I've been actively engaged in partnership marketing for over seventeen years and have often been asked "what is partnership marketing?" Partnership marketing certainly has a warm and fuzzy connotation but depending on who is speaking can refer to a variety of marketing activities. I've recently seen the term partnership marketing used by a network of distributors and also used in the titles of a major website's advertising sales team.

I would suggest that pure partnership marketing is a symbiotic relationship between two or more marketing entities. It's not a relationship where one party is purely selling goods or services to the other but a relationship where parties are utilizing their own assets to assist the marketing efforts of each other.

The meaning is still broad and when speaking with other partnership marketers you shouldn't expect your understanding of partnership marketing to always match. An initial conversation with a prospective partner should always clarify their goals and marketing needs first and foremost.
What is Partnership Marketing?
  -Mike Burnette
About Mike Burnette

Mike is the Founder and President of Partnership Source.  He has over 16 years of partnership experience with a variety of business to consumer market segments.  Mike developed the first partnership marketing department at Hearst Magazines and was also the first director of the partnership marketing program at Meredith Corporation.  Partnership Source was founded in 2011 and brings brands together for collaborative marketing.
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