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partnerships Archives - Syneka Marketing

Collaboration – exploring the role of intermediaries in the marketing mix

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | One Comment

The role of intermediaries and distribution channels seems is often neglected when considering the marketing mix, yet these channels can assist in achieving marketing objectives, including reach into target markets and value adding of client based solutions.

Collaboration and the fostering of partnerships applies equally to business, not-for-profit organisations and government. Collaboration, however, will not work effectively when it is poorly defined. When this occurs collaboration can quickly become in effect a client/supplier relationship or a partnership in name only, with the terms being one-sided.

The latter is surprisingly common in the not-for-profit sector, causing sector wide advocacy to become splintered, limiting reach and effectiveness. As a result, the not-for-profit sector lacks the industry wide voices that exist for businesses, whereby fierce business competitors will work together through associations to advocate on common issues, delivering a unified voice to government and other stakeholders.

All partners need to have a shared understanding of how each participant will deliver mutual value, meaning there should be alignment between the respective marketing plans. Ensure that each partner understands the desired outcomes, as well as timeframes and the resources that will be provided to work towards these results.

Collaboration can fail at all levels. The recent referendum in the UK, with the majority of voters indicating a desire to leave the European Union, is an example of where the perceived value of the collaboration did not meet expectations, despite economic evidence to the contrary.
Be clear on the purpose of the collaboration and what you aim to achieve. Make sure all partners understand that they need to invest resources into making collaboration work and that they have a genuine understanding of the need for shared success.

Ultimately the aim is to grow the pie, rather than fight over crumbs. Any collaboration that spends time fighting over what they currently have, rather than working towards what they should be achieving, is not going to deliver clear value.

Complimentary Consultations to help the not-for-profit sector re-define marketing

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations | No Comments

We offered complimentary marketing consultations during the conference and it was great to see the overwhelming response, with our sessions being oversubscribed. While each organisation has its own unique challenges, common areas of focus included:

  • The need to segment stakeholders and to understand their outcomes. Many not-for-profit organisations view their end-clients as a target market, but omit the need to reach prospective volunteers, board members, government, funding organisations and others.
  • Consideration of intermediaries and partner organisations. Many not-for-profit organisations have limited budgets, meaning broadcast communications are often beyond their reach. Instead, there is a need to form partnerships and explore intermediary organisations to reach relevant stakeholders.
  • Marketing metrics are not defined, leading to lack of measurability and confusion over inputs, outputs and outcomes. Website visitations, or attendance at information sessions are inputs, donation enquiries are an output and the actual donation is the outcome. Organisations need to understand the decision making journey (customer journey) and the sequence that is required to generate action.
  • Lack of marketing governance. Roles between board, management, staff and external parties are ill-defined, hampering the ability to measure performance and establish strategic direction.

These challenges are shared by both businesses and not-for-profit organisations, demonstrating the ongoing need to re-define marketing so it returns to its core of being led by strategic insights and not by execution.

Thank you to the participants of these sessions and for the fantastic feedback we received. We hope that the attendees at the National Volunteering Conference are able to build their marketing capacity and demonstrate the value they provide.

Business over Breakfast – Acting Chair

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Business over Breakfast is a fortnightly business networking group, focused on building collaborative partnerships. I was recently elected as Deputy Chair of the group and facilitated today’s session.

As part of today’s discussion I encouraged participants to discuss their competitive advantage and their points of difference. Discussing these competitive advantages helped participants gain insights from other members and to determine potential opportunities for collaboration.

Business over Breakfast continues to meet each fortnight at the Docklands.

Business over Breakfast

Business over Breakfast – March

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Business over Breakfast meets each fortnight, fostering business collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. While Business over Breakfast meets in the Docklands it has been attracting businesses from across Melbourne and it was great to be able to re-connect with business owners that I first met in 2010 when I was Mayor of Maroondah City Council.

The emphasis that the Melbourne Business over Breakfast Club places on collaboration has seen some great partnerships and discussions emerge.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

Five essential tips to foster effective collaboration

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News | No Comments

Government funding has been encouraging collaboration for several years, with grants strongly favouring applications that involve multiple partners. Increasingly businesses are also seeing merit in collaboration to recognise respective expertise, and to achieve shared outcomes.

Collaboration should be nurtured and encouraged, but unfortunately there are also plenty of businesses that talk about collaboration, but do not follow through in practice.

As a strategic marketing agency we often work with other specialists to support our clients in achieving their goals. We thought it would be useful to share our advice on how to foster collaboration.

  1. Agree on the outcomes. Before considering any form of collaboration, ensure that there is an agreement on the outcomes that are to be achieved and the impact that this will create.
  2. Ensure you work with partners who share these outcomes. A supplier is not necessarily a collaborative partner, unless they are actively involved in sharing the agreed outcomes.
  3. Recognise expertise and responsibilities. Make sure that all collaborative partners are aware of their roles and the specific expertise that is required. Each partner should recognise each others expertise and not attempt to overreach.
  4. Collaborative partners need to be treated as equals. While money and time commitments may vary, there should be an equitable level of involvement to ensure that everyone is contributing to the outcome.
  5. Review partnerships and revise when required. All partnerships should be periodically reviewed and revised if needed. Identify what is working in the partnership and what need to be improved.

One of my highlights in working collaboratively was during the time I was Mayor of Maroondah in 2010. Ringwood, had been identified a Central Activities District, which meant it was to be strengthened as a residential and commercial hub.

One of the challenges, however, was the need to encourage the State Government to commit to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, given it failed to meet accessibility standards and was perceived to be unsafe. While Ringwood was clearly in need of funding, the broader issue was the lack of Government involvement in its own transport and planning policies.

One of my highlights in developing a collaborative approach was during the time I was Mayor of Maroondah in 2010. Ringwood, had been identified a Central Activities District, which meant it was to be strengthened as a residential and commercial hub.

One of the challenges, however, was the need to encourage the State Government to commit to the redevelopment of Ringwood Station, given it failed to meet accessibility standards and was perceived to be unsafe. While Ringwood was clearly in need of funding, the broader issue was the lack of Government involvement in its own transport and planning policies.

One outer suburban council on its own, lacks direct influence with a State Government. As a result, I worked with Bill Pemberton, the Mayor of Whitehorse and Christine Richards, the Mayor of Frankston, to form an alliance so we could advocate for greater support for our respective Central Activities Districts (Box Hill, Frankston and Ringwood). We then expanded this alliance into a formal arrangement that incorporated every Central Activity District in Melbourne. While each individual Council had its own priorities, this group succeeded in developing joint advocacy by focusing on common issues.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne's Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

Alex and each of the Mayors of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts, signing a collaborative agreement.

The end result was a greater level of investment and interest within each of Melbourne’s Central Activities Districts, including a commitment to redevelop Ringwood Station.

Before considering a collaborative approach make sure there is a common understanding, so you can work together to achieve your agreed outcomes.

Significant Women's Network

Significant Women’s Network Meeting

By | News | No Comments

This morning we were invited to attend the Significant Women’s Network to share our expertise in marketing and our work in creating partnerships between businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

The Significant Women’s Network has been developed to bring together women who hold senior level management positions. The group aims to foster partnerships and shared learnings between not-for-profit organisations and the corporate sector. Topics included innovation, funding sustainability, and how to encourage career progression for women.

Participants were actively engaged in discussion, providing an opportunity to share experiences and viewpoints, while enhancing collaboration between corporates and not-for-profit organisations.