Social media has dominated the headlines in 2011 and will most likely continue to create buzz into the New Year. However, while we tried to figure out Google+, Twitter etiquette, and Facebook’s latest format changes, some traditional tactics continued to pull their weight even though they weren’t in the spotlight. Commercial advertisements, newspaper announcements, and special appearances at seminars and presentations, methods known as “co-marketing,” can deliver great results.
Co-marketing is when two or more complementary companies create a partnership to help one another. For example, a dentist and an orthodontist might have a co-marketing relationship because they complement each other well. If you need one, there is a good chance you’ll need the other. Just about every industry has some sort of complementary business they can work with. If you work for an insurance agency, you could partner up with a bank; if you’re a builder you may want to partner up with an interior designer, and if you work for a tutoring company you could partner up with your school district.
Co-marketing works great if you’re starting a small business or looking to improve a current business. It is a simple strategy that can have a big impact on your business. Consider a few of the reasons so many companies work together when marketing their product or service
1. Your brand will get increased exposure
Co-marketing puts your business in front of a whole new audience—your partner’s customers. Most companies who have a co-marketing partner agree that they will refer their customers to the other company’s website or office. This way, it’s an even exchange of referrals. This not only gets a new audience thinking about your company, but it is an audience that will likely need your services or products.
2. Your company will gain credibility
Consumers are naturally skeptical. However, you can overcome their skepticism by creating a partnership with a credible company. Your partner will have earned the trust of its customer, through co-marketing you can leverage that trust in your business. It’s trust by association.
3. Collaboration can improve your marketing campaigns.
They say “two heads are better than one.” Use the talents of your marketing department and the talents of your partner’s marketing department to create the best marketing campaign possible.
4. You will be able to reduce marketing expenses.
If both you and your partner company share an ad in a newspaper or a commercial on TV, you will be able to split the expenses. Partnerships can stretch your budget and provide new opportunities you might not otherwise have been able to afford.
5. Co-marketing strengthens your company network
Creating a relationship with another company can include sharing your connections. When it’s mutually beneficial, sharing sources, vendors, prospects, industry connections, etc. can be an added benefit to an already winning partnership. You never know who will “grow up” to be the next bit player.
Before jumping into a co-marketing partnership, make sure everyone is clear on what each party wants out of the partnership. Understand what each partner will bring to the table. Get detailed about roles and responsibilities, and give it a test run with a small project before going in “all the way”
If done correctly a co-marketing partnership can deliver great results and new opportunities. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
About the Author: Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to workers compensation insurance. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including credit card processingto small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.
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