In an economic world, a notion of affinity marketing is increasingly found. Uninformed people confuse it with a partnership because it is also focused on the development of strategic relations among companies. However, the former has to do with productivity and superficial nature of ties, while the second category includes corporate values as trust relationships.
Affinity Marketing Definition
Traditionally, by mentioned term, it is exactly the way to promote an item or service by forming reciprocal links with compatible brands. Such a maneuver stimulates loyalty, both to the company logo and to its items, while creating close groups. For instance, a Czech car repair shop offered cooperation of an insurance company. I.e., customers simultaneously received car repairs and insurance, while both firms increased their profits. Another instance of such strategy is sports teams, displaying the logos of sponsors on their clothes.
Marketing affinity allows firms to use foreign brands, without legal consequences. Covering the halo of a well-known corporation, you could increase your own attractiveness. Here is the logic of approval by celebrities. George Clooney's fans attribute a number of positive qualities to him; some company uses his image to advertise its own products. As a result, consumers trust not so much the firm as the beloved actor.
Elements and Tips for Successful Affinity Marketing
In order to get a maximum effect from marketing affinity, adhere to following rules. First, find a suitable partner that could supplement and improve your product. It is worthwhile to conduct a small investigation into values and customers of your potential allies for making sure the correctness of choice. Think about a list of the benefits which your companion will receive from cooperation. Nevertheless, be guided by the principle of objectivity, since the possible profit from the alliance could vary. Do not be too lazy to calculate possible risks with the help of SWOT analysis.
Second, identify and specify goals. This could be a 20% increase in the database, an extension in the number of visits to your online store by 30%, or a growth in sales by 40% compared to the previous month. Use the SMART principles, so as not to miss the main thing. Identify the criteria for effectiveness of the project, and segment your partners for a specific parameter. It may be a size of an enterprise, the level of influence on the society, the correspondence of participants to the portrait of an ideal client, etc. An important feature of affinity marketing campaign is the involvement of non-profit structures, i.e., charity organizations, foundations, through a mutually beneficial contract.
Remember that not all target groups are worthy of your attention. Focus on avoiding the initially failing options, i.e., delete from the database people who will perceive your suggestions as spam. Start with the development of professional tests. Thus, you optimize a list of customers and intelligently invest your time and resources. Use a professional taxonomy, dividing the affinity groups according to professional, social, value or demographic indicators.
Third, watch your competitors and study the best practices, because you need to learn from strong rivals. Also, you could create a partner communication portal as a resource for preserving key data, timely data exchange, informing about events or deadlines for submitting a project.
Another significant point is to increase your knowledge in the field of advertising or spheres directly related to your product. You must know a composition of an item, consequences of its use, preferences of the target audience, customers’ habits, etc. These data could be used to increase the attractiveness of your brand. Agree, it's nice to receive a birthday greeting and a discount for the right item as a sign of attention. Also, remember the tools for creating a data structure. Develop your own approach to maximize results by automatically configuring personalized messages.
Employs Affinity Marketing and its Benefits for Marketers
Brands are developed to reduce the risk of buying a substandard product. Most people feel more comfortable if their choice is shared by many consumers. But creating a good reputation requires investing much money and time. Therefore, affinity marketing strategies are the real salvation for start-up entrepreneurs.
Thanks to it, firms are able to expand their customer base with new message channels. So, the company Diet Coke is known for its cooperation with world fashion designers, such as Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, and others. Such a coup helped promote its products as low-calorie and healthy ones.
Belvoir Fruit Farms regularly holds joint competitions with such brands as The White Company, BBC Good Food Show, for distributing prizes to winners on their websites. The company sends messages to customers' e-mails about current contests, with the aim of increasing traffic to the site and updating its database. As an incentive to attract a new customer, it offers a discount on the goods within a certain month. Agree, this is a good example of joint action, leading to increased sales.
Benefits for Suppliers, Affinity Group, and Customers
Such type of collaboration, like affinity marketing, is a win option for all members of a certain group.
Suppliers receive first-priority access to information about client base, which simplifies an expansion of knowledge about potential target faction. Such an advantage reduces the costs of research, promotes the efficiency of communications and leads to the sale of goods/services at a low price, but to a greater number of consumers. Another benefit is improving your own reputation, especially when among your companions there are already organizations with a positive image.
Affinity groups also gain from increased demand for commission or fee for each new member willing to join them. In the presence of products, they could also reduce or even avoid costs of promoting the goods through their own reliable name, acting as a direct service provider. An effective communication will lead to the formation of a broad network of partners for achieving long-term aims.
The dividends of customers directly depend on the nature of affinity group and the kind of items. For example, it may be an additional bonus for the purchase of expensive equipment. In this case, consumers feel more confident about its quality, focusing on the partnership between its group and the company. Besides, they have a feeling of being attached to the club of so-called elected persons, which stimulates a sense of self-satisfaction. An essential factor is the legal responsibility of partners as an element of reliability in cooperation.
Thus, affinity marketing campaign has proved to be an efficient way to attract new clients, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Cooperation with an influential and reliable firm represents today the best option to declare itself in the world market with the least costs and the greatest opportunities.