Strength in numbers

In the final article in a series on marketing effectiveness, Marketing and Canon talk to leading global marketers about how to maximise effectiveness in brand partnerships

Paul Fabretti

Digital and social media lead,Telefónica
Location: London

Biography

Fabretti defines and delivers the social-media vision for Telefónica and ensures that local businesses remain an example of social-media best practice. Prior to this, he was head of social media for the award-winningTelefónica UK (O2) social-media team, which won the inaugural Twitter Flock award for outstanding use of the platform and recently launched Tweetserve, the world’s first Twitter-based account-management platform.

Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

Life is what you make it. Mad for cycling and technology. An open-minded dreamer with an analytical streak.

What are the most important partnerships in marketing?

The ones that get to the heart of what matters to customers at an emotional level. It’s easy to manufacture ‘branded events’ and ’campaigns’, but consistently giving customers experiences that matter to them, and which resonate so powerfully that it compels them to share that experience with others, is hard to achieve with anything else.

What must a successful partner for your brand be able to offer?

It’s about being able to offer something that gets under the skin of the ‘everyday’ awareness of that partner’s product, service and relationships. For example, it is easy to offer music ‘for sale’, but what about beyond just the consumption of music? What else matters to the people who experience it? How can that partner get them closer to the artist or new material in interesting ways?

How do you ensure that a partnership between brands is a success?


It starts with having an intimate understanding of what the customer wants and making sure that both parties understand and maintain this clarity throughout. The common insight naturally makes it easier to understand which partners could deliver the emotional spark that you want. How do you ensure your partners and agencies represent your brand in the best light to consumers? It’s all in the planning, as mentioned above. The shared understanding of the customer, channels and content
mean that there shouldn’t be too many deviations or surprises from the agreement/core concept – although the real-time nature of social media, especially, adds a complexity to the way you manage the responses to content. It all goes back to planning – if you know what’s coming up and when, you can resource accordingly. What are the benefits of brand partnerships over going it alone? Partners provide access to content, talent, locations and technology (and ideas, for that matter) that it would take a brand a long time to negotiate or even discover. At the end of the day, brands have to deliver (often quickly) whatever their customers want in the way they want it, so it’s logical that they can’t do this in isolation.

Brands have
to deliver
whatever their
customers
want. They
can’t do this
in isolation

Who would you most like to partner?

I think O2 already has some of the most incredible partnerships going. From things that customers feel really passionate about, like England rugby and the music academies, to others that really matter to society in general – providing digital and entrepreneurial skills to young people through Go Think Big. Looking beyond that, Telefónica’s partnership with Firefox is incredible – an attempt to provide new levels of affordable connectivity in a highly competitive mobile phone market.

What is your favourite marketing collaboration or partnership?

Our relationship with Twitter has opened up so many opportunities, resulting in the launch of Tweetserve, the world’s first Twitter-based account-management system. It took a lot of people a lot of hard work to make it happen, none of which we could have done without incredible flexibility from Twitter. It’s rare that you get the opportunity to make such changes to a platform as large as that.

How do you measure success?

Do customers like and trust us? Do they stay with us instead of leaving because of a fantastic Priority Moment, spend more or tell their friends about something we’ve done? Equally, in this new world of connected tech, do customers see us as their trusted guide to help them uncover the possibilities of their technology? That’s incredibly important to us. Naturally there are a number of metrics to answer those questions, but that’s the spirit.

What should brands always do on their own?

Focus on their customers to keep them happy. Spend your time understanding them intimately, which, in this context of partnerships, will allow everything else to fall in to place.




Charlotte Ridley

Head of marketing partnerships, The Prince’s Trust
Location: Birmingham

Biography

Ridley has worked in marketing and communications for more than 14 years, for clients such as Paramount, Stella Artois and Timberland at Shine Communications, then in-house for Comic Relief and Make Poverty History. She has spent the past four years developing The Prince’s Trust’s approach to insight, content marketing, media planning and strategic partnership development.
Describe yourself in 140 characters or less. If I don’t love something, I work at it or change it – life is
too short to be miserable. I treat people the way I’d like to be treated and I’m really not hierarchical.

Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

If I don’t love something, I work at it or change it – life is too short to be miserable. I treat people the way I’d like to be treated and I’m really not hierarchical.

What is the most important partnership in marketing?

The partnership between a business and its internal stakeholders. If your teams don’t believe in your brand they won’t live your brand values and your customer won’t have an amazing experience, which means they won’t be loyal to your brand either. What must a successful partner for your brand be able to offer? They must share our vision, and show there is commonality in our audiences and that we are better off working together. The partnership needs to be credible; consumers can sniff someone ‘jumping on the bandwagon’.

What must a successful partner for your brand be able to offer?

They must share our vision, and show there is commonality in our audiences and that we are better off working together. The partnership needs to be credible; consumers can sniff someone ‘jumping on the bandwagon’.

For charities, partnerships
can be a strong
alternative to
advertising
campaigns

How do you ensure your partners and agencies represent your brand in the best light to consumers?

I ensure that they understand The Prince’s Trust story. They need to become an extension of us and we need to be able to accurately represent them too. What are the benefits of brand partnerships
over going it alone? A good brand partnership can generate income, acquire customers, penetrate new markets, build greater brand awareness and help to improve customer loyalty. For charities, brand partnerships can be a strong alternative to expensive advertising campaigns.

What are the benefits of brand partnerships over going it alone?

A good brand partnership can generate income, acquire customers, penetrate new markets, build greater brand awareness and help to improve customer loyalty. For charities, brand partnerships can be a strong alternative to expensive advertising campaigns.

What is your favourite marketing collaboration or partnership?

The Prince’s Trust ‘Tomorrow’ campaign and ‘Tomorrow’s Store’. The vision that young people are at the heart of everything we do ran through the campaign.

What should brands always do on their own?

Establish their brand identity. Partnerships can come and go but you will always be you. You need to  look for brands that have a synergy with you, not change to become something you aren’t.

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