Tiffaney Fox Quintana is the VP of Marketing at a startup called Stampli. In a recent episode of Content Callout, Tiffaney talked about her 5 Pillars of Marketing. One of Tiffaney’s 5 Pillars is “Accel.” What does it mean? You want to develop a partnership ecosystem. A partner can extend your reach and accelerate your sales. But where do you start? Who do you reach out to for a partnership?
Who to look for in your industry
Any industry will have a reseller or someone who services clients similar to yours. In Tiffany’s industry, it would be CPAs. They focus on accounting, and part of Tiffaney’s target market is accountants. You can try and access reseller’s customers, which allows them to offer an added benefit to their customers with your services.
She also says you can focus on companies that are adjacent to what you’re offering. It can be large corporations that have been in their space for years. They often offer partner marketing programs. For Tiffaney, it may be ERPs (that they connect into).
Partnerships must be well-timed and well-planned
The timeframe has to make sense for your business/startup. Tiffany notes that you’ll see many larger companies offer partner programs to get referrals, affiliates, or to co-market in general.
At Content Callout, we’re reaching out to podcast agencies that are setting up partnership programs. It’s been beneficial. Casted is one of our first major partners. If we had tried doing something a few months ago, it would have been too early—we were still getting processes in place. As we are building proper processes, we can begin to broach conversations with partners.
How early is too early?
Do startups get into the conversations too early? Tiffaney notes that it’s too early if you don’t know how to run the partnership—or what you’re going to get out of it. Once you know what you need from it, it’s the right time. But you need to start with a clear vision, and it needs to make sense for you and the partner. Startups can sell themselves too much too early. If you do not understand what you can get and what you can afford to invest in it to make a positive return, you’re not ready to reach out to partners.
If a partner approaches you and it looks interesting, it’s okay to be opportunistic and learn how the ecosystem will work. Once you understand it, you can better formalize how to go to market with that partnership program. Start small, be opportunistic, but don’t approach people until you know what you want.
How to approach go-to-market with a partner
Are you an official partner? You need that validity with them. Tiffaney emphasizes that you want to make sure you can have access to a partner’s audience (whether it’s emails, advertising on a marketplace, etc.). Doing so is another way they’re putting their stamp of approval on your co-marketing efforts. The partner also needs to be fair to other partners. But if you build a good relationship with your partner, it can help you get more opportunities.
How else can you make sure your marketing efforts aren’t falling flat? What are the other strategies outlined in Tiffaney’s 5 Pillars of Marketing? Learn more in episode #57 of the Content Callout podcast!