Joint Ventures, Affinity Marketing, Strategic Alliances, and Fusion Marketing – Is it Right For You?

Wow, those are a lot of words to consider all at once. They really have a lot in common, so let’s break this down and take a look at what it can mean to you, the small business owner.

Online marketers are very familiar with the term joint venture. Offline marketers are more familiar with the term “strategic alliance,” or “affinity marketing.” Fusion marketing may be a new term for both arenas.

In online marketing, a joint venture is when two people who usually have skills or products of equal value, create a product together and sell using both mailing lists. This sort of thing requires some real planning and special considerations such as who will handle the money, etc. I wouldn’t recommend doing it without some instruction from someone much more skilled than I am.

As far as offline marketing, consider this scenario: You move to a new city. As soon as you’re unpacked, you get a notice in the mail from a major retailer, welcoming you to the neighborhood and giving you a discount coupon. You scratch your head – how did this major retailer get this information? Did you accidentally send them a change of address? But wait – what’s this in today’s mail? It’s a change of address confirmation from the United States Post Office. Is this coincidental? No, of course not. The government and this major retailer have what we call a “fusion marketing” relationship. It’s really just a fancy name for a strategic alliance. Webster’s Dictionary says this about a strategic alliance: “…a merging of diverse, distinct and separate elements into a unified whole.” If you do this with a business relationship, it’s more aptly called fusion marketing.

Fusion marketing works best when the target markets are similar. Let’s look at some examples of fusion marketing for “bricks and mortar” businesses.

  • If you own a printing company, a graphic designer would be a great team.
  • An architect could work with a construction firm.
  • Here’s a classic – realtors and mortgage brokers.
  • How about a travel agency and a local resort? (or even a large hotel chain)
  • A local telephone hardware vendor with a Music & Messages On Hold studio.
  • An interior designer and a custom cabinet or furniture designer.

Are you beginning to see the picture? The only limit to the fusion markting possibilities is your imagination. It could be something as simple as your local eatery offering coupons at the cash register for the florist two doors down. I believe every business will find that strategic alliances, affinity marketing or fusion marketing is right for them. Of course, all this starts with networking in your community. I have prepared a special gift for you if you would care to learn more on this subject. Just click on Make Referrals Work and receive some high-quality training videos at no cost to you.