Graham McGregor: How to use partnership marketing

A powerful marketing strategy is to form alliances with others who are already reaching your key market.

Kraken Images/Unsplash

A powerful marketing strategy is to form alliances with others who are already reaching your key market.

Graham McGregor is a marketing adviser. You can get his free marketing guide ‘The Plan B Sales Solution’ at

OPINION: I received some great advice on effective marketing from Shel Horowitz a few years ago.

Shel is an internationally known marketing consultant and copywriter who helps his clients to find marketing partners, present themselves as an expert, get coverage in mainstream media, and develop a successful social media presence.

You can see more about Shell on his website.

* The marketing secret of the Monkey’s Fist
* How to turn customers into super fans
* The ‘loyalty ladder’ and how to move people up it
* What’s one thing your competitors can never copy?

When his eighth book, Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet (co-authored with Jay Conrad Levinson), was released, it was the first time in 18 years Shel had worked with a major publisher.

One of the most powerful marketing strategies he advocates in his book is to form alliances with others who are already reaching your key market.

Taking his own advice, Shel put together several key alliances for his book project. First, he brought in a co-author.

Jay Conrad Levinson, “the father of guerrilla marketing”, is a marketing superstar with not only an extremely well-known brand but also a large and well-oiled marketing machine.

Marketing advisor Graham McGregor.


Marketing advisor Graham McGregor.

From reading some of his other books, Shel had a feeling the concept of green marketing would resonate with Jay, and he was right. Jay was delighted to be part of this project.

Next, Shel sought a charity partner for the launch. So he brought in Green America, which supports green, local businesses.

And finally, Shel went out to his considerable network of bloggers, e-zine publishers and such and offered them the opportunity to benefit from promoting the launch.

First, by submitting a bonus and getting exposure to everyone who registers as a buyer, resulting in a package of over $2000 worth of extra goodies that anyone who buys the book (no matter where they buy it) can get with a couple of clicks.

Second, by launching a membership program in conjunction with the launch and offering commissions on any sales of that program.

So they had two incentives to participate, and these make it sweeter for buyers of the book as well as for the marketing partners.

The publisher, John Wiley & Sons, did a partnership outreach of its own, working out a deal with Amazon to do a promotion around Earth Day, with a very generously discounted price.

What were the results of these partnerships?

The membership program failed, but the partnership strategy succeeded.

At that time, Shel on his own had access to about 10,000 people between his newsletter subscribers and his book buyers.

Bringing Jay in added 84,000 people, adding Green America added 94,000, and by adding the bloggers/publishers he reached another 800,000.

So Shel went from the 10,000 people he could reach on his own to 988,000. In other words, he could reach almost a million people through partnerships.

Exactly one month after the publication date, hits on Google for “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green” (exact match) were an extraordinary 1.14 million

What did these partner campaigns cost shell?

Almost nothing. The only things he had to pay out were to cover a few hours of his assistant’s time to set up the infrastructure (less than $200), and the results-based payment to the charity partner. All the rest was just time and creativity.

How can you put your own partner strategies into place?

  1. Identify the best potential partners: figure out who is already reaching the exact people who will be your best customers or clients. What companies or which experts are already trusted and respected by your future customers?
  2. Design an offer that clearly demonstrates how working with you will be in their best interest and accomplish their goals faster and more efficiently than not working with you (for his book launch, Shel designed tools to grow their newsletter lists, their share of mind and their revenues).
  3. Write and send those letters, track the responses (both positive and negative) and work the programme.
  4. Bonus step: thank and reward those who have helped you.

Remarkable marketing results are possible with good partners and the right alliances. How could you involve partners and key alliances to multiply the effectiveness of your marketing?

Leave a Comment