7 Tips for a Success Marketing Collaboration from the Visit Philly / PHLCVB Teams
Being ambitious is what marketing is all about. Stepping out of the comfort zone is part of the job as we push the limits with big ideas and test just how far we can go to stand out. And many times that means finding support in unusual places — and people. It’s true, even the industry we consider our competitors can bring us value in critical and creative ways.
The exciting partnership between Philly’s two top tourism marketing companies — Visit Philly and PHLCVB — is proof of just that. The two recently joined forces with the goal of launching the city to the forefront of travel destinations worldwide. So their marketing teams shared a thing or two they learned along the way about pulling off a highly successful collaboration. Here are their 7 tips.
Tip #1: Find the Right Partner
The very first component of a successful collaboration is your actual partner. Finding an organization/brand that already aligns with your goals and positioning will make tackling your differences a lot easier. Do your research to understand their objectives and their culture and see if it would be a good fit. Are their values similar to yours? Do they have a team that you would enjoy working with? Are they as passionate about their work as you are? Are they responsive? And proximity is something to consider too (see Tip #4).
When you and your partner are compatible in key areas, the partnership will feel a lot more natural, giving you the best chance to not only succeed, but also enjoy the process.
Tip #2: Set Firm Deadlines
Without deadlines, anything can get put on the backburner. In the case of the Visit Philly and PHLCVB collaboration, the idea floated around their organizations for a few years. The concept had a lifelong purpose without a sense of urgency or commitment, so it took some time to take off. It wasn’t until the teams were forced to think bigger that they started turning their ideas into action. Setting intentional deadlines allows you to hold yourself and your partner accountable for what needs to get done, so you can see it through to fruition.
Tip #3: Find Your Core Truth
Different organizations aren’t going to align on everything. You know your business is unique and your partner feels the same way. So instead of trying to force cohesion where it doesn’t work, focus on the big picture. Take a holistic view to the process and utilize each other’s research and feedback to see where your audiences and focus areas overlap. Within your common ground, you can find your core truth, which will guide all your efforts moving forward. From there, it’s not about checking all the boxes, but prioritizing the ones that are truly in the greatest interest of each business.
Tip #4: Meet in Person — A Lot
It’s no surprise that communication would be key to a successful collaboration. But we’re taking that a step further. While Zoom calls and Slack messages are great for quick notes and confirmations, in-person meetings are where the magic really happens. Your partner organization is full of team members you’re not used to seeing or interacting with regularly, so this face time is important. Regular meetings allow you to hold one another accountable and develop a level of respect and report that will have you championing one another throughout the process. Your success banks on theirs afterall.
So meet purposefully, and meet often.
Tip #5: Utilize Each Other’s Strengths
With that constant communication will also come an understanding of each other’s strengths. Ideally, you’ll learn to not only respect each other’s expertise, but also rely on it to make your processes better. Their team should serve as an extension of your own, so take advantage of the fresh perspective and unique skills they bring to the table. Don’t be reluctant to ask for input or admit your weaknesses. The beauty of collaboration is it allows us to know more than we are capable of knowing by ourselves. Empower one another by delegating and sharing knowledge every chance you get.
Tip #6: Hold Each Other Accountable
Working with new people and teams can make us more hesitant to speak up or overstep. But the truth is, you have to. As much as you need to look out for one another, you also need to hold each other accountable. Don’t let deadlines get pushed or tasks get stuck in the queue. If there are issues, determine the best way to proceed and move on. When you let roadblocks become bigger than they are or let too many little discrepancies slide, everyone will end up paying for it.
Tip #7: Bring Stakeholders In Early & Often
As soon as the Visit Philly and PHLCVB teams really knew they were onto something, they were off to find the external stakeholders to give it legs. By getting their buy in on the idea nice and early, collaborations and approvals were a lot easier. When it came to the final concept, there was already a universal agreement — eliminating any surprises or tension. Make sure you’re transparent with everyone involved in the campaign and that your core truth is clear from the getgo to avoid any major setbacks.
To get more tips from the marketing teams at Visit Philly and PHLCVB on how to pull off a successful collaboration and a killer campaign that elevates the messages of each organization, register for our Inside the C-Suite: CMO Series event on May 31st before it fills up!
Seats are limited, so register today:
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
8:30- 10 AM
Liberty View Ballroom, Philadelphia Visitors Center
Click here to register or learn more.