Nobody works alone. Join forces to create a city-wide visitor experience.

There are huge advantages in getting together with other businesses. A collaborative marketing alliance or cluster is a brilliant way to combine resources, develop an existing tourism product or experience, or create a new one.

Remember: funding may be available through the VisitScotland Growth Fund or the City of Literature Tourism Innovation Fundto develop a collaborative marketing alliance.

Tips for creating a collaborative group

Be strategic about your marketing collaboration: Make sure you start with a clear idea of what you want to achieve and with whom you want to collaborate.

Identify what you want to achieve: Knowing your objectives will enable you to be clear about what activities you would like to do and with whom.

Contact like-minded businesses:  What is the common factor that would bring the group together?  Consider what you want your cluster to offer, and then pick partners based around this. What special qualities does your business offer? Are there any other businesses that offer similar qualities?

Engage the group: Determine the partner services and suppliers that you want to build into your package or experience, such as attractions, accommodation and tours. Build a relationship of trust within the cluster, rather than fostering concerns.

Agree aims and objectives: Now you have the collaborative group established, you need to agree your aims for the group and the terms of reference to which you will work. Commit the basic concept as early as possible to paper, even in draft form. Criteria for membership should incorporate an evaluation of standards, both at the outset and on an ongoing basis, and how this evaluation will be achieved in practical terms.   Then agree a programme of regular communication to develop and progress your ideas. (link to download terms of reference)

Create your experiences:  With your group established, start working on creating your experiences. The most effective marketing collaborations are when the brands of the businesses involved genuinely work well together. Whether it is having a common cause, matched brand values, or a similar tone of voice, something must be complementary to make a successful relationship.

Prepare a plan: Your plan should include: key objectives, optimum cluster size, criteria for membership, funding, administration, the extent and nature of external support, marketing activity, and an outline plan of action for year one with built-in management and control elements.