We’ve put together a guide and a collection of questions that we use when designing and planning RD programs and partnerships for our consulting clients.The process doesn’t have to be overwhelming and can easily take just 30 minutes or less. Plus, with tools like Link – RDs have never been more accessible to brands like yours. So, stop pushing it off and dive it. It doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you’ve made it out to be. Let’s get started!
Use the outline below as a guide to map out the next 6 months of your RD program and partnerships. Each RD program is unique so feel free to skip anything below that does not apply to your company. Save this for later or print it out as you brainstorm ideas and get started.
Consider Goals, Program Format, and KPIs
First, lay out your goals and define what your primary objectives are. Are you looking for credibility? Content? Awareness? Key market support? Start with your desired outcome and your budget. Identifying these variables will help you gauge the success and overall ROI of the partnership.
Also consider the format of your program and partnerships.There is no right or wrong way to work with RDs. Some companies focus on ambassadors and affiliate relationships while others focus on retail RDs or influencers and media opportunities. While using Link, some RDs will approach you as well, highlighting the value they can bring to your brand and where they can help you. Sometimes brainstorming directly with the RDs is a great way to leverage an awesome partnership.
Print out these questions to use as a guide as you start planning.
Questions to Consider
- Where do you see the most value in aligning with nutrition experts?
- Which industries or specialties align best with your brand?
- Who would be your ideal RD partner?
- What are my primary goals for connecting with RDs?
- How can we tie RDs into our broader marketing goals?
- One year from now you have a successful RD outreach program – what does this look like?
- Do we have specific ideas already for how we hope to engage with RDs?
- Do we prefer to focus on a smaller and more engaged group of RDs or mass outreach? Or some of both?
- What types of RDs do we want to work with?
- What value can we provide to RDs?
- What type of budget do we have to work with? (Or what type of budget will we need?)
- Aside from budget, what resources do we have to alot to this program? (time, team members, etc.)
- Who will be the main point of contact for the RDs?
- Logistics – can we ship products, or are coupons better?
- Are our products widely available or do we need to focus on key markets?
- How will we know this program is a success?
- How are we going to kick off this program and make it known to RDs? (individual outreach, applications, social media ads, LINK)
- What noteworthy time periods, holidays, events, etc. are coming up that we could tie into an RD activation?
- What happens after they sign up? (Do they need to sign up?)
- Do they all receive a welcome kit or coupons?
- Are you going to have a structured program (ie ambassadors, affiliates, regular sampling?)
- Do they even need to sign up or invite-only?
Look at Your Marketing Calendar and Get Started
Take a look at your marketing goals and efforts for the next 6 months and pinpoint areas where RD partnerships make the most sense or could add value to your planned efforts. Potentially look into different ways you could leverage marketing campaigns through the partnership or look at the overall ROI you’re hoping to achieve. Consider food holidays, big events, new product launches, monthly themes, seasons, store launches – you name it. Putting a credible person next to your brand message is big for the customer and proves it’s value.