Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cross Promotion: Partnering With Other Business to Better Serve Your Customers, Part III

In this final installment of discussing cross promoting I've suggested thinking about hosting events with complementary businesses and how this partnership might "cost" businesses involved in such a venture.

Hosting Events Together

Though one business may develop the vision for an event the responsibility of coordinating and implementing it needs to be shared. There are advantages that two or more establishments provide and gain by working together.  For example, if an event’s focus is outdoor entertaining the retailer may be interested in pairing up with a local winery or specialty food retailer. Another complementary business could be a local florist.

Allow time for a series of demonstrations, such as meal preparation using value-added processed foods, home entertaining, and flower arranging. Both businesses should also provide goods that could be included in gift baskets for sale, raffle, or door prize.
Considering Your Costs

Cross promotion cannot be implemented without certain “costs.”  Some of which include:
·    how much complementary product should be used in displays,
·    whether or not the shelf or floor space will be provided for free or if the space will be rented,
·    what discounts to apply if customers buy a combination of products offered by both businesses,
·    how advertising and promotional costs will be shared,
·    how many times during a season or year each business will agree to provide information for blogs, newsletters, etc. and the number of feature articles each business will write, and
·    how staff will be allocated for events and activities, if one business provides space for the event what the other business will offer in compensation.

Additionally, staff should be educated about the complementary products, how to use the item, benefits for customers, and related.  Staff should be able to answer basic questions about why the businesses are cross promoting each others’ product and provide customers with at least an introduction on how to use the products. 

These are just a few possibilities for cross promotion and obtaining access to new customers.  Your decision will ultimately depend on the amount of time you and your staff have available, your budget, business goals, and facilities available.  There are tradeoffs to consider; however, working together can provide benefits for your business and customers you serve. 

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