AM: RE: FW: "Gorilla Marketing"
Can you provide any additional information on Microsoft's "Value Chain Initiative"?
David C. Frankil
the virtual compliance company
703 533-5551 (fax)
From: Mitch Arnowitz [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 1997 1:28 PM
Subject: AM: FW: "Gorilla Marketing"
Enclosed is a recent post sent to the group by George
Atkinson of Trade Compass. I have heard George speak on
Internet Gorilla Marketing- very interesting. I am reposting George's
Gorilla Marketing experience and have added an experience of
my own. The topic George writes on is of interest to many in the
group; Gorilla Marketing.
Anyway, please take a quick read & add your comments/thoughts or
an experience of your own.
Mitch Arnowitz <email@example.com>
The Netpreneur Program
George Atkinson, of Trade Compass writes:
>At Trade Compass (www.tradecompass.com), the leading website and
>Internet software company for global trade and transportation, we have found
>it beneficial to partner with a few select big companies in a strategy
>that I have dubbed "gorilla marketing." By forming strategic alliances with
>such 'gorillas' as Microsoft (3 divisions), GTE's Enterprise Solutions
>group, Oracle, FedEx, and Sterling Commerce among others, we have been
>able to advance our marketing objectives beyond where we would have been
>These relationships have helped us: (1) ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS through co
>-branded sales and marketing programs. For example, we're teaming with all
>of the above listed companies on our 15-city "Export America" conference
>series to jointly educate/evangelize the trade community; we're a part
>of Microsoft's Value Chain Initiative 'dream team' in which our solution along with
>those of other VCI members is being pitched to Fortune 500 companies; and GTE
>wants to resell our services to GTE's existing and new corporate intranet accounts
>(2) ATTRACT ATTENTION through joint PR announcements and programs.Oracle,
>through their PR firm, regularly engineers articles in major trade magazines featuring
>our use of the Oracle Express Server for our World Trade Analyzer product... free
>national exposure. (3) GET A JUMP ON COMPETITION.
>Big companies seem to only want to work with a select group of alliance
>partners, and in our experience, only want to work with those which lead
>their 'sector.' By gaining the alliance of the 'gorillas' at this stage in our
>development, we hope to add momentum to the lead in our niche to stay.
>If I were to relay any keys to our success so far (time and cash flow
>will the ultimate judge of these relationships), I would say that it's important
>to (a) BE SELECTIVE of alliance partners and try to pick the best to further
>specific goals of your Marketing Plan, and (b) DRIVE THE AGENDA.
>Another Microsoft alliance partner--a small company like ours--passed along
>this advice to me at a Microsoft Small Business Summit. Respect
>comes--and objectives are furthered--when you set and maintain the
>reigns of the agenda.
>*** I would be interested to hear from the group of any similar
>experiences and advice regarding 'gorilla marketing'.
>Vice President, Marketing
>1510 H. St. NW, Suite 500
>Washington, DC 20005
>"Gateway to International Commerce"
While at CyberShop (LLC start-up, the online department store), I developed
a revenue sharing relationship with Time-Warner's Pathfinder (consumer
orientated) site. This relationship placed CyberShop in Pathfinder's shopping
area. Being an Internet start-up, I realized early on that I would have
to piggyback or develop "strategic alliances" to meet our objectives. My
objectives for this relationship were branding, traffic and most important-
generating customers (paying customers is another issue, for another post).
If I was able to generate advertising revenue (a major if), I would buy banner
ads on netscape, etc. to generate traffic that in turn would lead to paying
customers. Again, this business was an Internet commerce model. I decided,
there was a quicker, much easier, more profitable way to get this job done.
That way was to offer value and piggyback onto an established partner's
I was able to meet Pathfinder's need at the time (offer valuable discount for
affinity program being developed for new subscription service; Personal Edition).
In return, website decision makers saw product value and agreed to enter into
revenue sharing relationship. My branding rational to Time-Warner was that in
order for them to make money, the relationship needed promotion. Logical web
promotion included advertising. Pathfinder (generating 1MM users a day),
agreed to run banner ads, free of charge, to promote the relationship.
I agreed to pay them 5% + $0.50 per order. Little downside as revenues were
paid on incremental business with average price points of $130.00
(at the end of the negotiate, they insisted on an annuity on ongoing business).
In the end, I got $150,000 of free advertising on one of the more trafficked websites,
major branding & credibility (customers also clicked through to a co-branded
gateway) and hopefully some paying customers.
So what did I learn from this partnership? Well, I did build a model that we
successfully used with others on the web. And... I did quickly learn the meaning
of the term "level playing field." It was not so much what I learned
as having traditional off-line experience confirmed... Confirmed was the value
proposition, meaning that Time-Warner saw value in our product or service.
Big or small, if a partner sees value, half the job is done. Also, some things
never change: key to the deal was the relationship developed.
Lastly, I learned that (at least online) big established companies, are open to
partnering with small, nimble organizations. Large companies seem to be
anxious to learn from smaller start-ups, kinda like inexpensive R & D.
**Does anyone have similar experiences they can share?