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Marketing Roundtable September 2021 meeting

The Potential Impact

of Strategic Alliances

What Role Can or Should

Marketing Leaders Play?

 When:             Thursday, Sept. 16                                                          Click HERE to register.

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.


 Where:           Online, virtual 

Moderator:      Eileen Fisher

                          Technology Alliances Leader with OutSystems

                          (206) 719-6485

Rick Bechtel: - (206) 351-8604

                             NOTE: This will be a virtual meeting.  Please register using the link above.

                        You will receive the link(s) and instructions closer to the meeting date.


In recent years, companies in most industries have faced increasing, often intense competition, but the way in which markets are being disrupted today differs somewhat from what we’ve typically seen before. 

It’s no secret that competition today has become global in many, if not most, industries, thanks in part to e-commerce. More and more companies are re-modelling themselves to address other markets that hold potential economic value.  As a result, companies that would not have been seen as traditional competition in a particular market are suddenly showing up there, often with a unique competitive advantage and a unique approach to business development. Moreover, they are able to do this nimbly and successfully.

The well known example is Netflix, which digitally disrupted the likes of Blockbuster, and now is posing an increasing threat (along with Hulu, Amazon and others) to traditional network television, as well as moving into film production, competing with the world’s biggest traditional movie brands.  As such, they are a classic example of the kind of market disruption that Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad referenced in their outstanding book, “Competing For The Future.”  Winners are built for change, and getting there first can mean everything.

Getting and staying competitive is the challenge. Forming a strategic alliance with another company can be a way to gain competitive advantage, and may even be a business imperative.  Among the potential advantages to such a move are:

   --  Getting to market faster

   --  Gaining a specialty or unique experience or skill

   --  Lowering costs 

   --  Geographic desirability

So where does Marketing fit into all of this?  Arguably, at the center and in the lead!  Strategic alliances can be one of the most potent ways to gain or enhance competitive advantage, and marketing leaders, particularly at the strategic level, are best positioned to understand and guide these efforts. This broader business development landscape is still more in the domain of marketing than anywhere else. So it behooves marketing leaders in businesses of all types and sizes to adopt this broader perspective in order to bring every potentially powerful strategy to bear.

Join us for a probing discussion of partner alliance marketing with discussion leader Eileen Fisher, a Technology Alliances Leader with OutSystems. Eileen is a technology and cloud alliance professional with more than 25 years of global experience that includes building mutually beneficial technology partnerships that produce new predictable joint revenue. Before OutSystems, Eileen held an alliance leadership role at Veeam Software, growing the partnership between that company and AWS, Microsoft, Google, HPE, VMware and other technology leaders.  She also spent 17 years with Microsoft, in a succession of marketing and partner manager positions.

Discussion questions:

  • Is your company disruptive in your industry?  How?  If not, how could they be?

  • What role does, or could, Marketing play in the development of strategic partnerships?  Do potential partners come to mind who might be worth exploring?

  • Is there friction of any kind between your products or services and your target customers? Could you reduce that by partnering with another company?

  • Could a partnership open doors into market segments that have been hard to penetrate?  Could it increase demand for your products or services in certain sectors?

  • Could the right alliance create a new or stronger competitive advantage – something difficult for competitors to emulate?

  • What might it be worth to be associated closely with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google? If they recommend you to prospective customers, how can your company benefit?

  • Will partnering with another company improve your bottom line, or will it cost you more money than it makes you?

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