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Affinity Marketing

Learn what affinity marketing is, why it is such a powerful tool for companies trying to reach a broader audience, and how it can be brought into the world of digital marketing for impressive results.

You’ve probably already encountered affinity marketing of a sort. If you have ever used a credit card that has branding on it from another service, then you have encountered Affinity marketing. An example of this is the Rewards Visa Card from J.P. Morgan Chase Bank. Why would J.P. Morgan Chase Bank want to make a card that is focused on another company? Well, that’s affinity marketing. Here, two companies will link their brands in a method that is intended to help them both increase their exposure and their earnings.

More Examples and Benefits

Another common example of affinity marketing can be seen with charities. Often, you’ll shop using a company and it will say that it is in association with a specific charity. Or that it is ‘proud to support’ the charity.

You might likewise find that airlines are in association with other companies, or that companies might team up to create a product. Likewise, you might enter a competition through a magazine that is the result of a partnership where another company provides the prize and even offers to do the judging etc. In any case, the objective is to allow both companies to gain exposure by linking their brands. In some cases, they might also benefit from gaining the association with a well-known or respected brand.

For instance, if a company teams up with a charity, then this association will make that company seem more charitable and thereby win over some of the customers. We generally like to shop with businesses that we think are conscientious and ethical and a company that is seen to work alongside a charity will at least appear to be ethical in that way.

Fulcrum-Tip: This can be a great way in particular for a company to help fix a bad reputation – this is an example of reputation management. Meanwhile, the charity might be getting some financial benefit from the association and might also get seen by a wider audience that otherwise may not have heard of them.

Similarly, when a bank teams up with Amazon, this creates more incentive for people to use that card if they shop online, it makes the bank appear forward thinking and it means that Amazon is being promoted.

Other companies might team up simply in order to gain a bigger audience. Maybe you make health supplements… why not partner with a company that creates products for martial artists and make a health product that has both of your branding on it, aimed at martial artists?

Planning Affinity Marketing

When considering affinity marketing, the best way to approach the process, is to look at the markets that you wish to expand into. From here, you can then go about finding a company to team up with that will help to give you access to that wider market.

Of course, the company you approach also needs to be willing to be involved and you need to find a company that has similar values to your own and that will be happy to associate itself with you. This usually means finding companies that can benefit from the partnership as much as you can.

Affinity Marketing Online

The closest thing we have online is likely influencer marketing. Although we can also think of guest posting as being an example of affinity marketing.

In influencer marketing, a company speaks with a popular online personality that might have lots of followers on social media, or that might run a popular blog. They then pay them or offer them some promotion in exchange for a shout out. Guest posts are posts that you give to websites for free, but which include promotion for your own site or brand.

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