As the inventor and CEO of a billionaire, the fictional Tony Stark, also known as Marvel’s Iron Man, worked his way to the top of the corporate ladder and repeatedly saved the world.
Despite Stark’s impressive accomplishments, his career success and super robotic suit weren’t what made him a legend.
In fact, Stark’s best Marvel Comics storylines began when he joined The Avengers to save the entire universe.
Although Stark was able to save the Earth on his own in his super suit, he knew that working with other superheroes would allow him to save multiple planets.
Marketers can learn a lot from Tony Stark.
While our brands might be able to achieve basic goals on their own, by pooling marketing resources, combining skills, and campaigning together with other non-competing companies, we could reach a much wider audience. This tactic is known as co-marketing.
While co-marketing can be incredibly beneficial to you and your partner’s brands, finding a co-marketing partner and launching mutually beneficial campaigns will still take time, planning, and coordination.
Like any good marketer considering a new tactic, you want to know that co-marketing can be effective before you dedicate resources to it. And yes, you will probably want to explore more than just the superhero analogy I made above.
Below is a list of 20 statistics that prove why you should consider this strategy.
20 co-marketing stats for 2020
The state of co-marketing in 2020
- After 68% of consumers see co-marketed campaigns, they can make purchasing decisions before they even speak to sales reps. (PartnerPath, 2019)
- Almost all of the companies surveyed in 2018 were already active in internet marketing partnerships and partner programs. The few that were inactive planned to be in the next 12 months. (Partnerize, 2018)
- 54% of companies state that partnerships account for more than 20% of total company sales. (Partnerize, 2018)
- 34% of marketers say co-marketing or branding partnerships are the most effective ways to grow an email subscriber list. (Ascend2, 2017)
- 74% of companies state that partnerships and affiliate marketing campaigns are high or very high priority for their company. (Partnerize, 2018)
- In 2018 only 5% of companies said they had invested less in partnerships than in 2017. (Partnerize, 2018)
- More than half of respondents in a 2018 partnership survey said partnerships drove more customers and sales this year than 2017. (Partnerize, 2018)
Partnership and Co-Marketing Tactics
- Brand partnerships that use digital channels see 4X as the pipeline of non-digital partnerships. (Impact, 2019)
- 84% of the providers with brand partners offer these partners money for co-marketing expenses. (PartnerPath, 2019)
- 30% of vendors offer a co-marketing reimbursement if their brand partner can demonstrate the ROI. (PartnerPath, 2019)
- Approximately 11% of marketers say “partnership postings” are the most attractive type of social media content for their brand. (HubSpot, 2020)
- Many brands prioritize large partnerships over thousands of smaller partnerships. About 34% of the leading brands have 50 to 99 partners, while 67% of the brands have fewer than 100. (Partnerize, 2018)
- Only 2% of the brands surveyed by Partnerize in 2018 work with more than 1,000 brands. (Partnerize, 2018)
- In 2018, 33% of CEOs said they were prioritizing strategic partnerships in 2019, which could include co-marketing partnerships. (KPMG, 2018)
- The brand leader’s top priorities include finding more partners (27%) and strengthening relationships with existing partners (23%). (Partnerize, 2018)
Success stories of co-marketing and brand partnership
- The Yeezy shoe line, a collaboration between Adidas and Kanye West, enabled Adidas to grow 19.5% net annually to $ 1.9 billion in 2019. (Bloomberg, 2019)
- Buffer and Social Chain’s 2019 Brand and Social Media Report saw 17,000 download site visits and more than 3,000 social media shares in just one week. These results were higher than the average article published on any of their websites. (Quuu, 2019)
- When Estée Lauder and a leading US retailer created joint Google ads to promote the retailer and the brand’s fragrance products, the average ad click rate increased by 70%. (Google, 2020)
- In 2018, Coors Light partnered with National Geographic to launch a series of video ads in Iceland. The campaign reached 10.5 million people and resulted in a 6.8 percent increase in brand preference. (Facebook, 2018)
- In a recent case study, a gaming app company partnered with another brand in a cross-promotion campaign coordinated by Aarki – a mobile marketing agency. The gaming app saw a 32% increase in downloads shortly after remarketing ads on the partner brand’s contact list on social media. (Aarki, 2020)
The benefits of co-marketing
Co-marketing can offer a long list of benefits, especially if you want to pool your resources to create a large-scale marketing campaign. In addition to the statistical advantages mentioned above, there are a number of other qualitative advantages such as:
- Awareness of the audience: Co-marketing and cross-promotion make your content or brand information accessible to both your audience and your brand partner. This gives your brand a wider reach. For example, if local or online stores launch Google Ads showing they stock Estée Lauder fragrances, fans of the perfume brand can visit or follow that store for the first time.
- Increased trust and convenience: If a prospect trusts the brand you work with, they may trust you when that brand advertises your name, logo, or content. For example, when Adidas partnered with Kanye West to create the Yeezy line, people may have bought a pair of Yeezys because they trusted Adidas quality and West’s sense of style.
- Inexpensive content: When partnering up with a different brand, you may be able to reach an arrangement in which you split up time or production costs, or you can swap one brand strength for another. For example, if you’re a small brand working with a bigger brand, you might be able to use the bigger brand’s budget and get more exposure on their channels. In the meantime, the bigger brand may be able to leverage your niche audience on social media.
After learning about the benefits and statistics of co-marketing, take inspiration from these successful real-world examples of tactics. For more information on finding the right co-marketing partner, check out this handy guide.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2020 and has been updated for completeness.