Affinity Marketing brings together businesses and organizations sharing the same interests forming a greater consumer base to their services and product. This partnership of common goal is known as Affinity Group, it is a symbiotic relationship.
We as marketers have to understand where we get most out of any relationship and how to make strategies to attain the goal in terms of increasing brand awareness, brand equity, revenue, etc.
Knowing your customer and Niche
Understanding the target audience of your product or service not only helps you pick your market but also provides you with insights on how you can acquire new customers. Choosing the right niche for your product or service is really important as it drives the entire campaign.
Optimized partnering with the right Affinity partner
Affinity group drives mutual benefit, provides a new customer base to both, having the right partner thus becomes the main objective. When a brand partners with someone it takes both positive and also negative aspects of its branding. Thus, knowing your partner and understanding the pros and cons of partnership is equally needed. It is always good to score all your potential partners on the market benefits, right customers, brand value and customer trust. To have a predictive model provides us with a high probability of choosing the right partner.
Collaboration and Communication between the affinity group
Collaboration and Communication is the two very critical C’s in a partnership. Affinity groups should have a greater collaboration goal and at the same time, clear communication provides trust and transparency between the two. The Affinity group works towards a mutual benefit and thus needs collaborative hands from both ends.
Campaigns and Offer Optimization.
Campaign development and offer optimization is a learning process and should be derived based on the existing insights of customer data. Testing and simulating the campaign before the launch is always a good idea, providing us with a test matrix and serving for future development.
Reporting and Insights.
Campaign retrospective and deriving insights from the data received after the launch of the campaign not only provides brand stability but also strengthens the product and partnership. Affinity group should always collaborate towards the campaign performance tracking and bench-marking Key Performance Indicators (KPI) driving growth in partnership and future affinity marketing campaigns.
What Affinity Marketing does for your brand
Affinity marketing provides a platform for partnering businesses to secure a new customer base, build and expand the trust customer has on their product or services. Here are few benefits of Affinity Marketing:
- Acquisition of new customers.
- Obtaining instant trust of the customer.
- Reduction in the research cost thereby the ability to sell at lower prices.
- Ability to give joint offers to drive more growth.
- Shared risk.
One of the best examples of the benefits of the affinity marketing is the co-brand credit cards offered by credit card companies with the airlines, hotels, e-Commerce sites, etc. like
Companies’ tie-up with the brand image of the Airline or Hotel and value on the loyalty of the customer providing additional benefits. Customer, on the other hand, gets rewarded for their loyalty of the brand with perks like boarding a flight early or late checking out of a hotel. Giving a luxury to the customer is possible due to the partnership, in the process companies are able to enhance customer experience.
American Express has co-brand cards with Delta, Amazon, Hilton; JP Morgan Chase has co-brand cards with British Airways, Southwest, and Marriott.
How Affinity Marketing can fail
Affinity marketing is always dependent on the two brands/businesses and how they benefit each other together. The launch time of the marketing campaign always plays a key role in success and failure. If the timing is incorrect and the consumer does not use either of the two products during that duration of the year it fails. For example, Year-end holidays are not the right moments for an academic marketing campaign.
Deriving incorrect data insights can also lead to failure. Campaign delivery should be thoroughly tested with the valid test matrix. This helps us to understand the where the campaign is going wrong and we can take action to get back on track.
Affinity Marketing is one of the most collaborative marketing techniques. Driving growth of the customer base for the two, building on the values offered by each other and reducing research cost for acquiring new customers thereby increasing profit and added benefits for the customer. Affinity marketing can get a company better reputation for the people who have never used their products and in our field, it takes hard work and time to make a good reputation.
“It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”Warren Buffet