It’s your business: The art of pairing

Joe Smith

Special to The Record

Most people today are familiar with the concept of ‘pairing’, such as what wine or beer goes with a specific entrée or cheese. In the world of business there is also the opportunity to take advantage of this concept by joining forces with another like-minded company. In marketing terms this is called cross-promotion.

Cross-promotion is the pairing of two or more companies that market one another’s products or services. Sounds rather easy, however there are a number of things that must be taken into consideration because when you join forces you are also linking reputations.

As a result you want to make sure you are working with a company that shares the same values and can bring something extra to the table.

Therefore, there are a few questions that you should ask yourself and your potential partner before you sign up for any cross-promotion.

First of all, are you a natural fit? Do you both have similar customers with compatible demographic characteristics?  Does your potential partner have a good reputation in the community? Will you be able to enhance each other’s credibility? You also want to be able to work with someone who can bring extra marketing resources or knowledge into the mix. By the same token, what can you do to add to the overall strategy?

While the concept of being able to reach a wider audience is attractive, another advantage of a well thought out cross promotion is in the savings that can be generated through shared costs.

Cross-promotions come in many different forms. Here are a few examples to help get those creative juices flowing.

Offer a discount, reward or specialty item redeemable at your partner’s business and make a similar offer available at your business for your partner’s customers.

One of the easiest forms of cross-promotion is to display each other’s print materials. This could be in store signage, inserting flyers or brochures into shopping bags or producing a joint newsletter.

Provide links on your website or other social media. There could even be an opportunity to run an ad on your partner’s home page.

Produce a joint promotional flyer, share a booth at a consumer or trade show. If you are a service provider hold a joint seminar or workshop.

Bottom line, whether you are a large or small business, home-based or storefront, cross-promotion can help you stand out in the marketplace.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca

 

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