capitalising upon partnership opportunities could be the answer to putting events firmly back on the agenda for your business.

Here at the Yorkshire Mafia we have a team of experts that focus on planning and delivering a year-round programme of events, so we like to think that we know a thing or two about what to look for in a partnership.

With years of experience, we have seen first-hand the benefits that can be achieved from the associations we make with brands and businesses that have shared values, ambitions and vision – knowing we are stronger together.

Before taking the next step, we have put together some important questions that will set the foundations for your future partnerships.

Consider your target market

When thinking about sponsoring an event or investing in a longer-term partnership, one of the first things to consider is the audience that you would like to target.

Find out who typically attends each event and whether they align with those that you are hoping to speak to and target longer-term. Also, consider the seniority of the individuals in the room and how this could impact upon their ability to make decisions on behalf of the company that they represent.

Remember, while decision makers may be your ideal audience, don’t rule out those who are more recent additions to the industry. Don’t forget that first impressions count, and the executive of today could well be the MD of tomorrow.

Think about themes

If there is a specific topic under discussion or a particular theme in place, the occasion is likely to attract a more niche audience. This may mean less people, but it could also mean far greater relevance.

Think about how the discussion is likely to influence your organisation and what value you can add if you attend. It goes back to making impressions and showcasing your expertise, so that you can also build credibility and trust.

Do your research

When considering a partnership always research the organisation thoroughly in order to be sure that they are a reputable company which you are happy to be publicly associated with.

The very last thing you want is to spend the business’ hard earned cash only to be tarnished with the repercussions of another company’s indiscretions – be warned!

Make the opportunity count

If you’re spending the money to become involved in an event, it would be wise to make sure that any marketing collateral does your brand justice. Ensure that it is of a good quality, with clear and concise messaging which outlines what your business is all about and indicates that you have put care and effort into the message you’re projecting.

Make the most of every marketing opportunity  

We ask people not to come to the YM with the objective to ‘sell at’ the community. The idea is that you build meaningful relationships and if a more commercial relationship develops over time then brilliant – but thrusting business cards really isn’t our style.

That is what makes partnerships such a great opportunity, after all this creates a more organic association and gives our sponsors and event hosts a platform to share their message in a more subtle setting.

Making sure your marketing materials are clear and concise is therefore a must before you go ahead with any association that will put you in the spotlight.

The chances are that the audience already have an idea about the business and the goods or services that are on offer but what they may want to learn more about is values and what makes you stand out from your competitors.

Remember, the personality of a brand and business is one of the strongest selling points, so use it wisely.

Establishing your objectives and the return on investment

Finally, approach any opportunity with a comprehensive idea of what it is that you’d like to achieve. Simply ask how the partner can help you to meet with those goals and draw your own conclusions about how much value that can add to your business.

If you are considering a partnership and want some help and advice from experts that can point you in the right direction, then arrange to come into our city centre based offices for a chat and a coffee with Janie Gonsalez or Ed Donson.

Simply call 0113 323 6400 and we will get the diary out!

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