Let’s cut to the chase, at the core, partnership marketing is a function in most retailers that provides an extremely important income stream to deliver net profit, achieved through the generation of gross media revenue from brand investment. But, and it is a big one, targeting a partnership marketing team purely on media net profit as a single KPI is simply not sustainable or, paradoxically, the most profitable at a total level. Here’s why…
Whilst net profit is obviously hugely important to any business, if treated in isolation in partnership marketing, it encourages a relentless sales-led approach without true strategic direction. This can, more often than not, lead to dissatisfaction for supplier brands (clients), who are likely to be hindered from meeting their specific brand objectives under this approach. We believe that developing a rate card which is not only fair and desirable to clients, but also sensitive to net profit, allows a team to be targeted in other areas which are overall more effective for all parties.
So, going back to the basics when targeting a team, we feel that the best place to start is with gross media investment. This is what a partnership marketing team is dealing with on a daily basis, and this is the easiest metric to understand and see clear growth in. However, within this target, team education is super important - you don’t simply organically grow gross investment by selling more, it’s about understanding the brands’ objectives and ensuring that you are making the right choices to meet these. Ultimately, excellent client service should be at the heart of any partnership marketing team ethos.
We believe it is important to encourage a team to get under the skin of a brand’s challenge or opportunity and work in partnership with them to choose media channels which will best meet their needs. It’s simple really, if a campaign delivers, the brand will likely invest again and hence revenue grows. Likewise, our ultimate goal is to generate incremental sales – if we are successful in understanding how to achieve this objective, the campaign will deliver profit for both the retailer and brand - win, win.
However, like assuming that net profit is the most important KPI for a partnership marketing team, often it is assumed that ROI will be the most important KPI to unlock brand investment. This mentality doesn’t take into account other often hugely important KPIs such as brand awareness or shopper engagement. It is essential that every campaign receives a comprehensive evaluation, and that the team are continually considering generating the best possible results for clients as an area they are targeted on.
In summary, we believe that a rounded approach is the best choice for targeting a partnership marketing team; a singular KPI or purely commercial KPI does not encourage strategic and considered marketing behaviour. This method, taking into account financial performance, media results and excellent client engagement, all centred around honesty and trust, not only leads to commercial success but a motivated team with strong job satisfaction.
Honestly, we could talk about this all day long, so if you’d like to have a discussion about it (or perhaps a healthy debate!), just let us know, our door is always open for a cuppa.