104 stats you never knew about strategic partnerships

Publication date
Imogen Beech
Reading time
16 minute read

If you’re wondering what all the fuss is about strategic partnerships, wonder no more. We’ve compiled a selection of the most interesting, absurd and downright amazing stats about all the different types of strategic partnerships that we could find from all over the web, to prove just how awesome partnerships really are.

Read away and prepare to be blown away... then, remember to sign up with Breezy to find the perfect strategic partner to help you grow your business.

Strategic partnership statistics

1. Partnerships exceed paid search as a growth channel

Partnerships can be credited with generating high-growth businesses with more revenue than paid search. While the average business generates 18% of its revenue from paid search, high-maturity partnership programs generate 28%.

Source: Wolfgang Digital and Forrester report

2. 75% of world trade flows indirectly

With 75% of world trade flowing indirectly, channels, partnerships and alliances have become increasingly important.

Source: Forrester

3. Partnership marketing and high-growth brands go hand in hand

High-growth brands are three times more likely to use marketing partnerships as part of their overall strategy than no-growth firms.

Source: Hinge 2020 High Growth Study

4. Partner websites are playing a vital part in consumer decision making

74% of shoppers in the US admit to visiting two or three non-retail websites before completing a purchase, while 16% say that they visit more than four.

Source: Business Insider

5. 57% of organisations use partnerships to acquire new customers

While 57% of companies say that they use partnerships to acquire new customers, 44% form alliances to get new ideas, insights and innovation.

Source: BPI Network

6. 74% of companies would consider partnership automation

Nearly three-quarters of companies would consider partner automation (software that automates the discovery and management of different types of partnership) to make it easier for them to scale their partnership programs.

Source: BPI Network

7. Over 75% of TMT CEOs rate partnerships as ‘important’ or ‘critical’ to their business

More than 75% of CEOs with businesses in the TMT sector rate partnerships as ‘important’ or ‘critical’ to their business. This figure increases to 83% for telecoms businesses and 81% for media.

Source: PWC

8. More than 2,000 strategic alliances are formed each year

2,000 strategic alliances are currently formed every year, with that number growing by 15% each year as well.

Source: Strategic Alliances: Three Ways to Make Them Work

Partnership pain point statistics

9. 60-65% of strategic partnerships fail

More than half (60-65%) of strategic partnerships fail, with common reasons including unrealistic expectations, failure to agree on objectives and lack of trust or communication. Read our piece about why strategic partnerships fail to find out more.

Source: The Art of Strategic Partnering: Dancing with Elephants

10. 60-70% of corporate alliances fail

The failure rate for corporate alliances could be even higher than that of strategic partnerships, with a failure rate that ‘hovers between 60% and 70%’.

Source: Harvard Business Review

11. 73% of marketers find managing partners a major challenge

Even though partnerships are proven to be important, 73% of marketers consider managing partners to be a major challenge.

Source: Forrester

12. Just 35% of companies rank recruiting partners as one of their top three capabilities

Only 35% of companies state that recruiting partners is one of their top three capabilities – a worrying figure given the increasing importance of partnerships as a growth channel.

Source: Accenture

13. The biggest challenge is keeping strategic partnerships active and mutually rewarding

45% of executives believe that the biggest challenge when it comes to strategic partnerships is keeping them active and mutually rewarding.

Source: BPI Network

14. 39% of organisations don’t have a formal partner management strategy

Despite the growing reliance on partnerships, 39% of companies don’t have a formal partner management strategy in place.

Source: BPI Network

15. The average partnership manager spends 35% of their time on partner discovery

The average partnership manager spends around 35% of their time on partner discovery and earns around £38K per year. That means businesses are spending around £13,300 and 584 hours on discovery per person, per year.

Source: Breezy partnership survey

Partner ecosystem statistics

16. Nearly a third of sales will come from ecosystems

By 2025, nearly a third of total global sales is predicted to come from ecosystems (cross-industry players working together to create solutions).

Source: McKinsey & Company

17. Ecosystems could generate $100 trillion over the next ten years

In the next ten years, ecosystems could bring $100 trillion worth of value to businesses and society as a whole.

Source: Accenture

18. 84% of companies say that ecosystems are important to their strategy

84% of companies state that ecosystems are important to their strategy (read our guide to nailing your partner ecosystem strategy if you want to get in on the action). Meanwhile, 76% believe that in the next five years, ecosystems will cause business models to become unrecognisable.

Source: Accenture

19. Sharing assets, IP and competitive advantage are companies’ biggest fears

92% of companies that haven’t mastered ecosystems are worried about sharing company assets, intellectual property and competitive advantage.

Source: Accenture

20. 83% of digital ecosystems involve partners from four or more industries

While 83% of digital ecosystems are a collaboration between partners from four or more industries, 53% involve partners from six or more!

Source: BGC

21. 7 of the top 12 largest companies take part in ecosystems

Out of the top 12 companies by market capitalisation, seven are ecosystem players. These are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Alibaba and Tencent.

Source: McKinsey & Company

22. 77% of executives restrict the data they share within their ecosystems

When executives share data within their ecosystems, 77% do so with restrictions due to concerns about data security.

Source: Accenture

Affiliate marketing statistics

23. Affiliate marketing is a $15 billion industry

Affiliate marketing is a huge global industry that’s growing rapidly. It’s estimated to be worth around $15 billion.

Source: CHEQ

24. Affiliate marketing accounts for 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue

Although publishers still generate the majority of their revenue from advertising, affiliate marketing is growing faster. Approximately 15% of the digital media industry’s revenue now comes from affiliate marketing.

Source: Business Insider

25. Affiliate marketing drives as many e-commerce orders as email in the US

In the US, affiliate marketing drives as many e-commerce orders as email, with both channels accounting for 16% of e-commerce orders.

Source: Business Insider

26. US affiliate marketing spend increases annually by 10.1%

Affiliate marketing is growing rapidly and consistently, with US affiliate marketing spend increasing by 10.1% each year. Projections expect this to continue until at least 2021.

Source: Digital Global

27. US retailers spent $5.4 billion on affiliate marketing in 2017

Not only did US retailers spend a whopping $5.4 billion on affiliate marketing in 2017, but that figure is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2022.

Source: Statista

28. The largest affiliate network in the world has over a quarter of a million affiliates

PeerFly is the largest affiliate marketing network in the world, boasting more than 250,000 affiliate accounts (although only 75,000 of them are active). Together, they’re responsible for over 1 billion clicks and 8 million conversions.

Source: PeerFly

29. Retail makes up 43% of affiliate revenue in the UK

In the UK, retail is the biggest affiliate marketing sector, with a 43% share of the country’s yearly affiliate revenue.

Source: IAB

30. 18.7% of top affiliate programs promote fashion

A 2015 study showed that 18.7% of the top affiliate programs fall into the fashion category, making up the biggest slice of the market. Sports and outdoor activities follow closely behind at 14.6%.

Source: AM Navigator

31. There were more than 5 billion clicks on affiliate links in 2017

In 2017, there were more than 5 billion clicks on affiliate links. On top of that, affiliate networks carried out over 170 million transactions across the globe.

Source: ECN

32. The US is the biggest affiliate marketing country in the world

The US is by far the largest affiliate marketing country in the world, worth approximately $6.8 billion. Second is Japan, worth $3.3 billion.

Source: CHEQ

33. 6% of Amazon’s visitors come from affiliates

6% of Amazon’s 2.5 billion monthly online visits come from affiliates. Its affiliate program, Amazon Associates, is both the largest in the world and one of the oldest, featuring in our selection of the best affiliate programs as well as in our guide to the history of affiliate marketing.

Source: CHEQ

34. Over half of UK affiliate spend goes on coupon or cashback websites

In 2017, 27% of UK affiliate spend went on coupon and rebate websites, while 25% went on cashback websites.

Source: IAB

35. Over 30% of affiliate marketers are aged between 35 and 44

The biggest proportion of affiliate marketers falls within the 35 to 44 age bracket, with this group taking up a 31.86% share. On the other hand, nearly 12% of affiliate marketers are aged 55 or over.

Source: Statista

36. Nearly 70% of affiliate marketers use SEO to generate traffic

Almost 70% of affiliate marketers state that they use SEO to generate traffic. In fact, 69.22% of traffic to affiliate sites came from SEO in 2016, making it the top traffic source for affiliates.

Source: Statista

37. SEO is the highest converting traffic source in affiliate marketing

SEO is by far the highest converting traffic source in affiliate marketing, with a conversion rate that’s 7x higher than any other form.

Source: Profit Social

38. Affiliate marketing in the UK has an ROI ratio of 1:16

For every pound spent on affiliate marketing in the UK, you get 16 back. This is in part thanks to the fact that brands using CPA only have to pay for promotions that convert (learn more in our guide to affiliate marketing).

Source: Awin

39. 20% of affiliates are responsible for 80% of sales

80% of sales generated from affiliate marketing are made by just 20% of affiliates. In other words, the majority of affiliate conversions are driven by just a small proportion of affiliate marketers.

Source: Practical Ecommerce

40. 81% of brands run affiliate marketing programs

As of 2016, 81% of brands had adopted affiliate marketing, along with 84% of publishers.

Source: Awin

41. Affiliate marketers prefer to promote between one and 10 products

42% of affiliate marketers promote between one and ten products, making this the most popular choice. Meanwhile, 23% of affiliates promote 11 to 20 products and only 7.5% promote 300 products or more.

Source: Hostingtribunal

42. Search interest for ‘affiliate marketing’ grew by 30% in just one year

Search interest for the term ‘affiliate marketing’ grew by 30% between September 2016 and September 2017. This shows just how quickly the world of online marketing was changing.

Source: Google Trends

43. Jason Stone made $7 million from affiliate marketing in just one year

Influencer Jason Stone used social media to earn $7 million from affiliate marketing between June 2016 and June 2017.

Source: Entrepreneur

Jason Stone affiliate marketing stats

44. Affiliate marketing drives 1% of the UK’s GDP

Thanks to its rapid growth, affiliate marketing now drives more of the UK’s GDP than the whole of the country’s agriculture sector!

Source: Awin

45. Affiliate marketing is the area in which CMOs are least knowledgeable

Only 22% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) believe they’ve mastered affiliate marketing. This makes it the area of marketing they know least about.

Source: Forbes

46. 38% of marketers view affiliate marketing as a top acquisition channel

More than a third of marketers believe that affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to acquire new customers.

Source: National Retail Federation

Content marketing partnership statistics

47. Partnering with publishers to distribute content results in a 50% higher brand lift

Marketers that partner with publishers to distribute their branded content see a 50% higher brand lift on average, compared to those who publish content on their own.

Source: Neilsen

48. Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social networking sites

Millennials are 247% more likely to be influenced by blogs or social media, making them a prime target audience for content marketing partnerships.

Source: Marketing to Millennials

49. 84% of millennials distrust advertising

Although traditionally advertising is one of the largest expenditures of a marketing department, a striking 84% of millennials distrust it, cementing content marketing partnerships as an important alternative.

Source: ClickZ

50. Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing

Not only does content marketing cost 62% less than traditional marketing, it also generates 3x the volume of leads.

Source: Demand Metric

51. 80% of business decision-makers prefer articles to advertisements

80% of business decision-makers would rather get company information from a series of articles rather than from an advertisement.

Source: Stratabeat

52. 11% of marketers say ‘partnership posts’ are the most engaging type of social media content

Around 11% of marketers say that ‘partnership posts’ are the most engaging type of social media content that their brand creates.

Source: Hubspot

Co-branding partnership statistics

53. 34% of marketers see co-branding as the best way to increase email subscribers

34% of marketers believe that co-branding or co-marketing partnerships are the most effective way to increase a brand’s number of email subscribers.

Source: Ascend2

54. Red Bull and GoPro’s co-branding partnership broke three world records

GoPro and Red Bull's co-branding partnership involved Felix Baumgartner jumping out of a helium balloon to shatter the ‘maximum vertical speed’, ‘highest exit (jump) altitude’ and ‘vertical distance of freefall’ world records. The jump was live-streamed to 8 million viewers, also setting a new record for YouTube (read more about it in our piece on co-branding examples).

Source: Red Bull

Red Bull and GoPro co-branding stats

55. 68% of consumers can make buying decisions after seeing a co-branded campaign

After seeing a co-branded campaign, 68% of consumers are able to make buying decisions without speaking to a sales representative.

Source: Partner Path

56. Ben + Jerry’s co-branding partnership boosted public perception by 142.8%

Ben + Jerry’s Canada partnered with Wattpad on a co-branded write-a-thon. The partnership successfully boosted perception of the brand and its involvement with the LGBTQ+ community by 142.8%.

Source: Wattpad

Ben + Jerry's and Wattpad co-branding example

Distribution marketing partnership statistics

57. Co-selling works for 77% of businesses

77% of companies who’ve taken part in co-selling partnerships have seen a direct or indirect increase in profits.

Source: Concur

58. Microsoft formed over 9,000 partnerships in just one year

Microsoft formed 9,000 partnerships within one year of setting up its successful co-seller partner program. It also made $8 billion in partner revenue in the program’s first two years alone.

Source: CRN

Microsoft co-selling partnership stats

59. Nine out of 10 companies believe co-selling is easier than re-seller models

Almost nine out of 10 companies say that co-selling requires less time and financial commitment than traditional re-seller models.

Source: Concur

60. Only 43% of channel marketers report to the marketing department

One of the biggest difficulties with channel partnerships is the disconnect between the multiple systems that need to work together. In fact, only 43% of channel marketers report into the marketing or sales department.

Source: Forrester

61. 63% of companies who use co-selling want to free up employees’ time

Out of the companies who use co-seller models, 63% do so to give their employees more time to focus on other tasks. Meanwhile, 59% do so to make use of more highly skilled sales and marketing support.

Source: Concur

62. DataStax used lead account mapping to grow its pipeline by 140%

DataStax used lead account mapping as part of its co-selling partnership with Microsoft to grow its pipeline by 140%.

Source: Microsoft

Datastax and Microsoft co-selling partnership stats

Sponsorship marketing statistics

63. $65.8 billion was spent on sponsorship in 2018

In 2018, the global sponsorship spend was a whopping $65.8 billion. That figure was up from $60.1 billion just two years before.

Source: Statista

64. TV sponsorships account for 5% of TV ad spend

Research shows that TV sponsorships drive long-term brand awareness, so perhaps it’s not surprising that since 2010, they account for 5% of TV ad spend.

Source: WARC

65. Ronaldo is set to make over $1 billion in sponsorship from Nike

Ronaldo signed a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike, which will make him arguably the richest of all Nike athletes in the world (not to mention the fact that he also has other endorsements from brands such as EA Sports and American Tourister).

Source: Man of Many

Ronaldo and Nike sponsorship marketing stats

66. PepsiCo is ranked top sponsor

PepsiCo is ranked as the top sponsor by spend in the US. The company spent approximately $370 million on sponsorship in 2015 alone.

Source: IEG

67. 33% of marketers spend at least 21% of marketing budgets on event sponsorship or exhibiting

33% of mid-to-senior-level marketers allocate 21% or more of their marketing budget towards sponsoring or exhibiting at events.

Source: Bizzabo

68. Wilson sponsors 40% of the top 30 male tennis players

Wilson is the racket sponsor for 40% of the top 30 male tennis players and 34% of the top 30 female tennis players.

Souce: Score and Change

Federer and Wilson sponsorship marketing stats

69. 80% of revenue generated from sports sponsorship comes from TV advertising

In 2019, 80% of the value gained from sports sponsorship came from TV advertising. However, that figure is expected to fall to less than 73% by 2024.

Source: Statista

Product placement statistics

70. $20.6 billion was spent on product placement globally in 2019

In 2019, the global product placement spend grew by 14.5% to a whopping $20.6 billion. This was the tenth consecutive year of growth.

Source: PQ Media

71. Product placement works on 60% of moviegoers

60% of moviegoers feel more positive about brands that they recognise from a product placement spot.

Source: Cooking Styles of the Rich and Famous

72. Product placement on an emotionally engaging program is 43% more recognisable

43% more viewers recognise brands from product placements on emotionally engaging programs, compared with films that could be described as ‘eye candy’.

Source: Cooking Styles of the Rich and Famous

73. Toy Story helped to raise Etch-A-Sketch sales by 4,000%

The inclusion of an Etch-A-Sketch in Toy Story increased sales of the toy by 4,000%, while sales of Mr Potato Head toys increased by 800%.

Source: Hollywood Branded

Toy Story product placement stats

74. The US accounts for 56.5% of the global product placement market

In 2019, product placement revenues in the US grew by 15.4% to $11.63 billion. This means it accounts for 56.5% of the global market.

Source: Cision

75. 75% of broadcast-network shows feature placements

A massive 75% of broadcast-network shows feature product or brand placements of some kind.

Source: Priceconomics

76. Nearly 71.4% of paid product placements appear on TV

TV attracts almost 71.4% of all paid placements. In fact, the top 10 TV shows of 2008 alone collectively featured a whopping 29,823 product placements!

Source: Priceconomics

77. 68% of product placements last for 5 seconds or less

68% of product placements last for five seconds or less. However, the average duration of product placement on camera is 6.2 seconds. Riddle that one!

Source: Cooking Styles of the Rich and Famous

78. Hersheys’ profits went up 65% in one year through product placement

After paying $1 million for a product placement of Reese’s Pieces in E.T., Hershey’s sales went up 65%. Funnily enough, they only got the spot after M&M’s pulled out, having no idea that E.T. would become one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Source: Forbes

Reese's Pieces and E.T. product placement stats

79. 49% of Americans take action after seeing product placement in media

49% of North Americans take action after seeing a product placement, while 52% state that they trust product placement ads.

Source: Statista

Loyalty marketing partnership statistics

80. 77% of consumers take part in a retail loyalty program

77% of consumers participated in a retail loyalty program in 2018 (up from 72% the year before). Meanwhile, 46% joined a hotel program and 40% were part of an airline program.

Source: Accenture

81. Customers find financial rewards more enticing than deals

In 2018, 61% of customers were enticed to be loyal by the promise of a financial reward, while 58% were persuaded by programs highly tailored to their needs. This was a change from 2017, when customers were most enticed by the promise of deals.

Source: Accenture

82. 60% of loyalty program members show interest in the program’s partners

60% of loyalty program members express an interest in partnerships that they’re introduced to through their programs.

Source: Bond Brand Loyalty

83. 71% of consumers would consider joining a premium loyalty program

More than 71% of consumers who don’t already belong to a premium loyalty program would join one if it was offered by their favourite retailers and the benefits were valuable.

Source: Clarus Commerce

Referral marketing statistics

84. Word of mouth is the primary factor behind up to 50% of all purchasing decisions

Word of mouth is responsible for 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. It has the greatest influence when consumers are buying relatively expensive products or buying a new product for the first time.

Source: McKinsey

85. Referred customers bring in 25% more profit

Customers who’ve come through referrals bring in profit margins that are around 25% higher.

Source: AMA Journal of Marketing

86. Customers who’ve been referred are 4x more likely to convert

Customers who’ve been referred to a brand are a massive four times more likely to make a purchase.

Source: Extole

87. A recommendation from a friend is up to 50x more powerful

A recommendation from a trusted friend is up to 50x more likely to result in a purchase than a low-impact recommendation.

Source: McKinsey

88. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know

92% of consumers around the globe claim to trust earned media (such as recommendations from friends and family) above all other forms of advertising.

Source: Neilsen

89. Referred customers are 37% more likely to stay

Customers acquired through referrals have a retention rate that’s 37% higher.

Source: Extole

90. 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

88% of people trust online reviews penned by unknown consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.

Source: BrightLocal

91. 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations

While 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, 40% have purchased a product after seeing it on Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Source: Influencer Orchestration Network

92. 75% of marketers use influencers as a marketing tool

75% of marketers now use influencers as a marketing tool, with 86% of those aiming to increase brand awareness.

Source: Chief Marketer

93. 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer a brand to their friends

Unfortunately, while 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer you to their friends, only 29% of them actually do!

Source: Texas Tech University

94. 86% of women use social media for purchasing advice

Not only do 86% of women say that they use social media for purchasing advice, but 45% of women claim to be more active on social media than they were two years ago.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

95. 19% of purchase decisions are influenced by Facebook

Facebook is the most influential social media channel, influencing 19% of purchase decisions.

Source: Digital Marketing Institute

96. 58% of people trust brands they’ve seen friends or family interact with on Facebook

58% of people are more likely to trust a brand that they’ve seen a friend or family member interact with on Facebook, demonstrating the real power of advocacy.

Source: Wolfgang Digital

Charity partnership statistics

97. 91% of brands enter charity partnerships to better their reputation

91% of brands who enter charity partnerships cite brand reputation as their primary motivation.

Source: NPC

98. 41% of charities expect to partner with more private organisations

As of 2017, 41% of charities expect to partner with more private sector organisations moving forwards.

Source: NPC

99. 64% of millennials would refuse a job from an employer without a strong CSR policy

65% of millennials would turn down a job if their employer didn’t have a strong CSR policy. With millennials due to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, charitable partnerships are becoming increasingly important for employers.

Source: Cone Communications

100. More than 50% of customers in the UK want companies to take a stand

More than half of customers in the UK (and 75% of Gen Z) want companies to take a stand on issues they’re passionate about. At the same time, six in ten consumers under the age of 30 consider a brand’s ethical values carefully before buying their products.

Source: Accenture

101. 40% of businesses say that partnerships with charities are important to their business agenda

40% of businesses claim that partnerships with charities are important to their business agenda, while a third state that partnering with charities is ‘very important’ to them.

Source: The Guardian

Joint venture partnership statistics

102. The results are often unexpected

25% of joint venture partnerships don’t meet or exceed either partner’s expectations but still benefit all the companies involved.

Source: McKinsey & Company

103. Alignment on objectives is key to joint venture success

47% of managers cite alignment on objectives as a core reason for joint venture partnership success.

Source: McKinsey & Company

104. 38% of managers blame failed partnerships on lack of trust and communication

Lack of internal communication and trust are cited by 38% of managers as a key reason for the failure of joint venture partnerships.

Source: McKinsey & Company


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