The successful development of Marketing Partnerships is a managed process that can be understood in terms three specific 'gears' that need to be controlled by Relationship Managers. These gears contain key relationship elements that need to be maintained, move at the right speed - and in the right direction. At different stages their focus will naturally shift from one to another but it is the coordinated movement of all three together that maintains partnership health. Partnerships fail when these gears, checks and balances are neglected or taken for granted and eventually stall.
FIT: Relationship Managers and pioneers need to ensure that that both organisations can genuinely form a practical working relationship, with regard to their respective Cultures, People, Markets and Mechanics. Do they complement each other? Can they trust each other? Are there solid marketing benefits to be gained for both parties? Are there clear owners of the relationship in each organisation? Without a good solid Fit, the Planning and Momentum gears cannot move. Fit is the foundation of any good partnership and the critical element that is most frequently ignored until too late.
PLANNING: Partners must discuss, clarify and share their individual requirements and agree joint Objectives and Measures as well as ensuring there is adequate Leadership in both organisations, to sponsor the inititive. Good planning reinforces the Fit and help builds Momentum.
MOMENTUM: This is the critical 'Big Mo'. Without driven, positive and systematic progress any marketing partnership, no matter how well intentioned and logical – will fail. Momentum requires Relationship Managers to drive the partnership agenda within their organisations and carefully Balance the 'soft' aspects of relationship management, such as personalities, 'politics' and styles with the 'harder' technical management aspects, such as contracts, deadlines, reviews, financial returns and measures. Momentum is not luck: it requires continual checking that both Partners retain and invest in their Capability (technical capability) and sufficient Resources (people, budgets and time) to deliver on their commitments. Value needs to be measured and most importantly - shared. The success of a relationship is not just measured by your own metrics and measures - but understanding those that are important to the other partner.
To maximise the collaborative advantage and give your partnerships a sharper edge contact Andrew Armour or call him on (+44) 07971-231-025
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