The Power of Cross Marketing
In just about every industry and across almost every facet of life, there is strength in numbers. There is power in partnerships. There is evidence that two heads are better than one.
In marketing specifically, bringing together two separate local businesses to create a joint marketing initiative – known as cross marketing, or cross promotion – can be a hugely lucrative endeavor for both parties.
For many local small businesses, the benefits are vast. Cross promoting on social media or across other traditional platforms can help you:
- Increase the size of your audience
- Maximize your reach
- Show that you are an active part of your local community
- Increase the likelihood for referrals
- Get the most out of your marketing budget by allowing you to split the costs of your marketing collateral
Overall, cross-selling strategies are most effective when utilized as part of a larger marketing strategy. So, before you start seeking out that perfect cross-marketing partner, you’ll want to make sure you have your own marketing goals in place: Are you looking for a direct return on investment (i.e. new clients), or is increasing your brand awareness a greater priority?
Once you’ve established your marketing goals, you can begin to think about your audience and what their interests and needs are – outside of what you can offer them. Ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience? What are their demographics?
- What are their goals?
- What are their recurring needs?
- What special events may they have on the horizon?
In other words, you’ll want to consider what your core audience may be shopping for now, as well as what they may need in the near future. If they are purchasing these items on a regular basis and purchasing your items on a regular basis, then you may have found a cross-marketing match. A business that offers products that meet the needs of your audience is likely to have customers that are interested in your product as well; those customers just don’t know about you yet!
Cross-selling opportunities also exist with bloggers who have a strong influence in your industry and who have firmly established audiences, or with non-profits that have highly-engaged audiences and can help you build a positive reputation in the community.
You’ll know a potential partner is a good cross-marketing match if:
- You both share mutual beneficial offerings that fit your customers’ interests
- The other business owner has a passionate interest in collaborating with you
- The other business owner has an overall marketing goal of growing their business
On the other hand, you may want to rethink creating a partnership if:
- The other business owner does not have clear overall marketing goals
- You leave a discussion without a clear vision for the campaign
- You don’t share core values
- You have conflicting opinions or traits that may distract from your goals
So, before you head into a meeting with a potential partner, make sure you have clearly defined your own goals and KPIs; what you can offer your partner’s customers; your preferred length of the promotion; and whether you’d like to bring any additional companies into the mix – all of which will help you evaluate the strength of the partnership.
Creating your cross-marketing approach
Assuming you’ve found a cross marketing partner that shares your vision, the next step is to determine the type of promotion that is best suited for achieving your collective goals. Most cross-selling techniques take the form of special packages, exclusive discounts, gifts or contests.
Then, whether you’ll be cross promoting on social media or via more traditional platforms, you’ll need to work together with your partner to determine what you’re actually going to do to spread the word about your alliance.
How to cross market via traditional media
The key to this approach is getting the word out locally. Designing ads for newspapers, local magazines and other publications is an essential first step. You’ll also want to design flyers or other hard-copy rack cards to not only display within your own businesses, but to also share with the local chamber of commerce, business organizations and community groups.
How to cross market via digital media
Cross promotion through digital media requires a dedicated online presence, both via email marketing and social media advertising. To begin your email marketing approach, you may choose to tease the cross-marketing partnership in an email newsletter, ultimately following it up with an official announcement, and then creating an email drip campaign to follow up with customers who take advantage of the offer.
On social media, repetition is key. For ongoing promotions, it’s wise to post about them at least once a month. For special event promotions, the goal should be to post at least once a week for a few months. You may also consider running a social media advertisement or boosting your posts to increase your reach, and you should definitely mention and tag your partner in any discussion of the cross-marketing initiative.
Analyzing the results of your cross-marketing partnership
Analyzing the success of the promotion – and determining any areas for improvement – requires asking the following questions:
- How did your promotion measure up? In revisiting your KPIs, did you meet your goals?
- How well did this partnership work? Was your partner easy to work with? Did you enjoy the experience? Were you able to find mutual benefits?
- What other businesses may you add to this partnership next time?
- Which of your marketing tactics worked most effectively? Which ones didn’t perform the way you had hoped?
In summary, the keys to a successful cross-marketing partnership are setting up your own individual goals and KPIs before getting started, finding the right partner, creating a promotion that your shared followers will be interested in taking part in, and opening yourself up for improvements on the next cross-marketing endeavor.
For additional help cross promoting on social media or through other more traditional channels, contact Paradigm Marketing and Design today to schedule a consultation.