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Co-op marketing, The Revolutionary Marketing Concept

by Management

Co-op marketing which is already known as fusion marketing or tie-ins is one of the most rewarding, inexpensive, effective yet underused methods of marketing compared to the alternate methods of marketing. The saying “together every one achieves more” is highly applicable to this concept.

Thus co-op marketing is where two or more parties get together and combine their marketing efforts to achieve mutual gains. In simple terms, if X agrees to enclose Y’s brochure in his next mailing and in return if Y agrees to enclose X’s brochure in his mailing, it is co-op marketing. Similarly you can ask Johnson ‘if you put up a sign for my store in your business, I’ll put up a sign for your business in my store”.

Most probably Johnson will agree but why? It is because he will see the wisdom in your offer which provides an opportunity to broaden his marketing exposure.

In fact this concept is already practiced by many of the innovative corporate entities. This is why you see a McDonald’s commercial turning into a Coca-Cola commercial and ends up as a Lucas film commercial. This is also why we see airlines partnering with many related parties such as hotel chains, rent-a-car companies and even cruise lines to jointly market their products and services.

It is identified in recent times that there is a tendency of more and more companies using fusion marketing. This clearly suggests one thing for sure, i.e. the business world has identified co-op marketing as a successful channel of marketing which provides effective results at a significantly lower cost.

If they can succeed, why cannot the small businesses?

As everybody knows advertising does not come cheaply. Think about the ads in all those high profile publications or on major television networks. They can cost you billions. In fact most of the time it’s the affluent high profile companies which can afford the luxury of such advertising. This is where the concepts such as co-operative marketing enter the picture to rescue the small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

There are many instances where the small businessmen have benefited out of co-op marketing. For instance you may come across your local gas station which has fused with the video store. Further you may find a local restaurant partnering with a clothing store in the region as well as your favorite sporting goods store joining with the ski area, the tennis club or the golf course. Take a closer look at the environment you may find it is available everywhere.

Considering the above instances one thing we should realize is that almost everyone in our community is a potential co-op marketing partner. This means that there are many opportunities around you to tie-in together. So why aren’t you tied-in with someone else yet? It is because you have not suggested to somebody else your idea to tie-in. Once you tell them almost all of them will see the wisdom in your suggestion and be willing to partner with you and then you’ll realize the utter simplicity of spreading your marketing exposure while reducing your marketing costs.

However one thing you need to understand is that the fundamental of this concept is mutual profitability. If you go in search of your profitability only, you will never succeed in co-op marketing. So remember just like you benefit from the partnership, your partner should also benefit.

As the bottom line we can say that co-op marketing provides an ideal opportunity for a small business person with a limited budget for marketing. Not only it is an effective marketing channel but it also gives value for money. As a small business person, it is up to you to unleash the potential of co-op marketing, which is yet to be fully discovered and get the maximum benefit out of it.

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