Welcome to the Small Business Era
What is Cooperative Marketing? The textbook definition of Cooperative Marketing says that it is a marketing program which involves two or more participating companies, institutions or organizations. It is a very cut and dry definition, but does that really explain what it is? Not entirely. If a person or company is presented with a cooperative marketing opportunity, and that is the definition they use, they may make a poor decision regarding the opportunity. If they were provided with examples, these companies would have given more thought to working with other companies engaged in achieving a similar goal. An example of Cooperative Marketing with two different types of companies could be a small retail company needing to create a website for their expanding client base. The retailer could negotiate with the web design company for significantly reduced design fees. In exchange for the reduced fees, the web company could insist on free ad placement throughout the retailer’s web site. This arrangement is also referred to as cross marketing and can be very effective in reducing expenses and gaining exposure. There are many avenues available to explore cooperative marketing opportunities. Among the more traditional venues are chambers of commerce, networking groups, and other b2b events. Traditional social media is also a good source to search for or post cooperative marketing opportunities, however all these traditional sources require a bit of effort, focus and time. A new business social media site, WinWinUSA.com, plans to change the cooperative marketing landscape for businesses. This is a site for all companies across America to connect and become allies with one another. WinWinUSA offers companies the opportunity to create guided cooperative marketing opportunity posts, or search for existing co-op marketing posts. The intent is for businesses to grow their company as well as help others grow. A representative from WinWinUSA offered the following real examples gleamed from their site of members who successfully engaged in co-op marketing.
“Senix Creek Inn, a waterfront restaurant trying to recover from economic damage from Hurricane Sandy partnered with Fab Face Fun, a business developed and run by a child, for Kids Karaoke parties. Fab Face Fun will provide face painting and other activities for the children at the venue. Senix Creek gains added exposure and access to new patrons, thus growing their business with no additional marketing expense. Fab Face Fun obtains an elegant, known and trusted venue to gain market exposure and brand recognition at no expense.”
“EcoFriendly Printer & WinWin engage in a successful cooperative marketing opportunity at the NYXPO. EcoFriendly was looking to expand their brand and gain access to new business customers. After allying on WinWin with Win-Win Solutions, EcoFriendly came across a Cooperative Marketing opportunity posted by WinWin. WinWin purchased booth space at the Javitz Center for the NYXPO to announce themselves to the NY business market. WinWin redesigned literature for the show making available valuable space for a business ad. EcoFriendly and WinWin agreed upon an arrangement where EcoFriendly would print the literature at a substantial discount in exchange for the valuable literature space and ability to attend the NYXPO as a guest. EcoFriendly gained access to thousands of businesses by virtue of the literature handouts. WinWin reduced expenses and gained an additional body at the NYXPO to promote WinWin.”
Cooperative Marketing is based on collaboration vs competition. Progressive companies are adding tangible value to their bottom lines by actively pursuing and engaging in these arrangements. According to WinWinUSA, their analysis suggests a notable shift in the business community towards more collaborative initiatives, especially within the small to medium sized business community.