Article

Florian Gramshammer
Florian Gramshammer 23 September 2019

Mature Partnerships: The Revenue Stream You Need to Get to Know

The partnership economy is booming. As marketers are under increasing pressure to ensure their budget is spent wisely, they’re exploring different avenues. Partnerships are now becoming a crucial option. A Forrester study commissioned by Impact found, “Brands that provide an enhanced partner experience grow faster than their peers, are more profitable, and drive higher customer satisfaction and retention downstream.”

Forrester surveyed decision-makers and practitioners responsible for partnership programmes at 454 companies in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific to better understand what separates the best from the rest. The survey investigated how investing in partnerships will drive growth and showed the benefits of the partnership channel with 49% of respondents seeing a boost in revenue and 45% seeing a boost in brand awareness from their partnership programme initiatives in the past year. 

A high-maturity partnership channel can contribute up to 28% (on average) of overall corporate revenues. To put it into perspective, it’s bigger than what paid search contributes, which is about 18% on average. For an average company – it’s worth about $162MM more revenue annually versus companies that don’t focus on their partnership channel.

Thanks to a “maturity framework”, the study also revealed some interesting insight:

  • Mature partnership programmes yield better business outcomes. Most high-maturity companies exceed stakeholder expectations not only on revenue growth, but also on other key business metrics like stock price, bottom-line profitability, and the growth of their partnership programmes. 
  • Companies with high maturity get more of their overall revenue from partnerships. Partnerships contribute an average of 28% of overall company revenue for high-maturity companies, while low-maturity companies receive about 18% of their revenue from partnerships. 
  • Companies with mature partnership programmes grow revenue nearly 2X faster than others. Partnership channel revenue growth rates for high-maturity companies outpace low-maturity companies by more than double. 

This was based on four key themes which are drivers of partnership growth: people, process, technology, and breadth (in terms of partnership models and the number of partners). By giving a maturity score based on respondent’s responses to survey questions, including factors such as size and region, we gain a deeper understanding.

Yes, high-maturity companies get the most from their partnership programmes, but they’ll need investment for the best results. Technology is integral to supporting the partner lifecycle for a programme built from a diverse portfolio of partners.

62% of the companies surveyed believe implementing technology to optimise the partnership channel will be high priority or critical to driving success as part of a mature programme over the next 12 months.

Whether it’s influencers, B2B strategic partners, affiliates or more, partnerships provide a new way of doing business, collaborating with others to both reap the rewards of their customer base. It’s therefore no surprise that partnerships now make up 75% of global commerce.

Many are already on board, but one thing is for sure, we can expect to see more brands unearth the power of the partnership into the next year and beyond.

Access the full research study here.

 

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