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The Drum Digital Transformation Festival launch

Gordon Young
Editor-in-chief at The Drum

When the going gets tough … collaborate

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Cherry London and The WealthiHer Network look at the power of collaboration and bringing women to more senior positions.

We find ourselves in turbulent and fast changing times. Collaboration is more important than ever before. I have built my company on the belief that businesses can achieve far bigger and better things working collaboratively, than they can alone. The right partnerships can help organisations solve complex problems (and let’s face it we have plenty of those right now), act as catalysts for growth to engage hard to reach audiences and reward increasingly demanding customers in unique ways.

At Cherry London we've created break-through partnership programmes such as O2 Priority, which has ensured that O2 remains one of the mobile brands customers are most loyal to. We’ve helped launch and position the new Range Rover Evoque as the must-have urban accessory in partnership with Mulberry and Master & Dynamics. And driven a positive and diverse representation of women in communications, whether celebrating curvy women for Simply Be, or punky’ mum’s and the LGBTQ community for Superdrug.

Championing the power of collaboration lead me to co-found the WealthiHer Network. Economic and social factors are fueling a dramatic shift in wealth. By 2025 60% of the UK’s Wealth will be in the hands of women, this growth is mirrored in the US and emerging markets like Asia. Yet women do not feel the industry is talking to or understands them. We are here to change that.

The WealthiHer Network brings together over 20 change agents from the 11 founding partner organisations: Barclays, Brewin Dolphin, Brown Advisory C5, Chubb, Close Brothers, HSBC, Investec, JPMorgan, Julius Baer and Kleinwort Hambros. This group of forward thinking organisations understand that the success of their partnership through this network, will benefit all and move the industry forward.

However, collaboration and creating effective partnerships isn’t a case of simply pairing up. It requires a strategic approach, time and attention. So after over 15 years in partnership marketing I thought I’d share the principles that drive our success.

1. Create a big idea to unify behind

It is essential that the starting point for any partner programme is one founded on the needs of both participating partners and the people you wish to ultimately engage. Only then can you create a meaningful role for potential partners and an activity that is impactful in driving the required results.

2. Find the right partners

It is essential to have careful partner selection in line with your strategy requirements. Partnerships take time and energy to manage so they are only worth investing in if the possibilities will expand what you could achieve by yourself.

Getting the chemistry right between brands is also essential. Cement partnerships by developing relationships with those involved. That age old saying: people do business with people, is true. The WealthiHer Network leverages it’s own events, speaking opportunities, talks and industry events to keep the lines of communication open and act as a reminder of our common goal.

3. Collaborate & stay flexible

There is no denying that collaboration is an art form. All partners involved in a partnership have their own business objectives to deliver. So how can everyone’s needs be met? The very definition of collaboration is coming together on a joint project. This means listening without charge. Organisational processes and company cultures can vary and adjusting to these differences requires a willingness to be flexible in order to keep momentum. Work together to put the project at the heart of the activity then the success will benefit all.

4. Be brave

Getting out of your company’s comfort zone to reach new heights means you’re going to need to be brave. To achieve the impossible through intelligent collaboration you’re going to have to listen to your customers and your partners in order to challenge the norm. The WealthiHer network is made up of organisations brave enough to collaborate despite being competitors in business. Willing to take the risk and share their expertise and knowledge to challenge the norm. This ambition has subsequently inspired other organisations to want to join the network.

5. Prove Impact

Be clear about what success looks like and how you’re going to measure results. If you’re changing the game you’ve got to understand and measure the impact that drives return on investment. Documenting and systemising your steps will make it easier to explain, optimise and reproduce.

If all that sounds too much like hard work then give us a call at Cherry London as partnerships is what we do best.

The WealthiHer Network report launches in May with a series of recommendations to industry and government. Click here to view the report.

Tamara Gillan is the founder and CEO at Cherry London and co-founder, The WealthiHer Network.

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