Lesson 4: Finding the right partnership strategy requires sharp internal and external communication
- Communicate externally to attract the strongest roster of partners
- Communicate internally to bring disparate parties together
Story Behind the Lesson
We were hired by a company to find the ideal partner matching a very specific set of criteria. While that is a typical assignment for us, in this case we found that the criteria was wide and a significant number of companies could fit the bill. Instead of targeting one specific company, we recommended that the company raise its profile in the category to get potential partners to come to them which would provide them with a regularly replenished pipeline of deals and opportunities.
Fundamental to a good partnership strategy is good communication. In our example it was external communication: shaping the right message with the right amount of information and then launching it into the right communication channels. Companies that can articulate what their needs are in a clear and compelling way can attract the partners who can fill those needs.
Shaping the messages for internal audiences is just as critical. Several of the innovation teams we worked with were viewed as “entertainment” for their companies. Their colleagues enjoyed hearing about new ideas and new trends but there was no connection to the day to day work of the business units. Often the innovation teams are seeing market shifts or competitive activity that should be relevant to the operating teams—but those messages never make it through.
Consequently, we believe that communication is an inextricable part of the process for finding new sources of growth. We help our clients create the messages for all audiences and build an engagement plan that shows where, when, and how those messages should be deployed.