Take your app to the next level with Affise MMP (Mobile Measurement Partner)
Join Now ⚡
partner-marketing-guide partner-marketing-for-beginners

Tips & Guides — 25 May 2022

The Types of Partner Marketing

A Beginner’s Guide to the Types of Partner Marketing

Marketing, per se, is straightforward when you think about it. You have a product sought after by a specific group of people. You need to choose the right time and place where this group of people can easily find and buy your product at a fair price.

There is some truth in such simple wording. However, marketing involves much more challenging work. If you miss out on even one piece from the marketing strategy, everything you planned can go wrong. The incorrect value proposition and the marketer’s chances of attracting qualified leads are minimized. Everything becomes even more severe when the fate of not one but several brands at once depends on the quality of marketing techniques.

In this article, we’ll talk about what partner marketing is today. We’ll pay special attention to partner marketing types: how they work, the most common channels, and how co-marketing and strategic partnerships can help the business development. First, let’s figure out how partner marketing is defined.

What is Partner Marketing

Partner marketing (or partnership marketing) is a collaboration between two brands to expand marketing reach, build brand awareness, increase customer base and the total number of achieved marketing goals. Such cooperation may involve non-competing brands (although there are exceptions), including partnerships between advertisers and publishers or affiliate networks.

Types of Partner Marketing



The most common partner marketing method is probably affiliation. Affiliate marketing is a promotion model where affiliates or publishers advertise your product or service on their website in return for a commission. Due to its measurability and accurate ROI calculation, this type of partnership perfectly fits the partner marketing matrix.

Partner Program

A brand can launch its own partner program, where it would set its ad campaigns, recruit partners, specify rules and policies, configure payouts and conduct all communication with partners/publishers.


An affiliate network serves as an intermediary between affiliates and advertisers. It offers advertisers access to affiliates participating in the affiliate network. For publishers, the benefit is an easier way to find and join partner programs. Networks make their profit on the difference between revenue from advertisers and payout to affiliates.


A third option is to work directly with a marketing agency that manages the affiliates’ portfolio and the operations behind it, such as banners and referral links. An agency must comply with your requirements but can operate as an affiliate network or manage your in-house solution.


Content marketing partnerships are all about creating relevant, engaging, and valuable content for both brands’ audiences. The content can be any type: blog posts, white papers, podcasts, videos, webinars, and even virtual reality experiences are excellent content types that can be collaborated on.



Both brands can work together on content creation and share it on their respective platforms. A joint process of content preparation with mentioning each other products can help both parties gain new markets’ attention.

Link Sharing

A different strategy, when one brand works on content creation, and another brand distributes it within their channels — for example, a link from a relevant article in their blog post. Link exchange is an effective way to build a connection between non-competitive brands while also boosting the SEO of your website.

Product Placement

It’s an advertising campaign in which one brand places its products in another brand’s media. Frequently, this occurs in movies and TV shows. Also, brands can get their products inconspicuously placed in social media posts as well.

Subtle Placement

It’s an inclusion of a brand logo or a product background display throughout TV shows or movies.

Cast Away (2000)

Direct Advertising

As opposed to subtle product placement, a more direct route implies open advertising in media, such as product demos on a daytime TV show. For example, automobile care products promotion in a TV show about cars.

Public Person Sponsorship

Along with various media types, product placement can also be carried out by brands through media persons. The simplest examples are when a celebrity wears clothes of a specific brand in everyday life or uses an advertised product in public and social media posts. Don’t confuse it with influencer marketing. In this case, the celebrities don’t need to know the product and promote it respectively; they just showcase it.


Distribution partnerships occur when one brand promotes another at the distribution level. Usually, it’s done by stocking its products, offering discounts, bundles, demonstrations, or information about the partner brand’s products. It can either occur in-person or online.


Bundling distribution can be presented as an in-box bundle or an insertion of one product into a package with another. For example, as a free item added to a purchase of a different brand product.


Two brands combine joint marketing efforts aimed at a specific target audience. This approach offers a marketing opportunity to a partner brand within the distribution.

One of the examples of cross-marketing is the Adidas x Yeezy collaboration. Famous artist Kanye West works on design ideas & builds hype around his footwear brand, Yeezy. At the same time, Adidas gives it a platform to create solid high-end clothing and helps in the promotion. Only in 2019 Adidas’ partnership with Kanye West resulted in net profit surging 19.5% that amounted to $1.9 billion.


Joint Products

Cooperation to create a new product between two companies or to change an existing one. The final product is often a merge of both products aiming at mutual target audiences and providing additional value to the customer.

Powered by

“Powered by” is a type of joint product partnership that software companies often use to promote their brand by supplying a partner brand with their technology.

This type of partnership often can be recognized by the small “Powered by” inscription under the product provided by another brand.

White Label

Today many tech enterprises offer white label solutions. It means that they can sell off their services or lease technology to a partner brand, letting them utilize it under their brand name.

Product Merger

A product merger results from two or more brands combining their products to expand the business. Product merger comes in various formats, from full to partial mergers depending on the product line.


Licensing means getting permission to produce or sell products or content that utilizes another brand’s intellectual property. In exchange for granting this permission, the licensor receives royalty payments from the licensee.


It isn’t uncommon for one partner to agree to sell their brand to another larger partner. In this way, both parties receive benefits that improve their products and services. A good example is the Internet Movie Database site, which is owned by Amazon. You can start watching a movie on the Amazon Prime streaming service directly from the home page of IMDB.



This approach is generally similar to joint product partnerships. One difference is that brands don’t create a new product together. In this case, either someone else’s product can be used, or an exclusive unique offer under the name of two brands can be provided — for example, the collaboration between Starbucks and Spotify.


Sponsorship is a way to increase brand awareness by financially supporting an event, person, or product. The most common place where you could see sponsorships is various sports events. The name and logos of sponsoring brands can be placed on sportsmen’s clothes and displayed on other visible objects in exchange for financial support.


Sponsorships are divided rather not by types but by goals.


Awareness is the most common objective behind the whole sponsorship idea. By linking products with mass events, companies can maximize their brand’s reach for existing and new consumers.


Creation of a more profound connection of the brand with an event or a person to establish a close association in the consumers’ eyes. Thus, every time people think about a particular person or an event, they also associate it with the sponsored brand.

Consumer Understanding

Sponsorships can help educate consumers about what a product has to offer. For example, a brand might sponsor an event that, among other things, naturally showcases a product’s capabilities. You can think of a cooking TV show and a domestic appliance brand sponsoring it. The TV hosts are likely to teach cooking using the equipment provided by the sponsor.



One brand allows its customers to exchange loyalty program bonus points for products of another brand in a loyalty partnership. Loyalty programs enable elite brands not to spoil their image by offering cashback or frequent sales. In fact, it’s a way to give severe discounts without even slight financial losses.


A company bases the rewards based on frequency. The more often a customer purchases a product or uses a service, the more rewards the customer receives. Some brands do more by personalizing the offer for a specific consumer based on their spending model or personal profile.


In this loyalty type, the more the customer buys goods or services, the greater the reward is. Similar to frequency, brands can provide varying degrees of compensation by fully personalizing the offer.


The third type implies that the consumer is so loyal to the brand that he supports and promotes it. This way, loyalty rewards those who shout about the brand and even have the credibility to influence others. The brand, for its part, may offer extended bonuses.


Influencer marketing goes hand in hand with affiliate marketing and sponsorships. It tends to go one of two ways: either an influencer makes a post with an affiliate link, or a brand pays an influencer upfront for a post featuring its products.

Influencer Marketing


Also sometimes referred to as À la carte pricing, this pricing model compensates the influencer based on the number of posts he or she creates for a brand. It can be in the form of a blog post, a tweet, an Instagram photo, or a Youtube video.

Brand Ambassadors

A brand ambassador is paid not only for several positive posts but also for a constant product endorsing. Brands always train their ambassadors on their products and services, their company mission and values. Because of this, ambassadors have inside knowledge and become dedicated brand experts. Brands and their ambassadors always have long-term partnerships.

Partner Marketing Solution

Whether you are a big brand or a small business, your partner marketing campaign’s success largely depends on the right partners’ choice. Better yet, get your marketing team oriented on good partner relationship retention. It’s vital for partnering businesses to delegate some of the marketing functions to the software solution, so their marketers could focus more on business tasks.

The partner marketing platform’s central tasks are managing all partners, running ad campaigns and tracking all the digital metrics that lead the client to the desired action. Сoupled with a robust analytics capability, it allows improving the effectiveness of traffic sources and many other aspects of your marketing programs. Still, that’s not enough, so let’s see what else the partner marketing solution offers:

  • Billing and Accounting. It will help you generate invoices and make payouts to your affiliates while staying compliant with any tax legislation worldwide.
  • Fraud Prevention. Advertisers all over the world lose millions of dollars to fraud and fraudulent activities. Thus your partner marketing platform should provide tools to detect and block such kinds of actions efficiently. Click-level fraud prevention, traffic quality regulation, multiple other features, and integrations are the must for any marketing plan.
  • Expanding Partner Network. The right marketing platform will help you automate recruitment and communication processes and open offers to publishers, influencers, affiliates and establish lucrative partnerships.
  • Customization. The platform must have an open API to implement any integrations you need to keep the workflow. Besides, configurable system settings also help you to match your existing business processes. The corporate design, logo, color scheme, icons, and any needed layout within the platform will make your company’s identity recognized throughout.

It may become challenging to find trustworthy partners quickly and make sure they perform at the highest level, but everything becomes more manageable with Affise. Functionality and focus on both brands and agencies/networks make Affise a reliable assistant in successfully implementing your partner marketing strategy.

Try Affise today! Submit for a free trial and
check out all platform’s functionality by yourself!

Share this article
Edgar Chekhovich

Written by

Content Manager

Edgar is a Content Marketer obsessed with analytics & performance statistics. Edgar loves leveling up professionally and search for new effective ways to deliver quality content. After that, he’ll take every opportunity to take on exciting adventures with his GF.

See all articles →

Sign up to receive our newsletter

Stay on top of the competition. Let us keep you updated with news, insights, and more

email envelope