Thinking outside the box – marketing collaboration

As a business owner you are no doubt working with limited resources and any budget that you spend on marketing activities needs to deliver results.

I was attending a training course last week and it was really interesting listening to the other delegates talking about the challenges they face in developing their businesses.  A pattern started to emerge and it was clear that although their product and service offerings were all very different that actually shared the same target customers. Some of their marketing activities were very similar too – they had websites, they used social media and they enjoyed networking.

We are obviously all focused on our own businesses but sometimes we are too focused and can overlook opportunities that are ‘outside the box’ to do something a little different. These ladies had the ideal opportunity to collaborate on a marketing campaign – a dressmaker, a photographer and a confidence coach.  For example the professional business women who, for whatever reason, needs some coaching, then has a new outfit made for herself and then has her new headshot taken. What a great story with lots of marketing opportunity!

So what are some of key success factors when considering a collaboration?

  1. Have a clear objective for wanting to collaborate?
  2. Research and brainstorm best companies to work with.
  3. Be clear about what you have to offer the collaboration.
  4. Ensure you have a clear tactical plan with responsibilities so everyone is clear of the expectations
  5. Make sure you build in a measurement element so you know how successful you have been

During March 2015 this subject will be further discussed as part of the 10-12 Business Club structured network meetings. More information on where you can hear more can be found at:  http://www.10-12businessclub.co.uk/business-networking-meetings-berkshire/

So do you have any examples of a collaborative project you have worked on?

Networking – Does size really matter?

Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time networking in and around Berkshire. I have sampled lots of different groups from ladies only to mixed, informal just turn up style to structured and more formal.  One thing I have noticed is how some people are very focused on the numbers. The assumption is that the more people attending a meeting the more successful it will be. But is this really the case?

In my experience no it isn’t.  I have been to very busy informal networking and ended up coming away feeling less than inspired.  My conversations have been constantly interrupted, my coffee has been spilled as everyone is pushing past and I often feel like I haven’t had a chance to really get to know anyone or understand what they are actually offering. The only real result is to arrive home with a big pile of business cards!

On other occasions I have turned up at a networking event to only see a handful of people attending. However at the end I have left feeling uplifted and motivated. There has been some great conversations, I have made interesting new connections. Often a small group allows better interaction to take place and often business issues might be discussed and brainstormed as it is easy to get everyone involved.

My advice is to try different styles of networking and always keep an open mind. Take your business cards, your marketing materials and most importantly an approachable smile. Have a clear 40 second – 1 minute business introduction up your sleeve and go with the flow.  You might be very surprised at the results.