Marketing Tip #106
Just as two heads are better than one, a collaboration can be a great way to get more bang for your marketing bucks. The trick is to find the right partner. Here are a few quick tips for creating a tag-team promotion.
- Find a Yang for Your Ying
A good partnership will highlight the features of both businesses in a logical and practical way. For example, if you sell cardboard boxes you might partner with a tape manufacturer or shipping company. Remember the ads for Reeces peanut butter cups? Chocolate and peanut butter; two great tastes that taste great together. That’s what you’re looking for. If you’re still stuck coming up with an image, here’s a few suggestions to get the ball rolling:
Web designer + Illustrator = clever banner ad series on social networking sites
Car dealer + Auto wash = useful perks for new car buyers
Brewery + Golf course = golf tournament with beer dinner
Celebrity + Professional ballroom dancers = unexpectedly entertaining TV
- Answer the “W” Questions First
Start your planning by answering Who, What, Where, When and How Much.
Who: determine who your target audience will be. If you’re creating a direct mail piece you may need to compare lists and weed out duplicates, or narrow the prospects to include a more specific group.
What: A collaborative promotion can take many forms, depending on the partnership. A copywriter and an illustrator could combine talents for a memorable direct mail piece. A winery and a restaurant can put on a fabulous wine dinner for V.I.P. guests. The key is to create something memorable by combining your specialties.
Where: If your promotion is an event you’ll need to determine the best location. For a brick-and-mortar businesses that may not be an issue, but the self-employed work-from-home types (like me) may need to brainstorm a solution for this one.
When: Timing can be critical, both for you and the your target audience. If you’re launching a new product line for spring you’d be wise to begin promotion in February. And remember to consider the timing for your audience as well. Events held after-hours on a Friday are great way to capture the business crowd, but if your target is restauranteurs you’re better off with a early-afternoon reception.
How Much: The budget is often the best place to start. Decide up front how much you can afford to spend, and who will cover which expenses. Discussions about money are often the hardest to approach. Make this the first order of business and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the planning.
- Divide and Conquer
Establish who will be responsible for each part of the promotion. Divide the tasks evenly based on interests and connections. Perhaps you have a great caterer, and they may know someone to handle invitations. Play to your strengths, and share the unappealing tasks.
- Pool All Your Resources
The beauty of collaboration is to take advantage of your specialties. Combine not only your marketing dollars but also your client lists, network of volunteers, etc. and you’ll have more than twice the momentum to tackle the challenge.
Like any partnership a collaborative promotion requires a little give and take on both sides. Taking the time to find the right partner, and follow a few simple steps, can make all the difference.