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By The Drum, Editorial

June 16, 2014 | 4 min read

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More than 80% of brands are now willing to partner with other brands and believe that partnership marketing can deliver a high return on investment, according the findings of a new Whitepaper published by London-based agency Mediator and revealed at a recent event.

The research for the Whitepaper was carried out during April and was commissioned to examine the current marketing landscape and the role partnership marketing plays within the wider marketing mix, while also highlighting best practise for the discipline.

The Whitepaper’s findings were revealed to an audience of brand marketers at an event held at Mediator’s Camden headquarters. Speakers at the event included Sharon Reid of O2, Brian Massage of music company ATC Management and Dino Myers-Lamptey of the7stars.

The qualitative and quantitative research showed that more than 80% of respondents believe partnership marketing has a high ROI and 86% agree it’s effective. However, less than 5% of overall marketing budgets are allocated to this area. The report goes on to investigate the reasons for this disconnect alongside the benefits of using partnership marketing in the context of an industry where consumers and technology are constantly evolving.

The findings also showed that a large proportion of respondents (66%) spontaneously agree that partnership marketing is an effective way of growing awareness and reaching new audiences, to target new customers, to develop and foster brand equity, enhance brand propositions, challenge perceptions or to venture into a market.

When prompted 88% agree that partnership marketing provides exposure across both brands’ channels and 83% agree it can expand the brand audience. When asked to select a single most motivating factor for using partnership marketing, 24% selected this option above all others.

O2 is a big proponent of partnership marketing and Reid, head of In Life Management at Priority Moment at O2, said: “Probably our most impactful partnership to date has been our strong association with AEG and the 02 Area. The keys to our success is that we work with brand share our vision, so we are aligned. We want to make it happen, so we are quite agile and we are always willing to try stuff. It may or may not work, but we are willing to try. We test and learn and then we move on.

Speaking of the report into partnership marketing Mediator’s MD Tara Honeywell said: “There is widespread belief partnership marketing is underutilised as a tool due to a misconception it cannot be effectively measured. Our research demonstrates as long as there is a clear understanding of what success looks like in the initial planning stages, the right evaluation metrics can be built into the campaign to ensure it is measurable and in turn, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t feature as a consistent component of the wider marketing mix.

“Our report concluded marketing strategies that incorporate partnerships within the wider marketing mix were more powerful than those that didn’t and over 70% of respondents agree partnerships added a level of depth that more traditional communication plans could not deliver.”

To download the full Partnership Marketing report visit the Mediator website.

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