As a billionaire inventor and CEO, the fictional Tony Stark, also known as Marvel's Iron Man, worked his way to the top of the corporate ladder while repeatedly saving the world on the side.
Despite Stark's impressive achievements, his career success and robotic super-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 fully capable of saving Earth alone in his super-suit, he knew teaming up with other superheroes would allow him to save multiple planets.
Marketers can learn a lot from Tony Stark.
While our brands might be capable of reaching basic targets all on their own, pooling marketing resources, combining skill sets, and jointly creating campaigns with other non-competing companies could help us reach much broader audiences. This tactic is known as co-marketing.
Although co-marketing can be incredibly beneficial to you and your partner's brands, it will still take time, planning, and coordination when it comes to finding a co-marketing partner and launching mutually beneficial campaigns.
Like any good marketer considering a new tactic, you’ll want to know that co-marketing can be effective before devoting resources to it. And yes, you'll likely want to research more than just the superhero analogy I've made above.
To help you make the case for co-marketing, here’s a list of 20 statistics that prove why you should consider this strategy.
20 Co-Marketing Stats to Know in 2020
The State of Co-Marketing in 2020
- After seeing co-marketed campaigns, 68% of consumers are able to make buying decisions before even speaking to sales representatives. (PartnerPath, 2019)
- Virtually all companies surveyed in 2018 were already active in internet marketing partnerships and affiliate programs. The few that weren't were active planning to be in the next 12 months. (Partnerize, 2018)
- 54% of companies say partnerships drive more than 20% of total company revenue. (Partnerize, 2018)
- 34% of marketers say that co-marketing or brand partnerships are the most effective ways to increase an email subscriber list. (Ascend2, 2017)
- 74% of companies say partnerships and affiliate marketing campaigns are a high or very high priority for their businesses. (Partnerize, 2018)
- In 2018, just 5% of companies said they'd invested less in partnerships than in 2017. (Partnerize, 2018)
- More than half of respondents in a 2018 partnership survey said partnerships were driving more customers and sales in that year than in 2017. (Partnerize, 2018)
Partnership and Co-Marketing Tactics
- Brand partnerships that leverage digital channels see 4X the pipeline of non-digital partnerships. (Impact, 2019)
- 84% of vendors with brand partners offer money to those partners for co-marketing expenses. (PartnerPath, 2019)
- 30% of vendors will offer co-marketing reimbursement if their brand partner can prove ROI. (PartnerPath, 2019)
- Roughly 11% of marketers say "partnership posts" are their brand's most engaging type of social media content. (HubSpot, 2020)
- Many brands prioritize large partnerships, versus thousands of smaller partnerships. Roughly 34% of leading brands have 50 to 99 partners, while 67% of brands have less than 100. (Partnerize, 2018)
- Only 2% of brands surveyed by Partnerize in 2018 partner with more than 1,000 brands. (Partnerize, 2018)
- In 2018, 33% of CEOs said they planned to prioritize strategic partnerships, which could involve co-marketing partnerships, in 2019. (KPMG, 2018)
- The top brand leader priorities include finding more partners (27%) and strengthening relationships with existing partners (23%). (Partnerize, 2018)
Co-Marketing and Brand Partnership Success Stories
- The Yeezy shoe line, a collaboration between Adidas and Kanye West, enabled Adidas' net annual rose by 19.5% to $1.9 billion in 2019. (Bloomberg, 2019)
- Buffer and Social Chain's Brand 2019 Brand and Social Media Report resulted in 17,000 download page visits in just one week and more than 3,000 shares across social media. These results were higher than an average article shared on either of their sites. (Quuu, 2019)
- When Estée Lauder and a top U.S. retailer created joint Google Ads that promoted the retailer and the brand's fragrance products, the average ad click share rose by 70%. (Google, 2020)
- In 2018, Coors Light teamed up with National Geographic to launch a series of video ads taking place in Iceland. The campaign reached 10.5 million people and resulted in a 6.8 percent lift in brand favorability. (Facebook, 2018)
- In a recent case study, a gaming app company partnered with another brand in a cross-promotional campaign that was coordinated by Aarki -- a mobile marketing agency. The gaming app received a 32% rise in downloads shortly after remarketing ads to the partnering brand's contact list on social media. (Aarki, 2020)
The Benefits of Co-Marketing
Co-marketing can provide a long list of benefits, especially if you want to pool your resources to create a large-scale marketing campaign. Along with the statistical benefits seen above, there are a number of other qualitative perks such as:
- Audience exposure: Through co-marketing and cross-promotion, your content or brand information will be shared with your audiences as well as your brand partner's. This enables your brand to gain increased reach. For example, when local or online stores launch Google Ads showing that they carry Estée Lauder fragrances, fans of the perfume brand might visit or follow that store for the first time.
- Increased trust and favorability: If a prospect trusts the brand you partner with, they might trust you when that brand promotes your name, logo, or content. For example, when Adidas teamed up with Kanye West to create the Yeezy line, people might have bought a pair of Yeezys because they trusted Adidas' quality and West's sense of style.
- Cost-effective content: When you team up with another brand, you might be able to make an agreement where you split time or production costs, or you can trade one brand strength for another. For example, if you're a small brand partnering with a larger brand, you might be able to utilize the bigger brand's budget and gain more exposure on their channels. Meanwhile, the bigger brand might be able to leverage your niche social media audience..
Now that you've learned about the benefits and stats related to co-marketing, get inspiration from these successful real-world examples of the tactic. For more on how to find 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 comprehensiveness.