Partnership marketing is an established concept of modern retailing and has been used in some form by most retailers and brands. Recent research found that partnerships drive more than 20% of the income of 57% of the companies surveyed, and more than half of companies say income from partnerships is rising. The level of success of these partnerships is such that only 1% of companies are cutting back on investments in partnership in 2020.
Brands and retailers looking to expand their reach should consider how a retail marketing partner can help.
Reaching a New Audience Through a Retail Marketing Partnership
Partnership marketing can take many forms and be very beneficial, depending on your specific goals and target audience. Here are three types of retail marketing partners to consider.
Partnering with influencers can increase brand awareness and expand reach. Influencers are often public figures who have an audience that you can tap into. They can be anyone from entertainers and professional athletes to millennials with a following on social media. They may have an audience that ranges from a few thousand to millions on a blog, vlog, or social media platform. Many of these influencers have a niche following, which can be beneficial for brands or retailers looking to target a specific type of consumer. Marketers feel confident about influencer marketing as a channel; 80% of marketers have found it to be effective. People trust recommendations from other people they know—including people they know via their online presence. Brands and retailers should make sure they choose an influencer who embodies that trust.
Many industries see the benefit of leveraging influencer marketing. Though, before implementing a campaign, thorough market research is essential to identify the right influencer for your specific marketing goals. Your choice of medium is crucial as well. It was reported that as of 2019, Instagram has steadily maintained 1 billion active users and is the traditional standby for influencer marketing. The top three industries working with Instagram influencers include luxury brands (91%), sports clothing (84%) and beauty brands (83%). A survey of marketers found that Instagram retains the most favored status with 89% of marketers. However, YouTube is the preferred medium of Gen Z.
There are some challenges to consider when it comes to influencer marketing. When vetting influencers, be on the lookout for “fake” followers. You should gauge the influencer’s rate of engagement as well. There has been a perennial discussion of transparency in influencer marketing that you should be aware of too.
2. Complementary Brands or Retailers
Co-marketing, the partnering of complementary brands, is a popular option that allows you to share audiences with a brand or retailer that is of interest to your customers. Besides expanding your brand awareness, it is usually quite cost-effective, since you are likely pooling together resources with your partner.
Partnerships can be structured in a number of ways:
- Selling complementary products: A florist and a caterer might promote each other’s services for events, for example.
- Co-branding a new product: Taco Bell and Doritos teamed up to make a product so popular that they are expanding their selection more than three years after the original Doritos Locos Taco was introduced.
- Small business and major corporation: Some national grocery chains have special sections for local products, gaining the store local goodwill and giving the small business sales and valuable exposure.
- Providing mutual services: Kohl’s and Amazon have teamed up to route Amazon returns through select Kohl’s stores. This makes it more convenient to return items to Amazon and boosts foot traffic in Kohl’s.
- Exclusive distribution: Twenty years ago, Target pioneered the affordable luxury movement with exclusive deals to sell the products of well-known designers. The campaign has been so successful that a rerelease of popular items to celebrate the 20th anniversary in mid-2019 had people staying up all night to catch items as they became available on the retailer’s website and lining up to purchase in-store.
Like influencer marketing, complementary marketing requires a search for suitable partners and careful vetting.
3. Third-Party Mobile Shopping Rewards Apps
Partnering with a third-party mobile shopping rewards app like Shopkick allows brands and retailers to reach consumers through engaging rewards-based marketing. Shopkick’s simplicity and popularity make it an ideal counter to loyalty fatigue—users only download one app to gain access to offers from numerous partnering brands and retailers instead of having to join multiple loyalty programs.
Shopkick’s simplicity and popularity make it an ideal counter to loyalty fatigue.
Similarly to leveraging an influencer’s following or another brand’s consumers, a partnership with Shopkick allows brands and retailers to gain access to an already-loyal base of consumers who they may have not been able to reach previously.
When a leading supplement brand wanted to boost sales of its B-12 and daily energy supplements at Walmart, and other national grocers and pharmacies across the nation, they partnered with Shopkick. During the campaign, Shopkick built pre-shop consideration with educational in-app content to boost interest and awareness. Then, using Shopkick’s unique video capabilities, the brand delivered its marketing message to a highly engaged audience in a shopping mindset. In-store, Shopkick incentivized shoppers to seek out and engage with the products at shelf, increasing purchase likelihood and ultimately driving sales. The campaign was highly successful in boosting product awareness across an expanded audience. In fact, 53% of users first became aware of the featured products via Shopkick. The campaign received over 36M impressions and drove purchases amongst an incremental audience—42% of those who purchased were not planning to do so before their visit to the store.
Retail marketing partnerships like these have the ability to expand a brand’s reach, increasing awareness and generating sales.
Need more innovative ideas to expand your reach? Read our success stories and contact Shopkick to learn how to become one of our partners and start reaching consumers today.
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