May 26

Partnerships & Collaborations – Align with Strategic Businesses, Influencers & Organizations

Alright, welcome to this edition of the Rest & Relax ROI Webinar training series. We're going to be talking about the expand your reach with partnerships and collaborations. Collabs for short. That's how the cool kids say it.

It's really about aligning with strategic businesses, influencer, and organizations. We're going to be going through this today, obviously, if you come on live with us, drop any questions in the comments. If you're watching this on a replay, you'll be able to put the questions or comments in that section as well.

About Rest & Relax ROI 

A little bit about us before we get into the meat of the presentation. We are partnering with RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds. Member of the ARVC Association. We do talk about the M5 and how it's a RV park centric marketing system to help do the little mountain over here, focusing on reputation, resell, reach, and retarget.

I am your host. The name is Mark Rowan. I actually grew up on a working West Virginia sheep farm/ campground. Studied coms at Liberty, where I met my beautiful wife Jenny when we got married back in 2000. And we're having four kids at this point and one dog, and they're all a lot of fun and great to be around. And I have been helping companies with their online presence for more than 20 years and started this agency 2014. That's a little bit about me and about us, but about you.

What You'll Leave With

What's going to be happening today. We're going to leverage the power of strategic partnerships to grow your RV park. That's what we're going to be focusing on. We're going to have some actionable information. You can leave with this today, get some stuff done. If you have those questions, you can drop them in the chat or in the comments as we move along.

Benefits of Collabs & Partnerships

Let's look at some benefits of what we're talking about today. First of all, we're going to be expanding your reach, and that's the name of the game, right? When you're collaborating with others, they have a market that potentially you have not reached yet. That leads to increased revenue opportunities, share marketing efforts.

Tag along with what the partner is doing or what you're doing, enhance the guest experience. That's always a good goal to have. It is cost efficient and gives you access to expertise you may have not otherwise had and a competitive advantage. It's always good. 

Is It Broke? Fix It

We talk about fixing things that are broke, much like the RV that we always have here. It's not doing anything. Are you even collabing? Right? Some issues that we would encounter in this world is having a lack of clear goals and alignment with your partnerships. And then that could lead to poor communication and coordination, insufficient due diligence.

Not really researching what you need to get started and connect with the right people imbalance contributions. Either you're doing too little or too much, right? Someone that doesn't have the right values or culture that you're trying to work with that can be a problem. And just ability to be flexible and adapt is another big thing. Inadequate contract and legal arrangements can be a problem as well.


Here are a little bit of stats to back up what we're talking about with the benefits of a collaboration. 57% of organizations can use partnerships to acquire new customers. I think a lot of people are doing it on some level. Let's just see how we can do it better. That is what we're talking about today, right?

Here's an interesting stat as well. Partnerships do exceed paid search as a growth channel. The average business will generate 18% of its revenue from paid search, while a high-maturity partnership can generate up to 28%. Its done well correctly. You can definitely see a better return. Here's another good stat to take a look at 34% of marketers see co-branding as the best way to increase email subscribers. That's something to think about as we move through today.

This is what we'll be covering identifying potential partners, negotiating mutually beneficial agreements, and leveraging partnerships for success.

Identify Potential Partners

Let's get right into potential partners. What does that look like? Let's just talk about strategic partnerships for a second. To say it briefly, it is a formal agreement with another entity business organization with shared goals and complementary resources. That would include the type of people that you want to talk to. We're going to talk about the importance of the collabs in your business growth and how that's going to increase your exposure and attract new guests.

Types of Potential Partners

Here are some different types of potential partners that you can see. A local business is always great, whether it's a restaurant, an attraction, any kind of shopping, travel, influencers. If you've been online in the last few years, people that are influencers are kind of a big thing nowadays. That could be a blogger, blogger, social media personality. There's a lot of people in the space of outdoor camping and RV now that you could potentially leverage for this type of thing. Industry organizations we mentioned ARVC that we're a part of and some of those that would be watching this and would be a part of that. There are other things like RV clubs and travel associations beyond that as well. 

Target Audience & Identifying Interests

We're going to talk about the target audience and identifying their interests. You want to really understand the demographics and preferences of your particular audience and what does that look like when you're partnering with another business? Do you have the same target audience?

Make sure whether are you really focused on retirees? Is it more about families? That's going to dictate the type of partnership and then you want to have those similarities. Catering to the similar audience. And this is going to lead to a guest experience that is better overall for everybody. You don't want to have messaging and marketing that is not hitting home with the people that either your partner is communicating to or you are communicating with on behalf of your partner. 

Local Tourism Boards & Chambers

Here's one that we can I'm sure everyone has some level of connection with local tourism boards or chambers of  commerce. They're going to be giving you access to a lot of valuable resources, information there in your local space, right? Make sure that you're leveraging those and having relationships with the key stakeholders and all of that, whether it's the people that are leading these organizations or the ones that are really connected into that. This where you can start forming some of those relationships. Participate in those local events and initiatives. Relationships are how pretty much all business is built. Take advantage of these particular ones.

Research Blogs & Influencers

We're going back to the influencers or bloggers all that find ones that could potentially really help your business. You're going to identify those that have engaged audiences. Some people might look like they got a big following, but if they're not really if you look at their posts, for instance, and they're not really getting a lot of comments and all that, then that might not be a good partnership.

When you're looking into potentials to connect with in this realm, look at how engaged their audience is. The numbers themselves may not be all that you want to look at for sure. How far are they reaching? What is their style? Is it matching with what you're trying to accomplish so that it can be a good fit with your particular brand?

industry organizations & events

There are industry organizations and events that we refer to. Some of these would be very familiar to anybody in the industry that we have here on the screen. Good Sam, the FMCA for RV clubs and associations, tourism and travel conferences. You got the RVDA, TTRA, you can explore your own sponsorships. There may be regional ones or obviously state ones. I know for instance, ARVC, some of the state chapters or of these are a little bit more active than other ones. You have got to look at what works for your particular location and region. 

Analyze Competitors' Partnerships

Your competitors are always a good source of information. We want to analyze what they're doing and see if there's something you can copy. If they've already created a will that's working quite well, you can begin to do some of the similar things.

A competitor doesn't necessarily mean it's someone that's just down the street from you. It could be a very similar park in another part of the country. In that case you may be able to just reach out to them and see how they've done it and see how they've made it successful. You can learn from them and be able to differentiate your own partnerships. There might be some an idea that they're doing that you can work off of and create your own unique one that really works well for your part.

Networking & finding partnerships 

You're going to look at who you already know. This is what's going to work for any part of business, right? Who do you know? Are there contacts, whether family or friends, other connections that you can begin to potentially work with or social media and platforms like LinkedIn. They are another good way to research and find the right kind of partners. Get out there, get known, start developing those relationships in your own industry and ones that are adjacent to what you're doing.

Tourism Board Example

Here's an example of a potential partner, right, tourism board. It may be called something a little bit different in your area, but this gives you the chance for you to promote the region as an ideal destination for RV travelers. Whether whatever's going on in your particular area, it's not just necessarily RV parks and campgrounds, but you coming alongside of them, will definitely highlight that fact that it is an option.

This could look like joint marketing campaigns and collaborative content creation. A special package that highlight the unique attractions and experiences offered by your park and the destination itself. You're working together to make that known, to reach a wider audience, increase your bookings and it sets you up as a gateway to the region's tourism. That would be a great potential partnership. 

Food Vendor Example

Another one would be like a local food vendor, maybe a food truck. This for your guests, providing a convenient and diverse food choice for them. Along with that, it could eliminate the need for them to leave or even cook their meals, go somewhere else for dining. Not that you don't want them to ever leave, but that could potentially it's going to benefit like a food truck or vendor, but also could help you by having them on site to partake in other things that you might be able to upsell them. Other special amenities or whatever the case, if they're not there, they're potentially spending money elsewhere.

You could have a designated dining area on your park or when you have a special event, bring those people in, set up that temporary booth or a food truck and you guys will both benefit greatly for something like that. It adds value, creates a unique selling proposition or point that attracts foodies. For instance, if that's somebody that fits well with your park and for those that might be looking for a more hassle free experience, not having to worry about the food, you're creating a greater experience overall for your guests.

Negotiate Mutually Beneficial Agreements

The second point we're going to look at is negotiating beneficial agreements, and I'm going to say mutually beneficial. We're going to talk a little bit about navigating this process and the importance of being open in your communication. Trusting one another and then being able to balance each party's interests and goals. It can't be lopsided. I do want to say there is a little bit of a disclaimer. We are not practicing law. We're in the marketing space. 

DISCLAIMER: The information provided should not be construed as legal advice. The content shared is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon or substitute for professional legal counsel. It is highly recommended that you consult with a qualified attorney regarding any legal matters or concerns you may have. Rest & Relax ROI shall not be held reliable for any actions taken or decisions made based on information private.

Define Clear Objectives

We got that out of the way. We're not the legal guys, but we do have some steps we just want to bring to your attention. Defining clear objectives for each party is definitely important. You want to identify those key goals and desired outcomes for you both and then align those expectations and responsibilities so that whether it's you or the other partner, not everything's getting put on one side of mutually beneficial is the key here.

You want to have a shared vision. That's why we go back to the beginning where we talked about knowing your market or your target audience. The partners are going to have that in mind as well.

Determine the Value Proposition 

What is that value proposition that you're going to be identifying? You're going to analyze that potential benefits for the partners there, quantify the value of resources, exposure, and referrals. You have a good idea of, "What are we giving on our side? What are they giving? Are we matching things up here?" You want to create that win-win for everybody involved? It would be a win-win-win, right, in all actuality. Not only for you and your partner, but for your guests. 

Collaborate on Co-Branded Offers

There's the idea that you want to collaborate on co-branded offers, whether it's an exclusive deal that you develop or a special package, and then you design these joint marketing materials co-branded. We mentioned co-branded emailing as well, and those types of campaigns that can get the word out and that really enhances the value of the partnership through these shared promotions.

Expectation for Cross-Promotion 

You want to set some expectations for this cross promotional campaign. You need to make sure they're on the same page with what channels and tactics you're going to be using so that, hey, we don't want you to go over here on this particular platform because we don't think that fits with who we are. Maybe you don't want to do Snapchat or whatever the case may be.

Set guidelines for consistent branding and messaging. We recommend that your branding and your business be consistent anyway as someone that coming from the marketing perspective. You have got to be cognizant of how your partner wants to be portrayed as well. Don't start making your own logos for them or whatever. Make sure that it fits with who they are and you're not doing things outside of their parameters when it comes to marketing. Develop this coordinated promotional calendar, plan things out over the course of a year or however long, maybe a shorter time period. Everybody knows when what's going to happen. 

Realistic timelines & milestones 

We just mentioned in the calendar there. You want to create that timeline with key dates and deadlines for yourself and your partner. Everybody's working together and the measurable milestones is good for anything you're doing marketing wise, right? You want to make sure that's being done. Being flexible and adjusting for potential revisions along the way. And that's life, right? We got to be able to move and change based on what happens around us.

Partnership duration & renewal terms

What is that going to look like? Is it going to be a six month thing or a year where you're making sure that you're working together to accomplish this goal? Make sure that criteria for evaluating is set up and you don't want two different you expecting one thing and then the partner expecting something totally different and establish a process for renewal or termination. This might get into a little bit more of the legal side of things. 

Conflicts & Disagreements

When it comes to conflicts and disagreements, let's be open with our communications and make sure we're doing that well and try to resolve those issues through compromise and collaboration correctly. It's the whole idea when you have a partner. Everybody has relationships in life where things come up and we don't agree. How can we do that professionally? If it gets to a place where you need mediation, you can seek that.

written partnership agreement

You want to document everything when it comes to your terms and conditions and make sure that's clear. Everybody understands what's going to be happening and who does what. Make sure you have the right legal professionals that are involved to make sure that everyone's happy and you're protected. They're protected.

leverage partnerships for success 

We're on to part number three, and we're high fiving on the top of the mountain because we're going to leverage these partnerships for success, and we're going to talk a little bit about maximizing the value of these partnerships, and that increased bookings revenue, that it's really behind any kind of marketing activity you're going to do. Make sure that's happening. Enhancing brand visibility and reputation.

promote in marketing materials 

Talked a little bit about this already. There's different ways you can do that. You can have the partners on your website. That's a pretty easy thing to do. Let's have our logos, let's put them in like maybe we have a partners or maybe you put them in a footer brochure, brochures, any kind of print material that you have. It depends on what kind of strength of partnership and collaboration you have as to where you're going to put this. That could be part of the leveraging and the negotiating, like how much you're going to push out or they're going to push you on their stuff. There's email campaigns when we talked about the stat of 34% of marketers see that that is a great way to increase their email campaigns. 

Co-branding on collateral for distribution, whether you have something at the front desk or it's being sent out in mail. Once again, the strength of the partnership can allow for different types of things when it comes to those types of activities.

Collaborate on joint events and activities

Let's talk about events and activities and how you're collaborating on that. You can have special events at your RV park with your partners. You're going to bring them in whether it's like the tourism board or chamber of commerce, something along that lines where they're going to do something that they're like, hey, come over here, we'll host that for you.

Then you can get some new eyes on potentially. When they have something, how can you be able to participate? As a RV parker campground, you have space. That's definitely a big benefit for having people come to you. But when people are elsewhere, you can still show up with a traditional marketing situation. When you're doing a booth or something along those lines, there are different opportunities for that.

Just cross promoting. You want to attract more attendees to whatever event you might have. And I know obviously with campgrounds there are a lot of fun things that happen throughout the year, whether it be a 4th of July situation or Halloween or harvest festival. There's all those kind of things that happen throughout. See if there are some great partners that will want to come in and offer some cool things that your guests would really enjoy alongside of those.

Cross Promote on Social & Email

Social and email we talked about a little bit. You can do special campaigns on social where you're promoting, they're promoting you or you're promoting them. In some of these things that you might have noticed, like on Instagram, people can post on behalf of other organizations or companies. You'll see someone that's like reposting, whether it's a repost or they're just tagging it and it comes up on your account as well. Mentions, shares, all those kind of things and you can get a little bit more in depth and then maybe creating some content together, right, that can help you both.

Your email newsletter feature them. It could be something you do every month maybe having all these different partners that you've lined up for different things and you just have like a section for that. Reciprocate, that's always a big, that's part of the whole thing, right? It's just not you doing everything. You want to see as much buy-in from their side as you are doing.

Partner Success Stories

Another thing that is great to have is success stories from your partners. This is feedback is always good no matter what you're doing. Collecting that related to partnerships, whether you're doing it or they're gathering it.

Let's go back to the food truck for instance. You can begin to your guests are like how we love these, this Taco Tuesday truck that comes in and just gather that, put that out on social, your website and those type of things that will really help not only you, but really benefits them, the partner as well. And you can do case studies that are a little more involved testimonials. A case study could be just a longer term thing that you gather more information as you partnered with someone. If it's something very close to what you're offering, let's say it's like the tourism board for instance; you can do a longer term data collection of what's going on and how it's benefiting you both.

You're going to reinforce the value partnerships to your potential guests. As you're promoting these things, that are a value, add that you can say, hey, because you're coming here, you're also going to get access to our special partner and you can go eat at this place or you can go to this attraction and get a special discount. All those things can be incorporated in your communications.

Encourage Partner Referrals

You want to make sure that your partner is referring to you, as well. And if your partner likes to give you big stacks of cash, that's fine. You're going to offer incentives, whether it's discounts or rewards, to your partner referrals. You provide our partners with tracking tools and resources so that they know how things are going. There are more sophisticated things with this. Like if someone's booking through a partner, then you can give them a kickback. That's just an affiliate type of software that could potentially use.

Regularly acknowledge and celebrate the successful referrals. When you know you're getting growing your business because of these strategic partnerships, you want to make sure that they know its working. You want to hear on your side if it's working out for them as well.

Exclusive perks to partner customers

Maybe it's just like an insurance company that wants to partner with you. You're going to send information to them that say, hey, if you come, we got a special offer for you because you're a customer of XYZ Insurance Company and it could be exclusive discount for them or maybe a special access to premium amenities because there are just different things that you can offer that way, right? You want to make sure that they're promoting those deals to their audience so that you're getting continued revenue, increased bookings, that sort of thing. That's just going to enhance the guest satisfaction and loyalty through that added value as you giving special perks to the partner audience.

Expand Reach with Partner Network

Expanding your reach within their network is obviously a big part of all of this. You could work out through the agreement that you're going to get access to their mailing list or their social media followers. More than likely if you do something like that, they're going to have access to yours as well. That's why it's so important to make sure you're teaming up with the right kind of people.

Collaborate on joint PR efforts and media coverage and maybe you go and do something special in the community where you're just giving back. You can force multiply those kinds of things because you have both sides of the partnership getting out there and talking about it and getting known. That allows you to expand that reach beyond your existing audience because like I said, it is one of those force multipliers. This is always huge.

Measuring & Tracking Performance 

No matter what you do in marketing, we measure and track to make sure you're doing the things that you set out to do. If you're not measuring it, if you're not tracking, you don't know if you're failing or succeeding in many cases. You want to make sure you get these KPIs put in place. You just have to research that based on what you're doing in an individual activity. That's a key performance indicator and do that at the beginning so that you're not trying to figure out halfway through it's like, wait a minute, is this working or not working?

You're going to regularly monitor and analyze that to see that's why you might want to do like a shorter term upfront. You don't want to go too short because you just don't have time for it to mature and get enough reps, so to speak, of collaborating. But probably wouldn't want to go out and do like a multi-year agreement on something if you don't really just getting started out. That allows you to adjust the strategies and tactics as needed so you can improve and continue to get better.


That is really what we wanted to cover today. We talked about identifying those partners that could really help you, and we also went into how to have mutual beneficial agreements. We just wrapped up on leveraging those partnerships so you can have success. There we have it. That's what we were able to cover today. Hopefully there's been some good value that you picked up. 

Connect With Us

If you have additional questions, obviously you can always reach out to us. Hit us in the comments, email us, go ahead and find us online, whether that's at Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, those kind of things. Erin, we appreciate you being online with us today. If anything comes up where you think, hey, wait a minute. What about this? You can always reach out and we appreciate everybody that is a part of the Rest & Relax ROI community.

Until next time, we're going to say happy trails to you. If you do want to have conversations go ahead and look at and we love to chat. Now I'm actually going to say for real, until next time, happy trails.

About the author 

Mark Rowan

Mark grew up on a campground in West Virginia. Since that time he's been guiding companies across the United States to a better online experience.

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