Working together with another small business can be a surprisingly effective way to promote your own small business. This cooperative marketing offers many advantages over more conventional marketing techniques. Not least of which is access to other business’s customers.
Cooperative Marketing Is A Marketing Partnership
Cooperative marketing can mean different things to different people. For the purposes of this post it’s when two or more small business work together to promote each others businesses. You can think of it like a marketing partnership. Typically these businesses offer complimentary products and/or services to each other.
Key Benefits Of Cooperative Marketing
Here are just a few of the ways cooperative marketing can benefit your small business.
- You get access to potential customers that are very targeted
- Cooperative marketing often costs less than conventional marketing
- Because you are forming a closer relationship with your marketing partner it’s more likely they will mention you business. This increases your word of mouth marketing as a bonus.
- It helps build trust since your marketing is associated with a business that your prospects already trust
- Cooperative marketing is very flexible, you can use a variety of different promotions
Try These 5 Simple Cooperative Marketing Ideas
To get you started here are some cooperative marketing ideas that work for most small businesses.
- Include a coupon or offer with a delivery from your marketing partner. This could be a product delivery or just some paperwork they are sending out.
- Have a giveaway your marketing partner can offer when they get a new customer of make a significant sale. This is a value add for your partner and you get introduced to potential new customers.
- Create a direct mail piece you can send out to your partner’s customers with an exclusive offer. i.e. The offer is only available because they are a customer of your partner business.
- Build a product or service bundle together. If you have products and/or services that are a natural fit you may be able to sell them as a package.
- Have your marketing partner send out an offer or giveaway to their email list on your behalf. Always ensure you comply with your local email regulations.
The best cooperative marketing creates a mutual advantage for each business. Always remember to reciprocate if your marketing partner does something for your benefit.
Choosing Your Marketing Partners
One of the benefits of cooperative marketing is your business tends to be trusted more by your marketing partner’s customers. You and your marketing partner have an effect of each other’s businesses. For this reason it’s important that you choose your marketing partners wisely. A positive customer experience with your marketing partner will reflect well on your business; a negative experience will have the opposite effect.
Select marketing partners that have a good reputation and have similar values to your own. Create a short list of other small businesses in your local area that provide complementary products and services to yours. Approach businesses that you already have some sort of relationship with first. Approaching other businesses can be a challenge. Instead try to establish a connection first. Social media, online business forums, networking groups or your local Chamber Of Commerce are be great places to start.
If you’ve got any questions or would like to share you experiences, leave a comment below.