- Jess Ruhfus
Why collaboration marketing is essential during an economic crisis
Jess Ruhfus, founder of B2B collaboration platform, Collabosaurus shares the importance of flexibility and collaboration marketing during COVID-19.
It’s a wild time for businesses right now. Most industries have taken a very hard hit during the Coronavirus pandemic, with other industries feeling the ripple effects with project cancellations and more staff losing their jobs. What’s worse is that the Coronavirus pandemic is sparking a potential global recession. So, this situation has got me, and many other businesses, thinking about how businesses can survive, let alone grow during these tough times.
Naturally, we need to lean on each other. Businesses need to band together, cross promote, collaborate and tap into collaboration marketing as a strategy, now more than ever. Banding together is a powerful way to get things done and survive.
So how do we do this? Collaboration marketing is when two or more businesses team up, create something and cross-promote this to help each other grow. Think limited edition product, digital collaborations like Spotify x Charni Nicholas’ ‘cosmic playlists’ or social media competitions or content series. This strategy lends itself to events and experiential collaborations too, however in the current climate we’ll put these recommendations on hold.
90% of the resulting collaborations on Collabosaurus do not involve cash exchange whatsoever. Businesses can leverage what they already have; social media communities, email lists, products, services, skills, time, venue spaces, channel promotion, publicity opportunities or resources in order to establish a win/win exchange of value. This cross-pollination of industries allows businesses to access another brand’s audience and create a truly unique offering. Beauty brands collaborating with food and beverage brands, fashion brands teaming up with tech companies – the opportunities are endless!
Collaboration marketing is actually up to 25x cheaper than digital advertising and businesses can use collaborations to halve production costs. Platforms like Collabosaurus allow brands to tap into collaboration marketing, without the resources or big budget.
Effective Collaboration Marketing:
While we try and make some lemonade out of these lemons, there's actually opportunity amidst all of this current chaos. Some companies have been quick to jump on the collaboration bandwagon to add value amid the pandemic. Some examples of strategic brand collaborations I’ve seen during the COVID 19 crisis include PE Nation teaming up with Divine Flow Yoga to do a live streamed yoga class or when Jimmy Brings teamed up with Office Choice to deliver not only alcohol but toilet paper too during Australia’s ‘TP crisis’ and they donated $1 from every roll sold to UNICEF’s coronavirus appeal.
Another great COVID-19 collaboration was Deliveroo and Koala partnering to help save people money on delivered food and mattresses or sofas which then sparked some brilliant media coverage.
With the spike in online shopping and digital experiences due to lockdown restrictions brands are being more and more creative with their now virtual experiential marketing. Where a brand would normally host a product launch event or engage consumers. For example N2 Gelato is now delivering and offering pickup locations for their ice cream - both of which weren't available before as they focused on experiential engagement.
Another great example of a business pivoting during these unprecedented times is Jasmine Designs. Jasmine Holmes has developed Work from Home kits in collaboration with GoCardless and is adapting these for different companies specifically.
Businesses who think outside the box and pivot to adapt to the current climate will not only survive this hard time but many will thrive as it’s offering them new marketing opportunities and PR hooks to get their brand more exposure. Whilst it is a challenging time, it will certainly test businesses to adapt and be creative.