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WorkSpan launches a platform for joint marketing campaigns
The company says this is the first to allow management of multiple campaigns between an unlimited number of businesses.
Businesses have used portals and other online tools to communicate with their channel partners almost since the internet began.
But today a Redwood City, California-based startup is launching into general availability a new way for marketers from multiple businesses to collaborate. It describes its new platform — which just received a Series A funding round of $9 million — as the first designed specifically for joint marketing campaigns.
WorkSpan, founded in 2015, says marketing networks can use its platform to plan, build, coordinate and fund joint marketing campaigns that are directed at other businesses or at consumers.
Execution — like running ads or managing an email campaign — is handled by external tools. At the moment, WorkSpan is integrated with Marketo, Salesforce, Eloqua, Google AdWords and Facebook, and other integrations are in the works.
A typical use case, CEO and founder Mayank Bawa told me, might be an effort by a bank to promote a custom credit card with a retailer. Multiple marketers from each company can work together to create what he called “a circle of trust across company boundaries.”
The owner of a given program — which can include an unlimited number of campaigns — can select from multiple proposals that have been collaboratively prepared on the platform by marketers from all the participating companies.
Cross-company tools include the ability to track performance and budget, support proposal-making and approvals, provide access to funds and content, offer search and calendars, and scale up. There is no limit as to the number of collaborating companies, and there are controls for restricting access to funds, campaigns and content on an individual basis.
Bawa said that traditional portals are primarily designed for resellers and not for joint marketing, have limited customization, and are oriented toward single host companies and prepackaged campaigns. Typically, he said, joint marketing campaigns have largely originated offline with spreadsheets, white papers and marketing materials, perhaps followed by a custom website.
He added that SAP and Intel — two of dozens of companies in high tech, financial services, consumer product goods and retailing that have utilized the platform in a beta phase — employed WorkSpan to roll out a collaborative marketing effort involving about 300 marketers from both companies on five continents.
As a result of using the WorkSpan platform, he said, the two companies conducted twice as many joint marketing campaigns than in a previous equivalent period and generated three times as many opportunities.