The word ‘collaboration’ is being thrown around like gifts in Oprah’s Christmas special. From brand-to-influencer collaborations, employee collaboration or collaborative playlists on Spotify, there are many contexts to use the word - but ‘collaboration marketing’ is a strategy that brands and advertisers stand to gain from the most.
The success of social media, event or product collaboration campaigns such as GoPro x Redbull, Chandon x Seafolly and Moccona x Peter Alexander have shown us the engagement and cross promotional power of collaboration marketing campaigns. Not only are these campaigns successful at face-value, but we can digitally track their influence by analysing reach, engagement and content. This means we can place a dollar value on the impact of brand collaborations from a marketing standpoint.
American Express recently released the 2017 Business Collaboration Index that identified collaboration marketing as a seriously lucrative strategy. The report stated that mid-sized companies achieved a profit 1.4 times their investment. This equates to average savings of more than $319,000 or an average increase in sales of close to $430,000.
So, why aren’t brands collaborating more frequently for powerful cross-promotion?
On average, it takes over six months to execute a collaboration campaign. Between conjuring a ‘big idea,’ to sourcing the right collaborator, pitching, following up, negotiating and leveraging a mutually beneficial partnership, the lengthy time required is off-putting for marketers and SMEs alike.
However, collaboration marketing should be a necessary part of a marketer’s game plan. It’s up to 30 times cheaper than digital advertising, because brands can use their audiences, not their budgets, as cross-promotional currency, across multiple channels. Time-saving tools like brand matchmaking platform, Collabosaurus reduce the time it takes down to a quarter of what it once was. Collabosaurus also champions the need for multiple collaboration campaigns over time - so there’s no need to have a ‘big idea’, or a specific partner in mind.
Here are some examples of how brands and advertisers can benefit from clever collaboration campaigns:
Reach new audiences at a fraction of the cost
Every time brands collaborate, they’re gaining new cross-promotional exposure with an engaged community. Why did the Kester Black x GotoSkincare collaboration cause such an obsession on Instagram? Because two like-minded, complementary brands with die-hard fan bases teamed up on a limited-edition product. Fans of GotoSkincare cross pollinated to Kester Black, and vice versa - without either brand losing out.
Create highly engaging, creative campaigns
Promoting the same old product and the same old brand can get tricky when you’re trying to build something engaging. Brand collaborations not only help you reach new audiences, but engage the audiences you reach. Dubai Tourism wouldn’t have had nearly as much coverage or user generated content if it weren’t for their collaboration with Gelato Messina in Bondi. Dubai inspired ice-cream, anyone?
Leverage multiple channels effectively and consolidate analytics
You’d be forgiven for thinking ‘collaboration marketing sounds a lot like influencer advertising’ but I assure you it is not. Influencer marketing and influencer tools in the market are focused on influencer-to-brand collaborations, rather than brand-to-brand. While influencer marketing is still effective, many brands are putting too many eggs in the Instagram basket. Marketers have extremely limited control over organic reach and engagement as Instagram continues to shift its algorithm. To combat this, multichannel leverage is a no-brainer. Brand collaboration campaigns provide exposure opportunities across all social platforms, event audiences, blog or podcast channels, mainstream publicity, even signage, and platforms like Collabosaurus enable brands to easily track ROI and marketing success of this activity.
Tap into new audiences over time with consistent collaboration campaigns
It is predicted that Dr. Jeffrey Lant’s ‘Rule of Seven’ marketing touchpoints is set to increase to over 22 in 2018 and beyond. With a highly saturated marketing landscape, brands and advertisers are looking for cost-effective, creative ways to drive sales and increase brand awareness. Rather than doing the once-in-a-blue-moon big campaign, brands stand to gain enormous marketing value from consistently exploring different types of collaborations on a smaller scale. From social media competitions and content collaborations to event collaborations and limited-edition product releases - exploring different collaboration types with different, aligned brand collaborators will ensure that your existing audience doesn’t lose interest (and you can tap into new audiences).
Identify the right opportunities
Sourcing mutually beneficial collaboration opportunities is a big task if done the old-school way. Traditionally, brand partnerships result from significant research, ideation, pitching, follow-up meetings and negotiation.
Brands and advertisers stand to gain incredible results to their bottom line from collaboration marketing campaigns. It’s no longer a long-winded process, global opportunities are at arm’s reach, more brands understand the concept and marketing strategies are calling for creatively leveraged, multichannel techniques.
Collabosaurus founder Jessica Ruhfus