Marketing is always a team sport, and often your team includes partners, vendors, sponsors and more beyond your core crew. To get the most benefit from your marketing efforts, you want these folks to have what they need to be on-brand, and to align with whatever you ask them to do. However, tech studies have highlighted third-party relationships as more vulnerable to security risks like phishing, fraud, and other concerns. You need ways to share enough to get what you need from your extended teams, but to also limit ongoing risk exposure as much as you can.
For many companies, nobody outside the org is allowed on an internal network, so these partners have no access to the resources, guidelines, and references you and your fellow employees do. A common practice is to copy these resources to a file sharing service, and share access to these folders with third parties outside the org. A good practice in theory, but also risky in terms of information control. If you do this, avoid sharing anonymous links that can be used by anyone, or links where you aren’t notified when someone downloads or accesses the materials.
A better solution would be a secure external resource where you can assign individual accounts for partners, and control permissions for what each user can access. Assign rights to only the relevant information each vendor needs. This allows you to restrict access, and monitor exactly how often the material is being viewed or downloaded. Some systems allow you to make the accounts expire after a week or a month. This is a great option for sharing things with one-time vendors or situations like event sponsors, who only need short-term support, and you don’t have to worry about shutting down ongoing access.
Other strategies for successful partner relationships include working through a single point of contact as much as possible. Limiting the access to a single person simplifies management, and also helps you recognize if they’re sharing information with others. Equally important is reviewing your third-party partner contacts annually at a minimum, and maybe even quarterly if you work with a number of different companies. People transition all the time, and you don’t want someone to have ongoing access after they’ve left the vendor org.
In the end, it’s important that internal and external team members have the tools and resources to be successful while maintaining security.
If you’d like to talk about best practices to get the best of both worlds, give us a call.
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