Marketers are increasingly being asked to do more with less. So, how can you creatively drive higher returns on your marketing campaigns without spending considerably more money? Whether your focus is on ecommerce, traditional retail, CPG, branding, etc., one option to consider is co-marketing programs…
Co-marketing is when two or more companies work together on a single marketing promotion that drives value for each company. The rationale for doing a co-marketing program is expanding your reach, adding consumer value, creating buzz in the market, and saving time and money. You in essence have teammates where everyone is working toward a common goal. If done well, it can be a very effective marketing tactic.
Sample Co-Marketing Programs
Some examples of co-marketing programs include:
- Breyers Ice Cream and Oreo Cookies
- Breyers leverages the Oreo brand to differentiate their product from everyone else’s cookies n’ cream products
- Intel Inside and PC Manufacturers
- PC manufacturers get credibility and drive sales by proudly stating they use Intel processors in their computers
- Cocoa Puffs Cereal (from General Mills) and Hershey’s Chocolate
- General Mills moves product by leveraging the strong Hershey’s brand
- Star Wars and Dodge Cars
- Dodge leverages the hype of the movie release to get attention to their commercials and potentially attract new consumers
Benefits of Co-Marketing Programs
While the list above only mentions some of the benefits achieved in these campaigns, there are many good reasons for considering a co-marketing program…
- Reaching New Audiences
- Co-marketing programs are a great way to get exposure to a new audience. Your partner will hopefully have a dedicated audience for which they can introduce your products or services.
- Additional Distribution & Marketing Capabilities
- By working with another company, you can leverage their distribution channels, marketing assets, or expertise. They may have great SEO traffic, or strong placement in online marketplaces. Offline, they can possibly help drive better placement in stores. You can either learn from them or leverage their relationships.
- Both companies can leverage press releases or events to announce and celebrate the partnership. Publicity that reaches consumers drive brand awareness and potentially higher conversion rates. Publicity in the industry can drive additional partnerships or increased distribution.
- Brand Association
- By putting two brands together in one marketing program, you make a strong association that can lend credibility to one or both brands. And more credibility can translate to higher conversion rates, larger orders, and greater lifetime value.
- In the online space, there are many unknown brands doing business. A co-marketing partner can validate your site or product, making consumers more comfortable doing business with you.
- Adding Consumer Value
- Hopefully, pulling the two products or services together translates to increased value for consumers. That added value should drive higher conversion rates and more revenue.
Finding the Right Co-Marketing Partner
A critical piece is finding the right partner. If your partner lacks funding, resources, quality controls, or is just not committed to the initiative, it could cause the marketing campaign to fail, which will impact your brand. So, below are some important factors to consider when searching for a co-marketing partner…
- Target Audience
- Ideally there would be significant overlap in the target audiences of the co-marketing companies… age, gender, geography, etc. Not to say they are the same exact consumers, but hopefully there are similar attributes each company is trying to reach.
- While not every campaign is the same, for many it is a non-starter if each of the companies are trying to reach different audiences.
- Complementary Products / Offers
- Are the products or services from each company relevant to one another? Do the brands coming together in the co-marketing program make sense? Will it resonate with consumers or will it leave them scratching their heads?
- Timing needs to be aligned for each company for a co-marketing program to be beneficial for all parties.
- Cultural Fit
- Will the partners get along and work well together? It is good to explore that before committing any resources. If the companies won’t work well together, it will show in the campaign and you could lose some of the benefits of a co-marketing program.
- Marketing Budgets
- There is no rule that says each marketing partner must contribute the exact same amount financially. The key is that each partner is content with the contributions of the other partners. If all costs are covered and everyone is happy, then that should work.
- Define the Marketing Campaign and Execution Details
- Who does what?
- What is each player willing to do to make the program a success? … Customer service? Create marketing assets? Etc.
- It is important to define all of the elements of the campaign, tasks that need to be accomplished, and who will be doing what. You should have clarity and consensus before signing any contracts.
The Search for a Co-Marketing Partner
So, how do you go about exploring co-marketing opportunities with other companies? There are a couple of different options…
- Do It Yourself
- While doing it yourself is always an option, you should just realize that this will likely be a lot of work… Researching potential partners, networking to find the right people at those companies, putting together proposals, structuring the contracts, managing implementation of the campaign, and analyzing all results.
- Work w/ Co-Marketing Agencies
- For a flat-fee, hourly rate, or share of the revenue, you can outsource all of the tasks described above and use a turn-key approach to creating a co-marketing program for your brand.
- This can be a very effective way to find the best partners for your marketing efforts.
Co-marketing programs are a creative way to do more with your marketing dollars… tapping into new audiences and leveraging different brands to accomplish your marketing objectives. With the right partners and creative ideas, companies can come together to make 1 + 1 = 3!
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at the following…
Web Site: DigitalRealmConsulting.com