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There’s so much advertising noise in the world today, both in the traditional media of television, radio, and print, as well as in new media online, you can’t blame business owners from wondering how they can reach new customers. After all, large competitors with enormous advertising budgets can yell louder than most. How does the small-town grocer compete with the warehouse store? Or the local restaurant against the multi-national chain? If only these small companies could find ways to team up...
Well, it turns out that they can through cross-business promotion. You might think of this idea as a referral system on steroids, or a joint-marketing venture, but you should also consider it to be a way for two separate businesses to add value to their goods and services, to be a way give customers more bang for their buck.
The core, foundational idea is to find complimentary businesses that can essentially lend each other’s client bases to one another for mutual growth. For example, a small brewery might invite a food truck to park outside, each offering something the other cannot. Or a sole-proprietor mechanic and an automotive sound system specialist could co-market their unique services. They can display signage or pass out coupons for each other. In the end, both companies should see increased mindshare and new sales opportunities. And by offering these built-in recommendations, each business is also offering customers a higher level of customer service by vouching for one another.
The two companies don’t necessarily have to be perfectly aligned and related, though that certainly helps. You’ll often see a movie studio promote its summer blockbuster at a fast food restaurant, for instance, but the ideal scenario for a local business is to find a partner who doesn’t require you to buy advertising space, where mutual costs are kept to a minimum. Properly executed cross-promotions should be essentially free, save for the material costs of creating flyers or printing coupons.
New customer acquisition is one of the most expensive investments a business can make, which is why customer retention is so important. So while cross-business promotion allows your business reach out to a new client base for little-to-no cost at its heart, this kind of team-up will help you retain the ones you have by enriching the overall customer experience.
As with any kind of marketing, the possibilities are endless. Want help brainstorming? The Brandt Group has experience with creative and effective promotion. Call us today to learn more.
1. Some business owners might look at coupon offerings as an added expense. They might say that you’re throwing away profit by giving out discounts. But it is important for business owners to remember that these are sales opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise; in the end, these are net gains, and the efforts are more than worth the investment.