Co-marketing is helpful for a business of any size, but it’s a necessity for small businesses. Why? Traditionally, small business might be lucky to have a small dedicated marketing department. But, more often than not, they’re sharing marketing duties with another function, like sales or accounting. That doesn’t leave much time available for marketing a business, does it?
Co-marketing is the process of working with another business, or group of businesses, on a marketing campaign or strategy that helps to promote all of the companies involved. By working together on promotional efforts to promote a product, service, or piece of content, all businesses involved benefit.
1. Build organic marketing
It’s easy to push paid marketing efforts, but small businesses are often more limited on cash flow, reducing the amount of marketing dollars available. However, when you work with other businesses to promote one another organically, a few things happen:
- Your marketing efforts are more efficient and cost effective, if it costs you anything at all.
- By building your co-marketing relationship, you’re building higher-quality backlinks to your site, raising your creditability.
- You increase your exposure to a larger audience.
By focusing on the campaign and pushing your messaging, co-marketing is doubling the manpower. For instance, a small bridal boutique may offer discounts to a local florist with the purchase of a dress at their boutique. In turn, the florist helps boost the bridal boutique by featuring the boutique’s bridal gowns alongside their floral arrangements. This relationship can easily be executed with a brick-and-mortar location or an online business, aiding in creating organic marketing for your business.
2. Use edification to build each other up
Edification is the process of speaking positively and with enthusiasm about someone, and then backing up your words with an action. The edification process can help you grow your network, build-up a co-worker or mentor, or even a co-marketing relationship.
To edify someone when speaking to a third party, you’ll want to talk about the person you’re edifying, focusing on their successes and positive attributes. Build up that person - say how lucky you are to work with them, how much they’ve taught you, and the tremendous impact they’ve had on your business. Build such enthusiasm and excitement that the person you’re speaking with absolutely must meet the person you’re edifying.
When you introduce the third party to the conversation, they’ll already have established respect for the person you edified. To keep the cycle going, if the person you edified edifies you back, it instills credibility and trust.
3. Create alliances for product releases
Businesses can help each other spread the word about product launches to their own respective customer bases. For example, look at the Peanuts or Minion Happy Meal toys at McDonald’s. Why would 20th Century Fox or Universal Pictures be interested in this partnership? It’s all about the audience. Kids get the characters in their Happy Meals and beg their parents to see the movie. McDonald’s benefits from additional Happy Meal sales, and the film companies benefit from additional tickets sold to their movies.
Co-marketing partners don’t necessarily have to share the same goals, but it’s important to pick the right partners that provide something valuable to your audience. By identifying the right types of relationships, it helps solidify your brand alliance with other organizations for product releases, and creates a vortex of messaging, bound to help increase the sales of everyone involved.
Where do you start
Co-marketing can be daunting if you’re not sure where to start. Start by reaching out to people already in your network -- vendors, clients, local merchants, and even competitors that do something similar to you. The more relationships you form, the more comfortable you’ll become with looking for more, and the more successful your business will be.
Written by Rich Kahn, founder and CEO at eZanga.com