In this current climate of tech-heavy, entrepreneurial start-ups it can be hard to generate revenue for your business right away. In fact, monetisation can happen so late down the line that your funders can get tetchy and start to pull out their support. It happens because many business models do not want to start charging for usage until a solid customer base has been built, certainly in the case of apps. With all businesses, it depends on what they are offering and what their shareholders want as to whether or not they charge their customers. Integrated partnerships, different from affiliate partnerships is one-way brands can start making money from the get-go.
When it comes to adopting clever revenue streams, businesses are becoming more interested in integrated partnerships as a viable option. To understand what these are, you must first understand that they are different from affiliate partnerships. Affiliate partnerships are ones where your brand links to a third party site which gets a commission through clicks or conversions. You could be affiliated with advertisers who will advertise your product then take a commission or publishers who host your ad. This is related to partnership marketing, they are not completely separate but there is a subtle difference. Partnerships are where you work with another brand for mutually beneficial reasons, you both promote one another, sometimes under paid agreements, hence the overlap with affiliate partnerships, but generally the aim of the game is for one brand to incorporate the other brand’s product into their own. Offline partnership marketing can mean the merger of two different products, but online partnerships tend to occur within apps through a process of white-labeling, I-framing and integrating APIs.
Integrated partnerships, add value to brands. Here are some great examples:
TripAdvisor as of this Summer now partners Deliveroo. This is a great idea. A customer viewing their favourite restaurant on the TripAdvisor site is given the option of ordering from said restaurant through Deliveroo, the takeaway app. Deliveroo is integrated into the TripAdvisor site via its API, connecting the service to more than 20,000 restaurants. This is a partnership that works for both brands as they are able to expand their customer bases and increase revenue. TripAdvisor restaurants gain the custom of those who would have opted not to purchase food from the restaurant as they didn’t want to go out but have now by getting takeaway courtesy of Deliveroo. It is worth noting that there is little use of ads on the TripAdvisor site, just user-friendly content.
City mapper is a commuters dream, an app that allows you to map the quickest journey home via GPS. It uses open source data from local transport services to deliver the transport and route options available to people to get them from A to Z. The app is free, so options to generate revenue are slim, however, Uber has been integrated into the Citymapper app and is available to travelers as a transport option in the search results. Both brands earn money when the consumer makes a booking with Uber, via the app. Through this set-up, there is no disruption to the speed in which transport options are delivered by Citymapper, nor is booking a cab via Uber any less straightforward and efficient. A win-win situation for the user.
easyJet has integrated two partners so seamlessly you may not have even noticed, such is their professional approach. When you book a flight with easyJet you are conveniently given the options of booking hotels and car hire at your destination. Rather than redirecting the user to a third-party site, it hosts its partner’s sites of Eurocar and Booking.com within its own. This is done via I-frame. It is helpful to the easyJet customer, massively user-friendly and thoroughly beneficial to the partner brands.
Integrated brand partnerships are a fantastic way of generating revenue, whilst keeping customer satisfaction central to your overall strategy. Leading your customers towards other brands offering services which will benefit them, provides your customers with a positive experience which fosters brand loyalty and repeat purchases and interactions. At the same time, the brands you partner with will receive increased revenue through the exposure you give them to the right consumers.