Vince and I met at the new group on LinkedIn, You Are In Royal Hands where we connect for either potential collaborating, like this, or to discuss successful strategies. This week, Vince Golder of Goldnet Referral Marketing has a two part blog post about joint venture marketing:

    Imagine you were on a TV quiz programme and the million dollar question was “If two horses can pull a total load of 9,000 pounds, how many pounds can FOUR horses pull?”

    If you were like me, your initial answer would be to say that four horses could pull a total load of 18,000 pounds. Sounds reasonable — but it’s wrong and you have lost your million dollar prize!!

    Four horses combined efforts can actually pull a total load of over 30,000 POUNDS. This amazing achievement is possible because of something called synergy (synergy is the scientific term for combined power that is greater than the sum of its components).

    Synergy is also a good description of the real power behind a very successful promotional strategy called Joint Venture Marketing (JVM). In brief JVM involves two or more companies or organisations conducting joint marketing campaigns on a co-operative basis, to promote each other’s company, organisation, charity, products or services. When done properly, this form of marketing is very powerful and will result in greater success when conducted in a combined team effort between several companies.

    What is the difference between an alliance and a joint venture? An alliance is a more casual form of association between companies normally “I scratch your back if you scratch mine”. A joint venture is a structured association between companies, with an agreement in place, a clear marketing plan and strategy programme. If there are many companies involved then there can be a committee structure headed by a chairperson, with committee members responsible for marketing, administration and accounts. If any members have a particular skill such as presentation, then they could take on the task of presenting the JV group to large potential projects.

    The potential benefits of JVM for your own company or organisation would be many and far greater than you could obtain from trying to market yourself independently. On the operational side this would include; huge savings on marketing costs (from 50%), greater return on your marketing investment, sharing of branding, contacts, commitment, skills, technology, resources, budgets etc.

    Actual marketing benefits from JVM would include; wider exposure, higher promotional response, greater sales results, new business contacts, extended client base, higher company profile and greater credibility for your business or organisation.

    Companies and organisations of all sizes continually conduct joint ventures in various formats; i.e. Coca Cola, Mattel, McDonalds, Sony, Tesco and many SMEs use joint ventures very successfully. Many example case studies of joint ventures used by corporate companies can be found at

    JVM methods are many and varied and can be used in ALL forms of marketing strategies including; advertising, mail-shots, PR, exhibitions, networking and especially the Internet. Normally all partners in a JVM group are non-competitive and their services and products compliment and promote each other, but competitive companies can still work very well together (examples later). Joint venture marketing is also a very powerful concept to be considered for rural enterprise projects, those aim is to help many small businesses in a particular region.

    Try and form marketing partnerships with people and companies you already know and can work with, these can also include your own clients and suppliers. Choose potential partners on how their products and services could compliment your own business and how you could do the same for them.

    Well-established businesses with an excellent background, reputation and integrity, large client bases, with good client relationships etc. would obviously make the best JVM partners. Having an association with top quality, highly respected companies would greater increase your own company’s profile and credibility.

    Choose your marketing partners carefully, only form associations with companies who have a referral mindset, a positive attitude, are very customer focused and have excellent business and professional ethics, background, reputation and financial status.

    In cases of small JVM projects involving just 2 – 3 companies, with zero or very little marketing investment, management of the project should be easily conducted between all partners. For larger, long-term and more extensive JVM projects, it would be wise to commission an experienced JVM marketing consultant to help develop and be a project manager for the whole strategy programme.

    If all members in a JVM group worked in a positive, proactive and determined matter, promoting each other extensively and the group as a whole, then the driving force and results will far exceed the effort placed by all members. This “synergy” is a major contribution to the success behind a professional run joint venture marketing programme.

A thread that stands out for me as crucial to a collaborative success is the due diligence to make as certain as possible there is that synergy gets results: research, relationship and reputation – just three pieces to consider as you are deciding who to collaborate with.

For more details on the strategies you can used in joint ventures go to part two of how to really Boost Your Business with Joint Venture Marketing.

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