To cope up with the rapidly changing world, marketing has become a vital need for the businesses to keep themselves alive in the active market for maintaining customers. Various mediums are used to attract people towards the product, service or a cause. Advertising, print ads and various others are just a few methods of marketing, but what the current market demands is going for the innovative ways of attracting a vast customer base in an efficient and effective manner. Cross promotion is considered a new prevailing marketing technique that is used in various forms according to the needs by specific businesses. It is marketing a product or services to the customers of other related products. Cross promotions are usually done with firms having a common goal or values so that it can be ensured that both the firms are striving for a common benefit. Due to its cost effective nature, it is best suited for small businesses, but large firms can always make the best from cross promotions. Following are some of the ways how you can make the cross promotions actually work for boosting up your business.
Co-promotion is done when your business collaborates with another related business to execute a promotional plan with a combined input from both the firms in order to gain a common benefit. Running a marketing campaign alone can be effective, but not quite entirely efficient. Joint promotion helps a firm to increase its existing customer base by including in the customer exposure of the partner marketing firm as well. With the increased customer exposure, the future sales are bound to increase for a business to keep its roots to a greater market base. For example, a toothbrush brand collaborates its promotional activities with a toothpaste brand. They can execute a combined promotional campaign for healthier and better teeth if people adopt the perfect combination of that precise toothpaste with the specific toothbrush brand. Now, the toothbrush business has gotten a hand over the customers of the toothpaste and similarly vice versa. This technique can be taken as a mass media marketing practice for smaller firms and a strong partnership for larger firms in the market. But the choice of the perfect candidate for the joint promotional campaigns should be made wisely, because it greatly effects the business’ professional reputation with the customers.
Advertisements are highly effective but they incur a lot of cost to the firm. Another form of cross marketing technique is combined advertisements for two or more firms. This technique is a cost effective solution for firms who wants to have a strong customer base by putting in less money but requiring greater attraction. Firms can come into agreement by producing a joint advertisement and complementing each other’s products in order to create a combined and cost effective marketing tool that is appealing to the customers. In case of the commercial ads, each firm shares the costs and produces an ad that attracts people from both the firm’s customer pool. For example, breakfast Cereal Company collaborates its ad with a milk company. Both the firms are enhancing each other and in the process, are producing a combined cost effective ad, catering both its customers, i.e. cereal customers and the milk customers. Now, in case of the combined print ads, two or more companies buy an ad portion in the newspaper or a magazine and share the ad space together.
Joint referrals in cross promotional marketing can be defined in simple words as “word of mouth through businesses”. Two or more businesses can collaborate together and establish a relationship of providing reference of another firm to its customers. This gives credentials to the customers that the firm referred to them has the good enough capability required. It is just an authenticated word of mouth. The main risk that arises in this marketing technique is that the reputation of the firm comes at stake. If the company does not prove itself to the expectations of the customers, the repute of the firm providing the reference comes into jeopardy. For example, a gym refers its customers some supplements for their healthier exercises. If those supplement brands do not provide the promised result, the reputation of that gym also becomes doubtful. But the right fit benefits both the firms in terms of increasing sales and maintaining long term customers. Also, an element of encouragements can also be added to joint referrals. A company gives special benefits to the customers who reference the company’s partner. This helps in creating a good network of strong customers.
Businesses can increase their exposure by launching joint events and contests in collaboration with other firms. Sponsoring events helps firms in creating goodwill to the society or a group of people. Joint sponsorship helps in executing a successful event cost effectively. Customers acknowledge businesses during the events launched by the businesses. They can also launch educational seminars or promote CSR together. With greater goodwill created, greater are the chances that customer retention shall be maintained effectively. Effectiveness is obtained by the joint expertise by the firms and efficiency is attained by the cost sharing and greater customer exposure. An educational institute can collaborate with a few firms from different industries in promoting joint events and contests for cost effective marketing.
These were only four of the many innovative techniques that cross promotions offer. Many firms testify that their theoretical marketing plan is always different from the execution phase in which the actual collaborated marketing is done. There are many aspects that needs to be analyzed before actually commencing a successful campaign. Your job is to identify the key strength factors of your business and look for the enhancing features that your partnering firm has to offer. It is very important that both of your strengths must complement each other if you want your business to get a boost from cross promotions. Once the strengths are analyzed, the customer portfolio is next in line to assess whether the partnering firm is offering your potential future customers or not. The customers must have similar demographics, mind-set, taste, or any quality that is important for making them your future clients. Cross promotions are definitely effective and efficient, but a perfect fit has to be identified for a successful cross promotional marketing.