By Katie Mientka

Actor Leonard Nimoy once said, “The miracle is this: The more we share, the more we have.” Sharing and marketing aren’t terms that are typically paired, and yet there are examples of shared marketing, better known as cross promotion, everywhere.  

In 2006, Nike CEO Mike Parker wanted athletes using his running shoes to be able to access performance intelligence in real time. He reached out to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, creating a cross promotion that helped develop the Nike + iPod campaign that attracted an incredible amount of attention from both brands. The more the two brands shared, just as Nimoy had said, the more customers they had. It’s cross promotion at its best, and the beauty of it is that you don’t have to be two of the world’s biggest brands to take advantage of the same relationship. Instead, cross promotion could be the perfect opportunity to have your brand perceived by new customers and in an entirely different manner.cross promotion

Cross Promotion: The Basics

Cross promotion, sometimes called co-marketing, is a fairly simple concept. It’s two or more brands, for example a home builder and a window dealer, collaborating on a strategic marketing campaign. Both brands achieve their marketing objectives through a single campaign and improve the value proposition involved.

Wondering why it matters? There are actually a few reasons to consider cross promotion. First, it can help you build a new audience. Depending on the company with which you partner, you’ll be accessing an entirely different group of people who may not have been previously exposed to your product or services. You’ll find your brand instantly has broader visibility thanks to this shared campaign. In our example, home builder can introduce the window dealer to a client audience who are building a new home and may want custom window designs. While the window dealers’ clients may consider building new instead of replacing old windows.

Almost as important, though, is the fact that you’ll be saving money. It just takes one graphic designer, one marketing manager, and one material production company to launch the campaign for both companies. It’s economic efficiency at its best. You may even find there are co-op marketing dollars available to help offset the cost of the campaign. While there are typically strings attached to those dollars, they’re incredibly valuable, and they could help round out your marketing budget each year.

Making Cross Promotion Work

If cross promotion seems like the ideal way forward, the single most important step to take is to find the right partner. You’ll want to select someone who has a similar audience type and wants growth. In the design and construction industry, vendor partner relationships are the logical place to start. Analyze their audience. Understand the potential number of leads you might get from the arrangement. Some cross promotions may not be worth the time, effort, and money you invest.

cross promotion

More than that, though, you want a company that already has a good brand reputation. The last thing you want is one that may injure the credibility you’ve tried so hard to build. This collaborative relationship should build trust between brands and loyal customers, as well as helping to establish each company as a knowledgeable authority in their industry.

Once you find a partner that seems like a good fit, it’s time to develop the pitch. Take your time to learn more about their company and understand what kind of cross-promotion might appeal to them. You’ll need to help demonstrate the value you’ll be providing.

When the two of you are ready to get started, develop a co-marketing agreement that works well for both of you. You may consider starting small, for example, with a collaborative article in the next issue of Haven. Set clear goals and timelines, then develop your plan forward.

Cross promotion means sharing your business resources in a way you may never have considered, but the chances are good that this kind of sharing is going to be incredibly beneficial for your company. For more guidance on overcoming the frustrations of marketing and connecting with a loyal audience, contact the team at Haven.