The Little Gym

The Little Gym logoPartner with The Little Gym and target kids 1-8 years old to establish brand relationship, build brand loyalty and drive unit sales. This is an integrated opportunity to sample, coupon, sponsor and educate with hands-on reach to 90,000 kids per week and 1.5 million kids and parents a year at 210 U.S. locations.

The target audience is young upscale parents 25-44 years old with $75,000 plus average annual income.  Parents skew very high in consumption of buying children’s products, home decor, clothing and sporting goods. Your brand can join Lego and Nickelodeon as The Little Gym national sponsors.or customize a unique monthly or quarterly promotion. There is a database of over 400,000 parents/families that promotional partners can also access during promotions.

The Little Gym is not a daycare or after school care location, but the world’s premier experiential learning and physical development brand for kids. Get Moving, Brain Boost and Citizen Kid are the three unique educational tracks exclusive to The Little Gym, all executed in a non-competitive environment. Contact: Art Averbook, CO-OP PROMOTIONS, (954) 922-2323 or art@co-oppromotions.com.

Prospecting for partnership marketing gold: 9 tips

IMG_8394-1How do you most efficiently find the right marketing partner?  Here’s a guide to help you in your quest for the best marketing partners:

  1. Have a clear partnership marketing plan.  Before you even begin prospecting make sure that your goals are well defined and determine how partnership marketing relates to your overall marketing plan.
  2. Determine Partner Categories and Qualifications.  What industries align best with yours?  Look at your own marketing channels and determine which industries utilize a similar mix of channels as your own.  What products and services are being sold in the same marketplaces as yours?
  3. Scale.  How big does a partner have to be to make them a suitable partner?  Is this measured in transactions, retail outlets, overall customer base, web visits, Facebook fans, revenues?  Scratch partners off the list if they don’t meet your minimum requirements.
  4. Low Hanging Fruit.  Where do you already have connections and what partners are going to be the easiest to develop?
  5. Access.  Where can you develop new connections the easiest?  Do some industries have more bureaucracy or over taxed marketing staffs?  Who is most willing to hear your story?
  6. Partnership History. What companies have partnership personnel in place and/or have executed a number of partnerships in the past?  Companies with partnership marketing experience are going to be able to proceed more quickly and have a better idea of what works for them.
  7. Timing. Do you have a sense of urgency surrounding your partnerships? If so, will certain business categories be able to implement partnerships quicker than others? If your partnership program has to be part of a marketing budget when is the planning period for the next budget?
  8. Who have your best partners been historically? If partnership marketing is not a new venture to you then establish who your best partners have been in the past and look for similar partners.
  9. Competitive partnerships. Who has partnered with your competitors?  Would these same partners be suitable for you as well?

Once you’ve determined all of the attributes you want in a partner you should then develop a prospect list. For most business categories you will want ten prospects for each eventual partner you hope to develop. Just remember – the more strategic your prospecting – the less time you’ll be spending in developing and selling partnerships.

Partnership marketing: in house or outsource?

You’ve committed to partnership marketing for your brand.  How do you decide if you are better off outsourcing to an agency or consultant versus pursuing an in-house effort?  Here’s a list of points to think about.

Control – How important is it to monitor partnership activity?  In-house partnership marketing certainly makes this easier.   If you outsource you will likely want to have regular updates with your agency/consultant to ensure they are staying on track.

Network – An established network can go a long way in developing partnerships.  Outsourcing is typically going to provide you with a larger network than an in-house solution but that’s not always the case.   Regardless of the route you decide to take, make sure that you ask about the relationships and overall network that is being brought to the table.

Brand Familiarity – In most cases an in-house staffer is going to be more familiar with your brand than the alternative.   If you do outsource, make sure the prospective agency/consultant has done their homework and that they are very familiar with your brand and industry.

Dedication – An in-house partnership marketer is going to be focused on your brand alone.  When you outsource there is a greater chance that you will be sharing time with other brands.  Obtain a commitment of time that your brand will receive when outsourcing.

Experience – How much experience will you get with an in-house solution vs. outsourcing?  Is there a major difference in the overall learning curve going one direction vs. another?  An outsourced solution is typically going to spend more time learning about your brand whereas an in-house solution is typically going to spend more time learning how to develop partnerships.

Expense – An in-house solution is almost always going to give you the most time for your marketing dollar and you will need to analyze if it’s going to give you the most value.   An experienced consultant/agency could develop more partnerships with less effort.

Commitment – If you are testing the waters for the first time then you probably want to outsource.  An in-house solution will be tougher to move away from if things don’t go in the direction you want

Time – If you are stretched for resources then you may find it difficult to manage a new partnership marketer.   To effectively bring someone in-house you’ll need to spend time leading and directing them.

Integration – If your partnership marketing requirements require working with many different levels of management at your company and different divisions then an in-house solution is your best bet.

Risk vs. Reward – Ultimately you will want to analyze the overall risks with each approach and the potential upside.  Which option is likely to provide the better ROI?

The geeks have inherited the Earth!

Over 5 million pop culture consumers influence everything from movies, music and gaming to television, fashion and food – and when you connect your brand to what they care about, you connect your brand to them.

Bonfire Agency’s StoreCorps Activation Network offers brands exclusive entree to their inner sanctum – the family-friendly neighborhood comic shop.

Independently owned and operated, these stores serve as weekly rendezvous for passionate pop culture enthusiasts – and only StoreCorps lets you connect with them where and when they’re most passionate. Sponsorships, sampling events and custom merchandising initiatives are just some ways in which we build authentic bridges to these “superfans” and those they influence. So what have we got in store for your brand?

Contact: Steve Rotterdam, Bonfire Agency, (917) 859-4532 or storecorps@bonfireagency.com.

Warning: You may have picked the wrong marketing partner

It takes two to tango and two to develop a great marketing partnership.  It’s key that both partners are engaged and looking out for the best interests of the other.  What are the warning signs that your partnership is not much of a partnership after all?

Here are my top six:

Lack of Communication

Your partner is not responsive to emails and phone calls.  This demonstrates that they aren’t invested.  If you have an agreement than the partnership will likely happen but there’s a good chance it won’t measure up to your initial expectations.  A partner who invests their time and energy is going to give you the best results.

 

Self-Interest

The partner entirely focuses on their own marketing goals in the partnership and your goals are an afterthought at best.  A partnership can only be successful if everyone’s goals are met.  A self-interested partner is much less likely to compromise and not worried about you meeting your own objectives.

 

Lack of an Agreement

A solid partnership doesn’t necessarily need a formal contract but if you find your marketing partner is evasive when putting terms together then you could be in trouble.  Don’t move forward with a partnership until you have buy-in from the partner and both parties clearly understand what the expectations are along with your individual obligations.

 

Shifting Deal Points

A partner can make many promises out of the gate and over time they morph into something new or completely vanish.   This can occur when your primary contact doesn’t obtain buy-in from other stakeholders in their company or when they are merely telling you what you want to hear to make the deal happen.

 

Difference in Values

If your partner is willing to take shortcuts or make compromises that are not in line with the best interest of your customers and/or your corporate culture then you should bolt as quickly as possible.  A partner that doesn’t recognize your own values can cause major customer service issues and may even spur legal action in the worst-case scenarios.

 

Lack of Details

Make sure your partner knows their business and marketing channels.  If they are vague and don’t provide clear answers to your questions then you may wind up in trouble.  Make sure that there are no unanswered questions prior to moving forward.
When you’ve picked the wrong partner it’s going to be a very short-lived partnership.  Make good choices to ensure long lasting partnerships and be alert for any of the red flags above.

Happy partnering!

Business opportunity

Owner retiring and selling leading 27 year old sales promotion company in Miami, CO-OP PROMOTIONS.

Specializing in tie-ins, sampling  and value-added national sales promotions, the business can be operated from any city or even a home office.  Art Averbook, the principal, will train and will pay a 10% finders fee for referring an actual buyer.  Contact: Art Averbook, (954) 922-2323 or   art@co-oppromotions.com .