A magazine ad for Obsession perfume by Calvin Klein says "Bloomingdale's" at the bottom. Whose ad is this, anyway?
The strategy is called co-marketing. "It's manufacturers working with their channel partners to create [marketing] programs that build business for both parties," explains Jon Kramer, president of J. Brown/LMC Group, a Stamford, Connecticut, co-marketing agency.
Co-marketing can involve anything from television advertising, in which both the manufacturer and the retailer have a stake, to direct-mail that entices consumers to visit your marketing partner's store for dollars off your products. The benefits: shared costs and a more powerful call to action.
This savings is doubly important for small firms. How can you initiate such a program on a modest scale?
- Team up on ads that feature both a store name and a manufacturer's logo. By sharing costs, you can buy more advertising.
- Create promotions that bring in customers. For example, offer coupons for $5 off a quilting class with a $25 purchase of Irma Laine's fabric at the Sew Happy fabric store.
- Strengthen alliances with your retail clients or vendors. Look for ways your marketing programs might be modified to include your partners. With pooled resources and a cohesive strategy, everybody wins.