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Hosted by:

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Katya Allison

Director of Marketing Content at GRIN

Creating authentic partnerships to connect with your customers

In this episode:

Sunir Shah

Founder & CEO of Appbind

Sunir Shah knows how to build partnerships that last and how to leverage those relationships to grow a company. He’s come up with many different tactics for building these relationships efficiently and productively. For him it always begins with positioning, figuring out where your brand fits into the market and then creating strategic partnerships that help get your brand’s message out to your potential customers.

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Full episode details

“If your partners think you’re the best, your customers will think you’re the best.– Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

Influencer marketing is a classic form of relationship marketing because in order for influencer marketing to work, brands have to build relationships with their influencers ensuring that their message gets delivered authentically to social media audiences. But ecommerce brands should be building relationships with all different kinds of partners, from influencers to software companies, to service providers to distributors and retailers, anyone you rely on to get your products into the hands of your customers. The goal of these partnerships is to get the people and companies that your customers already come into contact with on a daily basis, to tell your brand story for you. 

Building lasting partnerships means establishing your company as a reliable resource for your partners. It also takes figuring out how your brand story fits into their MarCom efforts and how you can ultimately help your partners do an even better job at reaching their customers. 

“It’s not just sending them swag in the mail and getting them to do an Instagram thing for you. You wanna start organizing things to grow their audience and bring them along. You need to get the train moving yourself and invite them up on your train so that  you collectively are building the market. That’s authentic.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

Breakdown of the Grin Gets Real Podcast Season 2 Episode 9

“This is what relationship marketing is about. It’s proving to the other person that you are a true partner and that it’s worth their time investing in you because you invest in them and they will think of you first… And the market therefore gets tilted towards you because you’re the best and people care about you.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

Sunir Shah knows how to build partnerships that last and how to leverage those relationships to grow a company. He’s come up with many different tactics for building these relationships efficiently and productively. For him it always begins with positioning, figuring out where your brand fits into the market and then creating strategic partnerships that help get your brand’s message out to your potential customers. Sunir describes himself as “a robot” because of the way he maps out, then builds and manages these strategic partnerships. But really he says, this type of relationship marketing all comes back to highschool dating. 

In this episode of the GRIN Gets Real Podcast, Katya from GRIN talks with Sunir, CEO of AppBind and founder of The Cloud Software Association, about why partnerships are important, and how to go about building them. Sunir explains  how he defines a market and how he uses relationship marketing to position a company within that market. He gives a window into his unique negotiating style, which is nothing like it’s done in the movies, and how he defines authenticity proving that there is a science behind it, and it’s not “just magic.”

“You wanna show that you’re the best partner they’ve ever had. You have to project manage your partners because they’re not gonna be able to focus on you, they don’t know whether you’re reliable, and whether you’re worth investing in. You need to demonstrate leadership and actually drive that action with them.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

Sunir explains the theory behind relationship marketing, but he also gives advice and insight on how to build an effective relationship marketing strategy. Sunir breaks down topics such as:

  • How direct marketing is different from relationship marketing and why relationship marketing is important.
  • How to figure out which partnerships are the most strategic for getting your message out to your customers.
  • What elements you need in place to begin building effective partnerships.
  • The specific steps Sunir uses to develop authentic relationships with the people he wants to partner with.
  • How to make sure you are top of mind for your partners and ultimately your customers.

“Organize around the customer, bring your brand, all these people in… Then you’re gonna be the first person they think of, cause they don’t wanna get thrown off the train.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

Sunir explains how there’s an ecosystem of places your customer goes to get information about their problems and to look for solutions. These include social media, blogs, podcasts, magazines, other software or service companies, and distribution channels. In order to get your specific solution into your customer’s hands, you have to get your story into that ecosystem. That’s why you need to build relationships and partnerships, and that’s why relationship marketing works.

If you want to learn more about relationship marketing, which kind of partnerships your company should be focusing on, and how to start building the most profitable partnerships, then you won’t want to miss a minute of this episode. You’ll be sure to laugh at Sunir’s quirky way of talking about serious business topics, but you’ll also pick up a good deal of in-depth knowledge.

So what are you waiting for? Listen to the podcast now!

Quotes from this Episode

Creating authentic partnerships to connect with your customers 1

“So many people in partnerships just view their partners as tactical targets. If you were properly thinking about partnerships… you would listen, learn, understand who they are first, and understand what they need. Then organize opportunities for your partners and then invite them to come.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

“The friendship paradox applies to all kinds of relationships. On average, your friends have more friends than you. The reason is that there are some people who are so much more connected than most people, and everyone needs to be friends with them in order to have a social life. In partnerships, you want to be that person.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

“Relationship marketing is getting someone else to tell your story and market you to their customer. Not because they like you so much as friends, but because you have added something to them that they can bring to their customer.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

“You’re trying to fit [your] company into this ecosystem that is in the customer’s mind. And you have to map out; who are all the people, how do you fit in, how does the customer understand these people and how do you fit into their story.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association“Customers do not care about you at all… they have their own lives and their own businesses to focus on. It’s our job to focus on them.” – Sunir Shah, AppBind & Cloud Software Association

 

 

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