Five Partnerships that Lead to Increased ROI

by Amanda Nielsen

“If You Market” podcast hosts Sky Cassidy and Karla Jo Helms interview Amanda Nielsen about the power partnerships offer companies when deployed successfully. An expert in relationships between SAS companies and agencies/consultants, she shares her insights on how to find, nurture and keep partnerships.

Partnerships, simply put, are the relationships established between businesses for mutual growth. Typically that growth means profits. When asked, more than half of companies say that partnerships play a key money-making role for them, bringing in more than 20% of total revenue.(1) Before partnering, there are important things to consider. “There are so many variables in partnership agreements, firms have to consider the industry, the company size, whether it is a service- or product-oriented business and more to ensure a good fit,” says Sky Cassidy, host of the podcast If You Market They Will Come.

To expound on this concept, Amanda Nielsen, partner enrollment manager at Formstack, paid a visit to the marketing podcast. Nielsen also does Demand Generation Consulting, public speaking and, possibly most importantly, is a huge dog lover. She discussed the value that comes from effective marketing partnerships in podcast Episode 116#: Doing More With Partnerships, with Amanda Nielsen hosted by Cassidy and JOTO PR Disruptors CEO and Chief Evangelist Karla Jo Helms.

The 5 Types of Partnerships

  • Referral—A partnership built on leveraging a source to find a new audience for a product or service. These sources can include existing partners, as well as a business’s customers or influencers that may reach interested buyers.
  • Value-added Reseller—This option is particularly effective for companies focused on software and technology because it allows a newer product or feature to be packaged with an existing one in what can then be marketed as a full-service solution.
  • Reseller—A choice where a company buys a product or service from another business with plans to resell it and add value to their existing services.
  • Affiliate—This form of partnership is commonly associated with influencer marketing where a company reaches new audiences by advertising their service or product through another that will financially gain if their audience makes a purchase.
  • Comarketing—This is a great partnership option because it is low or no cost and helps to establish relationships, particularly for companies just starting out. It is also very broad, encompassing anything where companies do a little quid pro quo of marketing or public relations to help promote each other.

No matter what type you pursue, the key to an effective partnership is the support structure, explains Nielsen. For instance, within the B2B world, products work a lot better when there is an expert dedicated to helping the partner use those products. That is why it can be hard to be in the product business and the service business. It is better to go all in on one or the other. Nielsen says, “It makes sense to partner with someone who can make your product or business more appealing.”

Nielsen’s 4 Tips on Establishing a Partnership

  • Be very clear from the start that this is not a sales pitch.
  • Always try and lead with the value to the other business, i.e. what pain point or goal does this partnership address.
  • Use a mutual connection to build a rapport.
  • Reach out to people already using your product or service.

“You have to generate some social capital in your ecosystem. You can’t just come out of the blue and expect people to want to partner with you,” explains Nielsen.

Helms adds, “You need to develop a marketing plan or strategy so you can start approaching potential partners to create a pipeline.”

To listen to the podcast episode on the magic of partnerships with Amanda Nielsen, visit

The If You Market podcast is a 45-minute conversation about B2B marketing—new trends, best practices and pitfalls to avoid. Each episode features a conversation with one expert guest discussing topics like: content marketing, account-based marketing, social media, marketing automation, PR, etc. The podcast airs on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and TuneIn Radio.

Meet If You Market podcast host, Sky Cassidy—an accomplished B2B marketer. And his co-host, disruptive PR evangelist Karla Jo Helms. Together they talk with industry experts to analyze B2B marketing tactics in a cocktail hour atmosphere. Sky is also the CEO of MountainTop Data, which is based in Los Angeles, CA, and provides data and data services for B2B marketing. Karla Jo Helms is the CEO and Chief Evangelist of Anti-PR™ agency, JOTO PR DisruptorsTM, based in Tampa, FL.

Amanda Nielsen is a Partner Enrollment Manager at Formstack. She also does Demand Generation Consulting and public speaking. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion. She works hard to drive growth for companies by establishing, developing and maintaining relationships with key strategic partners, thought leaders and industry stakeholders. Amanda aspires to challenge the status quo.

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