How do we deliver success? We work in partnership.

Starting any new business is hard. Getting over the 10year mark is remarkable. So, what’s the secret to our success? It’s simple, we work hand in hand with some of the smartest people in partner marketing – our clients. 

Clients. This word usually defines a particular kind of relationship. The client tells an agency what they want, the agency (hopefully) delivers it. But in the partner and alliance world things are a bit more complicated. Success depends on relationships. On flexibility and getting input and insight from an often-wide range of experts, from multiple organisations, who may have very divergent ideas on what is ‘right’. Messaging can get murky. Projects get strung out. Things change. And the partner marketing team are still on the hook to deliver.  

Working in partnership with ‘clients’ 

It takes an amazing kind of person under those circumstances to be open to working differently – to work with an agency in partnership. But that has always been Coterie’s approach – because having walked the partner marketing path ourselves, we know the frustrations and challenges of the above only too well. And as they say – it takes two to tango (or sing Karaoke, but that’s a whole different story!)  

So, we are where we are today because we have been lucky enough to work with clients who get this too; who work with us as partners, trust us and see us as not ‘just an agency’ but an often very integrated part of their teams. And that matters because that’s where the magic happens. 

Pivoting quickly with Atos when the world was forced online 

Like working with the amazing people at Atos when Covid struck and planned in-person events had to be quickly repurposed for virtual platforms – leading to the hugely successful Connected Experience roadshow. That was what you call a true team effort. Not just our team – the whole team: us, our digital partners, the dedicated teams at Atos, and the hugely supportive teams at Atos’ partners. All working together, pulling together, and driving a great all-round result.  

We started where we could make the most difference  

When we started back in 2013, we knew the classic client/agency model wasn’t fit for purpose for partner marketing, and we were driven to change that. We started with two areas where we saw the biggest challenges – creating joint value propositions so partners could message effectively to customers and internally, and partner marketing services to help fill that ever-present lack of available resource. Which meant our clients could move past ‘having a web page on a partners website’, to leveraging MDF effectively to drive demand, leads and ultimately ROI.  

By working together with our clients, we’ve successfully elevated partner marketing 

To date, we’ve delivered hundreds of partner-funded and fully joint value propositions that have helped partner marketing emerge from the shadows and become the vital growth driver it’s always had the potential to be. All of which was only possible because we got to speak with some of the most intelligent and informed technology, business, and marketing experts, working in some of the biggest technology and business organisations in the world. And they were warm, candid and engaged – giving us their time and wisdom so we could use our skill sets to craft that knowledge into consistent and incredible powerful message sets, content suites, and goal-focused campaigns.  

Tangible tools born from conversation and collaboration 

We’ve also been able to stay true to our commitment to helping partner marketers work smarter, developing digital tools such as our Partner Prioritisation Tool, and methodologies in collaboration with our clients, built using their input, feedback, and “wouldn’t it be great if….” musings. We’ve continuously innovated and sought ways of using digital approaches to find better ways of achieving our clients’ goals. All because we don’t just work with clients as and when a project comes along, we work to build relationships with them and be a true partner. Some of ‘our’ best ideas have come from conversations that have nothing to do with a specific piece of work. 

Creating a community for fellow ‘Cinderella’ marketers 

But we also see it as a two-way street. Our in-depth research with the University of Huddersfield – “Ecosystem 2.0” – confirmed what many partner marketeers felt: that this was the Cinderella of marketing disciplines despite its growing commercial importance. This was one of the many things that led us to establish the Coterie Community, something else we could never have achieved or thought possible without the support and involvement of many of the partner marketeers we’ve had the privileged to work with over the years. 

So, from all of us at Coterie, to all our clients, their partners and the great, amazing number of people we have had the pleasure to collaborate with in our success: thank you. And here’s to unleashing the real power of partnership for another decade together! 


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