Having worked in the marketing and business development areas for over 20 years, in a variety of companies and countries, I have compiled five key guiding principles for successful partnerships.
Partnerships are part of a dynamic strategy for businesses wanting to grow in unknown markets, expand new client segments, or sell more items or services. Partnerships are invariably notorious to manage. In today’s hypercompetitive, hyper-connected marketplace, partnerships have taken on even larger strategic importance. Every B2B and B2C company is in a race to develop innovative customer experience, expand distribution, and capture new sources of revenue structures. Hence, business leaders have discovered that their future depends not simply on what their own organisations will do, but on the capabilities, functions, channels, and insights they’ll benefit by partnering with others.
1. DO NOT innovate by yourself.
Companies can rarely imagine where the business or markets will be shaped 5 years from now by sitting in their own four walls. Partnerships are critical part of the growth process for scaling capacity, investments, and other innovation-focused resources required to upkeep transformational new industries, products, and consumer experiences. Companies will benefit by working across industries. This opinion is probably opposite to traditional siloed approaches to innovation.
2. Realize that no single organisation holds a monopoly on customer preferences
Today’s consumers are evolving beasts. Organisations probably know but hate to accept that they don’t have all the data by themselves, and should partner or work with likeminded organisations which can further develop on the data by adding a layer of their own complementary information assets. Partners are nowadays needed to shape market advantage by having higher information assets. A good partnership on steroids would have rich ways to exchange information which is actually becoming the new normal.
3. Nurture partnership as your own business.
You want success overnight – then just forget it. To achieve the right outcome you require to give the partnership some commitment, time, and dedication. So treat it like you own business and not just any other agreement. You see that many times partnerships fail, one of the main reasons is that partners (no matter how reputable they are) just don’t allocate enough will and commitment to have a significant outcome. It’s true that executing partnerships is hard work, and both parties are required to do this hard work.
4. Focus first on a greater customer value
Most respected partnerships are built around delivering greater value to customers resulting in extended loyalty where they actually stay with you. This is easier said than done! To follow this approach its paramount that organisational design thinking emphasis on creating more value, which infact will the boundaries of the partnership to provide a relevant and superior service to a potential problem, against focussed completely on transactional short term benefits.
5. Scale and agility needs to be fine-tuned
Having a wide web of partnerships can be exhausting and resource intensive, because bigger organisations stereotypically call for differentiated solutions that are distinctive to their business. A partnering style that pools scalability with agility is super critical. Consider this, having specific partnerships for designing technology and tools such as apps and software development kits around specific partnership objectives can give your company a broader and longer-term advantage.