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Marketing: Cross Promotion Offers Businesses a Win-Win

In business, competition has been the historical norm. Yet a growing number of savvy companies are realizing that joining forces with others can reap much more significant rewards than going it alone. When it comes to promoting a company, cross promotion is a particularly powerful strategy.

Known as “cross promotion,” the concept involves working with individuals, groups or companies to create more business for everyone through common promotional activities. At the simplest level, this process might involve referrals from satisfied customers or from companies that offer complimentary services. More creative partnerships may result in shared promotions between companies that have a common target audience or between companies that offer similar services in different geographic areas.

Kare’ Anderson, author of Walk Your Talk: Successful Cross Promotion, says, “Cross promotion has the potential for a big marketing payoff because partners can successfully expand through each other’s customer base.” She suggests the “marketing multiplier method” in which companies save marketing dollars while “multiplying the credible ways and places hot prospects see your service.” For instance, companies may print joint promotional messages on their receipts or offer a discount if customers buy products from two or more partnering companies.

Partnering with competitors

In some cases, even direct competitors can benefit through cross promotion. For instance, two small companies may be able to attract a large account by combining forces. While neither company could handle the large account alone, they can work together to share the profits. For many businesses, having a piece of a large pie is better than having no pie at all. And in many cases, the smaller companies together can outmaneuver larger competitors by offering lower prices due to lower overhead.

“Affinity marketing” is a related strategy that allows companies to partner with trade or non-profit organizations. A common arrangement in these partnerships may involve companies serving as sponsors or donors for fundraising events. The organization hosting the event promotes the sponsor company in exchange for some form of support. Since more than 75 percent of adults say they are more likely to purchase a product or service associated with a cause they support, this can be a very successful marketing strategy.

Companies who share promotional activities benefit in many ways. They tend to gain more attention in a less competitive environment, save time and money on promotional costs, expand their reach and frequency in delivering messages to their target market, and gain credibility by standing together with other businesses.

While the benefits are clear, business owners who want to explore cross promotional opportunities need to do their homework. In addition to conducting research in order to accurately identify your target market, it’s important to check out potential partners and make sure that both companies are trying to reach the same consumers. Once a mutual market is defined, it’s best to approach potential partners with several ideas for low-risk, low-cost, initial activities. To express your commitment to the process, it helps to make the first action even more beneficial to your partner than it is to you, Anderson suggests.

Business partnerships of any kind work best when all parties understand and agree to their part in the process. To avoid misunderstandings, document in writing the details of any cross promotional activity, including each partner’s cost and anticipated benefits. All partners should review and approve the resulting agreement.

Cross Promotional Advertising

Advertising is one area in which cross promotion is particularly useful. Many companies find advertising, especially television commercials, to be prohibitively expensive. Yet companies that share a common service in different geographic areas, for instance, can benefit from paying for a portion of a well-produced ad that simply inserts the appropriate company information for use in a specific area. Companies that offer complimentary services can save by sharing costs for an ad that promotes both products or services.

Anderson urges business owners to think creatively about “bundled offerings” with companies that share the same target market. Co-branding, shared display or office space, and co-produced special events are some examples of this growing trend. For instance, pest control companies can partner with landscapers, tree service firms and lawn care companies to offer bundled – and discounted – packages of seasonal services. As added incentive, all customers who purchase the package then may be eligible for a special prize drawing.

Speaking of prizes, an easy way to promote a partner company is to enter your customers in a drawing for a partner’s product or service. When the contest is over, switch roles so that your company provides a prize for a contest offered to your partner’s customers.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to cross promotion?

A Smorgasbord of Cross Promotional Ideas

Assuming you’ve chosen an appropriate partner company with a common target market, consider this smorgasbord of ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Ask partner companies to mention your services on invoices or letters to customers and do the same for your partner.
  • Highlight your partner(s) in your company newsletter, e-zine or direct mail.
  • Develop joint presentations or seminars at home shows or other community events. Or create an informational program featuring all partners’ services and offer it as a stand-alone special event.
  • Offer discounts to customers who buy packages of services from all partners.
  • Mention partners’ services when you speak to customers.
  • Pool mailing lists and send out a joint promotional postcard.
  • Share ads in local shopping papers or nonprofit event programs.
  • Promote specials among partners by distributing information to your client base.
  • Create joint coupons.
  • Sponsor a community or charitable event.

“Companies can walk their talk by thinking about the customer first, rather than the product, and looking for other ways the customer would gain convenience, savings, awareness or other benefits through the joint efforts of multiple vendors reaching out to them,” Anderson says. Fortunately, the cross promotion strategy is as good for the company as it is for the consumer.

Choosing the Right Promotional Items to Advertise Your Business

Promotional products are given to in response to specific actions, employee rewards, business gifts, conferences giveaways and tradeshow presentations. With a very little cost, you can effectively utilize a promotional item to generate company’s name recognition and create customer goodwill. By choosing a right promotional item, every business can advertise its brand successfully. All you need is to choose the right item for the right price. You need to get an item that best suits your business.

Whether the freebies are desk and office accessories, eco friendly and recycled items, executive gifts, health and well being items, leather goods, printed clothing, sweets and chocolates, electronic gifts, travel and leisure gifts, crystal and glassware, conference and exhibition items, printed pencils and pens, promotional merchandise or express promotional items, they fall into the broad category of promotional products. Promotional product is anything a logo and address can fit on. Nearly every promotional item contains company’s name, logo and a massage. There are so many different types of products available in market to be used for advertising and it is really challenging to narrow down your selections to just a few. There are few major categories, each category has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Food category includes energy drinks, chocolates, confectioneries, mints, sweet tins, sweets, picnic baskets, barbeque sets and mugs. This category is appreciated by most of people and is equally popular among groups of all ages especially children and teenagers. The items within this category offer with wide range of costs for businesses. If a business decides to use any of food items to advertise its brand, it should keep in mind that food items have limited duration. Some people might have allergen problem for a particular type of a food item and this might lead to limited use of that item.

Clothing category is the most popular category to be used for advertising by many businesses. It includes items like polo shirts, apron, bodywarmers, fleeces, jackets, jumpers, pashminas, rugby shirts, safety jackets, scarves, shirts, sweatshirts, t-shirts, tee shirts, ties, vests, windcheaters and workwears. This category is very popular as people love to receive a freebie in form of a jacket or a t-shirt. It turns your recipients into walking advertisers for your brand and company. A business should be very careful while choosing this category as styles of clothing change from season to season. Most of the clothing items are seasonal and can be used in limited time frame. It can be quite hard ordering multiple sizes. This category is costly too as giving a jacket away costs much more than just giving a promotional printed pen.

Office gifts category is very broad and contains anything designed to be used at the office. It includes CD holders, computer mice, correction tapes, desk accessories, desk calendars, desk pads, desk sets, paper clip holders, pen pots, post it notes, highlighters, mousemats, paper clips, rulers, staplers, sticky notes, stationery set, tape dispenser, mechanical pencils, ballpens, crayons, erasers, fineliners, fountain pens, pen sets, pencil cases, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, markers, rollerballs, table mats, document cases, usb flashdrives, flash drives and memory sticks, calculators and usb products. In recent years, businesses have come up with a unique idea of using environment friendly promotional items. These ECO friendly promotional items are made from recycled materials.

You can use a variety of promotional items to advertise your business and options are nearly endless. You might choose luggage strap, blankets, garment bags, golf accessories, shoe bags, sports bottles, toiletry bags, travel cushions, wash bags, shot glasses, beach balls, flags, magnets, torches, stickers, shoulder bags, name plates, lanyards, portfolios, ring binders, decanters, tankards, trophies, vases, bowls, sim card products, atomizers, briefcases, business bags, business card cases, cuff links, flasks, gift sets, letter openers, manicure sets, puzzles, wine sets, wine stoppers, lip balms, candles, skipping ropes, atlases, luggage tags, purses, swiss army knives, accidents kits, clothes rollers, car accessories, computer accessories, flip flops, ice scrapers, pen knives, screwdriver sets, thermometers, travel plugs, well beings, weather stations, organizers, personal alarms, stop watches, tote bags, rucksacks, crayons, pencil cases and many more. Among these countless options, it is very important for you to choose a right promotional product that best suits the needs of your business and is cost-effective at the same time. The best promotional product would associate your brand’s name with an item related to your industry. For example, an IT organization that wants to build customer loyalty might have success with mouse pads, stress items and even USB flash drive as your promotional items.

For promotional products or ideas please call the industry experts Yellow Pig Promotions today. Tel: (01255) 808085 or email [email protected].

Promotional Frisbee – The Fun Way to Get Your Company Recognized

If there is one thing children as well as adults enjoy, it is playing with a Frisbee on a sunny day. You can capitalize on this fun item that young and old alike enjoy by creating a promotional Frisbee that you can give out to customers, employees, and friends alike. This kind of an item can increase your brand’s popularity especially if you pair the distribution of these Frisbees with an event made specifically for these round discs.

How to Use the Frisbee’s Popularity

A Frisbee is easy to use and easy to carry around as well as fun to play with so it is a very good idea to use a promotional Frisbee for certain promotional and marketing gimmicks you might have. You can use a Frisbee competition or a Frisbee-related event to help create a better stage for the promotion of your brand, your company and your products. Here are some ideas for when you can give out and use your promotional Frisbee:

- Amateur Frisbee Competition. You can hold an amateur Frisbee tournament with your employees and their families in a public place where people can join in or can receive these free Frisbees from you. You can also give these Frisbees out if they register for something like your newsletter, a competition on that day, or something that helps boost brand and company familiarity.

- Jazz Up Your Frisbee. This can also be a way for people to enjoy the Frisbee you give out. They can register to join this kind of a contest where they will have to beautify a Frisbee with whatever materials you provide with the rule that they cannot cover up the logo or company name in the middle but will have to create an embellished promotional Frisbee that makes the company logo stand out or look special. Having the Frisbee fly after such an embellishment is optional.

- Frisbee Exhibitions. You can also hold a Frisbee exhibition in one of the parks in your area or near the beach or any other public area where you can have Frisbee professionals execute daring moves with a promotional Frisbee that you have. You can give out these Frisbees with your company logo on them or your company name on them to passersby or to people who watch the exhibition. You can also have these Frisbee professionals teach kids and adults some tricks with this disc if they register for something with your company.