Customer Discovery · Market research

Market Research questions to ask potential brand partners for my app?

Peter Czepiga Graduating senior at NYU

January 21st, 2019

Hi all,

I am developing an app that allows users to redeem rewards points for credit/percent off at their favorite online brands.

I am trying to develop a really compelling case to get these brands to partner with my app, so have been cold-emailing "Head of Partnerships", "Affiliate Marketing Manager" employees at various companies to research what's important to them.

What are some questions I can ask these brands to help develop my strategy to ultimately sell them the value of a partnership with me once my app is developed?

Examples I've tried include:

"How large of a user base and what demographics on users would you look for when considering partnering with affiliates?"

"How do you determine how much % or cash off you are willing to give to an affiliate to offer their audiences?"

Thank you in advance for your help.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

January 22nd, 2019

I think the issue is that you're looking at it backwards. As someone who does partner marketing, these approaches are shaking a finger at me saying I'm doing a bad job and that I need to use discounts to attract customers. I would dismiss your approach right off the bat and not respond to you if I got one of these notes.

Discounts are the worst kind of reason to do business with a company, from the company's perspective. VALUE is the reason to do business, delivering something with a personal benefit and a dramatic difference from other options. If I am getting business across the transom today, I'm not interested in discounting my products just because someone is willing to advertise on my behalf. I could advertise directly and save the cost of the middle-man and the lost revenue from the discount.

What partner marketing people care about is the audience you have that they cannot reach on their own. You need to sell them on your captive audience that you exclusively own, and make them salivate to reach those people directly, folks who have never given them attention before. Of course the demographics and customer profile must still be a match for the product.

There are always suckers out there, otherwise Groupon wouldn't have survived this long. But companies have gotten wise to blasting out discounts and not seeing a lift in the bottom line. Even Groupon has changed its business model.

As a brand, I care about how you can do something I can't. I couldn't care any less about lowering my standards (my price) to get less appealing customers who only care about price.