3 Co-Marketing Campaigns That Deliver Real Revenue

Nick Cotter, Founder of Growann, a leading partnership marketing media publisher. He highlights successful co-marketing campaigns he's managed, sharing real results, practical examples, and templates.
Written by
Nick Cotter, Founder of Growann
Published on
October 25, 2023

When it comes to co-marketing with tech partners, picking out a campaign that drives real revenue can be…

Tough.

Channel partner managers want to activate new partnerships, while also maintaining strong relationships with high-value partners.

As a partner marketer, you have to handle many marketing activities and make sure you generate actual revenue for the organization.

So, where do you focus your time, resources and maybe even some of those marketing development funds (MDF)?

We’re going to dive into some of the campaigns I’ve run in the past for B2B tech partners that can drive channel revenue, and hopefully, for yours too.

Let’s begin.

What is a Co-Marketing Campaign?

Co-marketing is a collaborative marketing strategy in which two or more companies or brands work together on a promotional effort for a shared benefit.

The idea behind co-marketing is to leverage the resources, audience, and strengths of each participant to achieve greater reach and impact than either could achieve individually.

Related content: A Definitive Guide to Marketing Integrations with Tech Partners

Co-marketing can come in many forms, and doesn’t necessarily need to be a formal partnership between two organizations.

Sometimes, working on a campaign together with another company is a great first step in the partnership process.

It’s the “getting to know you” stage of the relationship.

This is a good way to see how committed the partners are, understand their customers, and see how people view their brand.

At its core, a co-marketing campaign typically involves:

  • Shared Goals: Both companies have the same goal, like boosting brand awareness, increasing sales, or launching a new product.
  • Combined Resources: This can include shared budgets, marketing assets, distribution channels, and more.
  • Mutual Promotion: Each company promotes the other to its own audience. This can occur in different ways, like using social media, email marketing, joint events, or bundled product offerings.
  • A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement: An arrangement that benefits each company, gains exposure to each other's audience, and also shares costs and access new markets.

Now, let's discuss some successful co-marketing campaigns I've done in the past that increase revenue for organizations.

3 Co-Marketing Campaigns That Drive Real Channel Revenue:

Before we begin, I want to make one thing very clear:

When it comes to partnerships, it’s not only about driving new revenue for the organization.

Partnerships take on many roles within an organization, not just new revenue.

Partnerships are involved in every step of a customer's journey, including sales, marketing, engineering, customer service, and retention.

But, today, we’re talking about new revenue.

Particularly for co-campaigns in the B2B tech space, as well as the agency side.

So, let’s dive in.

1. Co-Marketing Webinars.

Yes, it’s 2023 and we’re still talking about webinars.

I’ve run over 300 webinars and worked with hundreds of partners to execute these–and let me tell you, they still drive new revenue for the organization.

But, not every partner webinar = $$$ for your organization.

That’s just not the case.

If you want to drive channel revenue with your partners through webinars, you need a focused strategy.

The components of a sound partner marketing webinar strategy include:

Identifying the right topic.

When choosing the right topic for your co-marketing webinar program I’ve always thought about two things:

  • What is the sales team hearing from prospects?
  • What are prospects struggling with in their day-to-day and
  • Where is the pain within their business?
  • Do we have a product that can solve this issue?

Once you have a few topics in mind, I’d recommend building out a partner marketing campaign brief for the program to get these going.

Example of a partner marketing campaign brief:

Digital Shelf Campaign Example

Above is an example of a partner marketing campaign brief I put together for a previous company I worked at. See the full example as a Google Doc here.

Identifying the right partner.

Now, when it comes to choosing a partner for your webinar, I’d work together with your channel account managers (CAM).

CAMs will have a great idea who might be the best partner for this topic based on:

  • Partner referral conversion rate
  • Partnership commitment
  • Expertise in the space
  • Customer profiles

Related content: Optimizing Ideal Co-Marketing Profiles: Best Practices for Technology Partners

This will help you nail down a great partnership for the program, and hopefully, be able to drive new business your way.

If you have a partner management platform, you can dig even further into the data yourself to uncover insights into partner referral activity, prior marketing motions, and other notes provided by the CAMs.

Example Scenario:

In a previous campaign I ran, we nailed down the target audience we wanted to attract to the program.

Above is an example of a partner marketing campaign brief I put together for a previous company I worked at.

Then, we confirmed partners who met all of the above criteria. We were a digital marketing agency, so we decided to work with 2 different technology companies.

Our goal was to showcase our thought leadership, expertise to their customer base in the hopes they would have a follo-wup call with our channel analysts.

Set a clear budget and promotion schedule with partners.

This is where many co-marketing partner webinars fail.

They never put together a clearly defined promotional plan, therefore, no new business is generated.

I’d work together with your partners and set a budget (if available) and promotional schedule for the campaign.

Example Scenario:

Continuing on with our previous campaign, we worked closely with our marketing and channel partners to decide promotion schedules and budgeting. We each agreed to allocate some funds towards promotion efforts as well.

By following these steps and promotional strategies continuously, we were able to drive over 70k registrants + 16k attendees to our webinar programs. That’s massive brand exposure, which ultimately led to revenue growth.

Enact a follow-up process.

Lastly, and most importantly, is the follow-up process with leads who sign-up for the program.

I’d work with your Channel Account Managers and Inbound Sales Managers to define an agreed upon follow-up strategy.

This differs greatly from org-to-org, but the more in alignment you are with your sales team, the stronger the outcome will be for this campaign.

Pro tip: An awesome strategy we implemented for our co-marketing webinar campaigns was to launch a “Request an Advertising Audit” post webinar thank you page sign it. This helped to drive MQLs quickly, rather than waiting weeks when the leads were a little bit more nurtured to pass to the BDRs.

2. New Product Launches.

Working with a partner on a new product launch can be a gold mine for channel revenue.

You can use your partner network and reach new customers with this product. It might be just what they need to work with you.

It’s an amazing opportunity to drive revenue in so many ways:

  • Expansion revenue
  • Pipeline velocity (Existing deals getting pushed to closed-won)
  • Net new pipeline (partner sourced)

Example scenario:

Take for instance this campaign we ran at my previous organization, ShipBob.

ShipBob opened their first fulfillment center in Canada, one of the first companies to do so.

They wanted to seize the opportunity, so they used their technology partnerships to:

  • Identify prospective partner customers who would benefit from this program. I.E. Partner customers who had an interest in shipping to Canada.
  • Partner on a joint co-marketing campaign.
  • Arrange personalized emails for targeted outreach. Collaborate with the partner's account management team to directly communicate with their clients.
Source: ShipBob

3. Small, Targeted In-Person Events.

Small, intimate In-person co-marketing events still do quite well.

And I don’t believe that’s going to change any time soon.

Despite the popularity of online events, in-person gatherings offer an irreplaceable personal connection.

Here's why co-marketing in-person events will continue to thrive:

  • Personal Touch: It's about the spontaneous chats, the unscripted moments, and the human connection.
  • Partner Introductions: During these events partners can introduce you to their customers and praise your product.
  • Precision Conversations: Discussions are laser-focused, providing attendees with valuable and productive advice.
  • Active Participation: Attendees at smaller sized in-person events are typically more present and engaged.
  • Tangible Branding: These events offer a hands-on experience of the brand–especially if you're co-branding the event with a tier one partnership (Think Google, Facebook, etc.).
  • Immediate Feedback Loop: Feedback is instant. Brands can gauge reactions firsthand, making it easier to adapt or pivot strategies based on direct audience insights.

When I say "small-scale" event, I mean events with less than 200 attendees, like:

  1. Workshops and trainings
  2. Seminars and conferences
  3. Product launches
  4. Networking mixers
  5. VIP dinners (These events do extremely well!)
  6. Roundtable discussions
  7. Customer appreciation events

When you work with a few co-marketing partners, it's easier to customize the message, audience, and event experience.

Take for instance this partnership event we worked with Google together on. The event had about 100 attendees. We focused on prospects and current customers.

Source: Tinuiti

A Wrap on Our Co-Marketing Campaigns Discussion

Naturally, you can run many more co-marketing campaigns with partners.

But, these are the top 3 programs I’ve run across our partner marketing playbooks.

And let me tell you, they work.

To succeed, make a strong campaign plan, talk with partners about expectations, work with the sales team, and follow up well.

As we wrap up this discussion, think about potential co-marketing opportunities for your brand. 

  • Who aligns with your vision?
  • What unique value can you bring to the table?
  • How can you create campaigns that benefit both businesses and audiences?

Until next time.

Author Bio:

Nick Cotter brings over seven years of experience in B2B partner marketing, having collaborated with leading technology brands and agencies. Recognizing a gap in resources within the industry, he founded Growann to provide comprehensive guidance in partner marketing.

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