Yacht Racing – A Sport Designed for Fusion Marketing

The team at Pilote Media have been working on compiling the DARK BLUE BOOK over the last few weeks. The response from the Yacht Racing industry has been great, but some companies have really embraced the concept and have worked with their partners to ensure their ‘package’ is presented in the best way. Whether they know it or not, these companies are engaging in fusion marketing.

Yacht Racing is a team sport. The synergy available from collaborating or aligning with others can be enormous. Fusion marketing is done a lot in Sailing, but could it be done more?

Those that are likely collaborators or fusion marketing alliances are called power partners.  A “power partner” is a business that has a similar target market as yours but doesn’t really compete with you. Examples of this yacht designer and boat-builder; a Manufacturer and deck hardware ; Pro-sailor and consumer brand; Event organiser and transport company. I think when you look at these examples you start to get the idea. The number of power partners or fusion marketing partners is only limited by your imagination.

Fusion arrangements can come in many forms in addition to examples above – you can join your mailing list with your partners and do a joint mailing (where data protection laws permit); you can make joint sales calls; you can offer an incentive from your alliance partner for each purchase of your product and vice-versa for your partner.

Here are easy steps you can take to set up your own fusion marketing arrangements:

  • Step 1: Define your power partners. A power partner is someone who has similar prospects as you and who could benefit from the same type of prospects, but isn’t in the same business. Examples: Marine Electronics/Brokerage, Race Team/Hotel Chain.
  • Step 2: Figure out with your power partner what your offer will be. e.g. Marina provides extra month free and Electronics company performs free equipment health check. Figure out what joint offer makes sense.
  • Step 3: Write up a general letter of agreement. This doesn’t have to be a major-league legal document, but the one thing that hinders an alliance is lack of communication. This assures who does what and gets what. It can be a simple e-mail exchange.
  • Step 4: Package it up. Write all the verbiage: the marketing copy, sales letter, press releases, e-mail letters, etc. Either have both businesses write it up and compare notes or have one write it and let the other approve. Be creative here. Be benefit-oriented. What’s in it for the prospect?
  • Step 5: Combine mailing lists and communicate to both sets. Don’t worry about who has more or less – just combine them (again, subject to Data Protection requirements). When I put my list together with your list we both have a list much bigger than if we did it alone. You can do this with direct mail or e-mail; obviously e-mail is cheaper.
  • Step 6: Be responsive to any responses. Fulfill offers; make it easy to sign up, to buy, to take the next step and keep track. Follow up and attention will convert prospects into paying customers. Share leads and conversions for future follow-up and future marketing.
  • Step 7: Follow up. Both businesses should continue marketing to each of the converted people as follow-up marketing.

The companies and individuals who have forwarded the message about the DARK BLUE BOOK are thinking, not just about themselves, but about their partners and the industry. Do you have a business partner, client or supplier who would benefit from being listed in the Who’s Who of Yacht Racing directory? Use the ‘SHARE THIS’ button below to email them this article.

Thanks to Al Lautenslager and Entrepreneur.com for the original article. Thanks to @RonGoch who twittered the link.