Collaborative Marketing and the Natural Progression to Real Customer Satisfaction

Collaborative marketing

I’ve been thinking a lot about collaborative marketing lately, and how we can turn co-existing businesses more into partners and less about missed opportunities. I think there’s a great untapped market for someone that really wants to grab collaborative marketing and run with it.

For example – imagine you’re going on a trip. You have to fly to get there, so there are a few processes you need to go through before, during and after:

  • Buying your ticket.
  • Driving to the airport.
  • In-flight activities.
  • Hotel or accommodation when you land.
  • Rental car.

These are just the basics – I’m sure there are a lot more depending on what your individual needs are.


Instead of doing this all separately, what if there was some form of collaborative marketing behind it to make your life easier? I don’t know about you, but I know when my own life is made easy, I’m inclined to use the same service or product again. So.

Imagine if, when you buy your ticket (online or offline), the airline has a deal with all the major car hire firms like Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, etc. So, you buy your ticket and you have an option to hire your car at the same time. The rental firm then comes out and drops your car off. Or, better still, the airliner has a deal with airport cab firms to pick you up and take you to your flight.

Now, let’s also say that when you’re buying your ticket, you have the option of logging onto the booking site via Facebook Connect. If you’ve filled out your Movies and Music preferences on Facebook, the airline sees this. They then load this information into the media options available to your flight using something like iTunes. You can then watch your type of movies (if there’s a screen on the back of the seat in front of you), or your favourite music via an iTunes console.

With regards the hotel or accommodation, if you have to look after it and your company isn’t paying for it, again the airline has a partnership with hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and more, and not just the big ones but of all sizes. You fill out a short cheat sheet when buying your ticket and the three most suitable accommodations pop up.

And the rental firm that started it all off?

They’re there (obviously) at the other end. But what they’ve done when you booked initially is ask what type of trip you’re having, and the kind of things you like to do when relaxing. So, when you pick up your car at the other side, the GPS is loaded with some destinations you might enjoy. And they’re tied in with local businesses that are part of the collaborative marketing approach of all the above.

Now, this is a pretty simple take on basic marketing 101. Yet, as an example of true collaborative marketing, it’s a start.

But it’s got to be better than a non-starter, no?

image: Ranjith Shenoy

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Enjoy this post? Share your thoughts below:


  1. says

    There will always be new and better way of doing things to save more time, money and effort. Each individual and the whole company benefits from one small and single breakthrough in work procedures. The advancement of CRM has put the next generation of professionals to have a customer-service mindset for a more advanced and easy CRM.

  2. says

    I love this idea and practices this in my business every week. I work with several strategic partners on client projects and on paper, we all actually look like we should be competition but we’re not. We all have our strengths and we find that when we work together, we can go after bigger client projects, create a development team where we can tap into our different ‘sweet spots’ and we can all make more money by doing less work.

    Two thumbs up to this post Danny! I know from experience that this really does work.

    • says

      And the funny thing about that, Penney, is that there are literally thousands upon thousands of businesses that would never contemplate working with a “competitor”, despite the win-win-for-all result.

      Hey ho…

  3. says

    That’s would be a great way of doing business, until as you said there are enough options to choose from. Not that there are many doing this but it’s surely is a winner idea. Something like blogging buddies in the blogosphere?

    You surely know the Eastern (Japanese) story about the five peasants (the five fingers) who coming together become a Samurai (the closed fist), I think it doesn’t relate only to the world of martial arts but more or less everywhere. :)

    • says

      Ah, anytime someones refers to Jpanese myth and legend is always a good day around here, Andrea. :)

      It’s funny – the dojo where I trained karate has a design where a closed fist is sat on by a dove. The message is “Peace Through Strength” and shows there are always ways to make things work.


  4. says

    G’Day Danny,
    We old style direct marketers used to cal this “backending.” But modern technology opens up all sorts of possibilities to backend successfully all over the place.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Best Wishes

  5. says

    What I love about this, Danny, is that you’ve hit on what all of these existing aggregator sites have missed: the emotional aspects of marketing. Sure, I can go to Travelocity and get my airline ticket, rental car, and hotel — but HOW are you going to personalize my entire experience? Make my experience complete by adding in what I love, suggestions on where I might like to go. Make me *feel* like you’re going to create an *experience* instead of just another email filled with confirmation numbers.

    The companies that can come forth to develop intuitive, personalized experiences that translate to the real world though generated online? THOSE are the companies I’ll be on the lookout for.

  6. says

    Amazing how much potential there is in sharing information to provded additional value to the customer, isn’t it? What could these ideas do for the travel industry, in light of the current trend of reducing service and charging extra for every little convenience? Brilliant.

    And leave us not forget the incredible power of using marketing tactics to put the needs of the customer ahead of the business. Blows my mind every time I think about it.

    PS: Leon, if you recall, you once inspired me by sharing your thoughts on training. “Upon completing X, you will be able to Y.” Well, sir, we just went beta with a 3 month program built around that model. It’s gonna be huge.

    • says

      G’Day Brian,
      Delighted to be able to help. I often remind people that if it was rocket science, we’d all have to be rocket scientists. It aint and we don’t need to be. Be great to hear the results too.

      Holler if you need me to blog about any particular topic. Thanks again,
      Best Wishes

    • says

      It’s funny, isn’t it? You could make the smallest departure from your usual business routine, and yet that could have the biggest impact on your customers. Now who wouldn’t want that?

  7. says

    I love the idea of collaborative marketing–I think it’s important that everyone, including small businesses, jump on this team marketing band wagon. I hope that in doing so, however, we can still keep some variety in our options so that we can effectively communicate whose business (as well as values and ethics) we’d like to support.

  8. Melissa034 says

    I think collaborative marketing is a best way of gaining great satisfaction and good feed back to have in a business factors.

  9. says

    This is exactly what I counsel small business owners to do – collaboration will help you grow! But so many think in terms of “giving away” and “competition.” Thanks for the post!

  10. says

    I lecture in strategic management and one of the things I teach my students is not to spend time trying to show the weaknesses of your competitors and view them in a negative light. Spend all your time showing customers how good you and find ways to learn from your competitors and create and marketplace with friendly rivalry and collaboration. The customer will look at your business in such a positive fashion.