High maturity partnership programs contribute over a quarter (28%) of overall company revenues, while low maturity programs contribute just 18%, according to Impact’s Global Forester Study ‘Invest in Partnerships to Drive Growth and Competitive Advantage’.

According to the report, the increase represents an average of $162 million worth of incremental revenue for companies with high maturity programs. The study questioned 454 decision makers and practitioners from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Meanwhile, further findings show that 76% of companies agree that partnerships are key to delivering their revenue goals while over half of the companies surveyed (52%) get more than 20% of their revenue from the partnership channel.

62% of companies believe implementing technology to optimise partnership management will be critical to driving success as part of a mature program over the next 12 months.

Partnership programs include the management and optimisation of working with a full spectrum of business relationships and alliances, including traditional affiliates, influencers, strategic B2B partners, app-to-app, premium publishers, native software integrations and more. Each of these partners acts as part of an indirect salesforce, leveraging existing brand equity with their audience to introduce, influence, or provide some type of significant and measurable impact on the consumer journey toward purchasing a product or service from the business.
The study found that mature partnership programs all share a framework of four key pillars: people, process, technology and breadth. The most mature programs have an assigned group of people dedicated to the program that collaborates with other departments; use the process to optimise the program across each partner’s lifecycle; implement technology to manage and/or automate portions of the lifecycle, and have an expanded ecosystem of various partnership types currently contracted.

“Businesses have always found a way to work together and refer each other business. But as partnerships have evolved from informal to strategic, and traditional sales and marketing channels have become challenged, we’re at a tipping point in the partnership economy,” said David A. Yovanno, CEO of Impact.
“Forrester’s study is a validation of the mission that Impact has set forth to accomplish: helping brands realise the power of partnerships as a true driver of revenue growth,” Yovanno continued.

Providing a European perspective, Florian Gramshammer, managing director, EMEA at Impact said that companies have often seen the benefit in working together and the idea of partnerships isn’t new but the way they work certainly has changed.

“In EMEA, we’re seeing more and more partnerships come to fruition, as businesses think more creatively about who they choose to partner with and why. It’s also an opportunity to diversify their offering and bridge into other areas which may not have been possible before. We’re moving beyond the traditional partnership model to see more tactical approaches to reaching different audiences, gaining access to new data or even stepping into a competitor’s shoes,” he said.

“There’s a lot more strategy involved and, as our study finds, it’s proving lucrative. We expect marketers to continue embracing this way of working together and look forward to seeing business partnerships grow and evolve in new and unexplored ways.”