al·li·ance [əˈlīəns]

NOUN: a union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between organizations.

What do a marketing professional and a “Survivor” fan have in common? They know that forming strategic alliances and strategic partnerships can be a life-saving practice.

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Alliances, also known in the marketing and PR world as collaboration and partnerships, are everywhere.

Take Starbucks and Barnes & Noble for example – a natural-born partnership. Who knew that book lovers would also want a cozy spot to read the latest book release and sip on a vanilla latte? The companies are mutually beneficial, bringing together two different businesses in order to bring success to both.

At The James Agency, we’ve grown our rolodex of client and media contacts, industry leaders and influencers – and we’re not here to gatekeep. We love connecting our clients with the right partnership opportunities to push them toward their marketing and PR goals. Here are three important qualities of a strategic partnership we look out for to help elevate your brand:

Molly Hammond is a public relations account manager at The James Agency, Scottsdale’s women-owned, data and insights-led marketing agency.

1. Identify the interests between both key audiences

True or false? A company whose main audience is 10-to-20-year-old males probably isn’t going to have the best luck bringing in that girly, “pink” audience. False! Xbox recently announced a collaboration with Barbie, introducing a Barbie dream house-themed console with pink controller skins and more. In collaboration with the Mattel Barbie movie, the historically male-focused company took a splash into pink and brought in a whole new demographic of customers, while also promoting one of the hottest new movies of 2023. Talk about an alliance built on strategic marketing!

2. Recognize the strengths and capabilities of each company

At TJA, there is nothing more exciting than introducing our clients to influencers we work with or our other industry contacts. By working in so many different industries, we’ve realized that many of our clients tend to have different strengths and capabilities when it comes to their marketing efforts. Some may have a larger social media presence while others have stronger word-of-mouth supporters. 

With our consultative-first approach to marketing and public relations, we can identify two brands with different strengths, bringing them together to elevate both brands. We brought together SweetLeaf Stevia and Arizona Oncology. Since certain cancers can be accelerated by excess sugar consumption, the sweetener alternative and oncology clinic were a perfect match. 

3. Capitalize on different processes

We are all about the process in our industry, as marketing and PR can take a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get the awesome end goal to come to life. We know that all companies can be different when it comes to internal processes, from brainstorming sessions to proofing. 

In our experience, when we form strategic partnerships with other companies, we get to learn from each other. We’ve found that a lot of our clients start to implement their partners’ processes into their everyday lives, making for smoother business practices and all-around better marketing and PR results. For example, we implemented one of our client’s go-to accounting tools, improving our internal payment processing for the company as a whole. Leaning on one another for advice and new tools is one of the key reasons why marketing could be considered a “team sport.”

Ready to form an alliance with TJA and our industry partners? Connect with us on social media @thejamesagency or reach out to us on our website.

Author: Molly Hammond is a public relations account manager at The James Agency, Scottsdale’s women-owned, data and insights-led marketing agency. To learn more, visit