Nine steps for affinity-marketing success
By Insight | Publication date: 01/04/2008 | Category:
Customer recruitment and retention
Affinity marketing—in which a brand teams with another brand that has a similar audience in order to reach more prospective customers—can be a creative, cost-effective way of gaining customers, increasing brand awareness and heightening loyalty. But that’s only if marketers take a long-term view of their affinity relationships with other companies, according to Nick McCarthy, a director at Experian.
In a white paper titled “Everybody Is Somebody’s Customer”, McCarthy outlines nine steps for successful affinity marketing:
That means looking beyond the brand affinity to the cultural fit, goals and level of commitment of the other organisation.
- Choose the right partner.
Agree to legal terms regarding data sharing, nondisclosure agreements and the boundaries of the relationship.
Assess the opportunity. McCarthy advises completing “a headroom analysis with an expert independent company” that looks at, among other factors, customer overlap and size of opportunity; any overlaps with your company’s current marketing activities; the existing transactional and segmentation customer data available; the profile and reporting of each potential partner’s customer base “to assess headroom after their eligibility, lifetime value and propensity to respond/convert are taken into account”; and “key milestones or communication events in the customer relationship that can be used as triggers”.
“Have a marriage rather than a date.” This entails, among other factors, using long-term strategic goals rather than short-term tactical goals to assess performance and ensuring regular communications among senior managers of all the partnering organisations.
Agree to a channel and contact strategy combined with a mutually beneficial set of propositions. “Learn from each other’s data and previous results about what responds and what doesn’t,” McCarthy writes. “Be choosy about who you are marketing to, using your existing customer eligibility rules.” Determine how frequently you will contact prospective customers and with what offers—making sure they differ from your standard ones—via which channels.
Follow your usual marketing best practice. Document , budget, test and monitor the affinity marketing programme as you do your “standard” marketing programmes.
Set shared goals with your partners.
Close the loop. “Complete insight and produce recommendations for change of targeting, creative and/or propositions used in the marketing activities,” McCarthy writes. “Conduct a regular intensive review of the tactics used to achieve the existing objectives to ensure their scalability and durability.”
Share the rewards and the failures with your partners.