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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13510
Co-marketing and its perceived influence on business performance - Evidence from the strategic alliances of IBM Finland
Author: Holm, Petra
Title: Co-marketing and its perceived influence on business performance - Evidence from the strategic alliances of IBM Finland
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; yhteistyö; cooperation; kumppanuus; partnership; strategia; strategy
Pages: 78
Key terms: co-marketing; business performance; strategic alliances; partner interface

The main objective of this study was to investigate the co-marketing interface and the contingencies between co-marketing and business performance from the viewpoint of the business partners of IBM. More specifically, the objective was to introduce what co-marketing is, what elements can be found in the co-marketing interface, and what kind of contingencies there are between the elements of the co-marketing partnership and business performance.


A literature review of co-marketing and business performance was used to create a theoretical framework for the study. The empirical data was collected by semi-structured qualitative interviews with IBM's business partners, and the research methodology of the multi-case study was used.

Key findings:

According to the findings, four elements of the co-marketing interface were perceived to influence business performance positively: structural linkages, information sharing, orientations of the partners, and resources pooling. First, systematic joint planning of co-marketing (as one dimension of the structural linkages), which involves different units inside the allied organizations was perceived to lead to better business performance. Moreover, the importance of the target group planning and the planning of the measurement methods of the co-marketing success were emphasized in the interviews. Second, in order to improve business performance, the co-marketing partners need to share information related to, for instance, market insights, marketing ideas, and best practices. Third, the orientations, especially, the market orientation and long-term orientation in the co-marketing planning, were perceived to lead to better business performance. Fourth, resources pooling, especially the utilization of the other partners' capabilities and knowledge, was perceived to be a way to success in co-marketing in strategic alliances.
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