A Quick Overview on Successful Cross-Promotion
by Kare Anderson, Author & Speaker
WHAT is a Cross Promotion?
"Walk Your Talk" is when two or more groups (businesses, government agencies, or nonprofit agencies) with shared values and markets act together to reach their shared markets more memorably, efficiently, frequently, and credibly. They "walk their talk" by thinking about the customer first, rather than the product, and looking for other ways the customer would gain convenience, savings, awareness, or other benefits through the joint efforts of multiple vendors reaching out to them.
WHY Cross-Promote? The Benefits.
- You stand out. You can provide more credible, valuable, and eye-catching offers through your partner in ways and places where your competition isn't even in sight. For example, to reach professional women, cross-promotional partners distributed "Tips - Plus - Offer" flyers from each other. The Lexus dealer put the flyers in their windows and car seats. The upscale health spa, investment advisor, and medical clinic included them in their mailings and on their counters. The dry cleaner placed them on hangers, and the cellular phone agent put them in the new phone boxes. Their cross-promotion also stood out by matching their targeted customers' values, lifestyles, needs, or other commonality. For example, many of these professional women respond best to signs of respect -- especially where they don't always expect to get it (car dealer), thoughtful attention (doctor's office), and convenience (dry cleaner).
- You reach more customers with less time and money. Partners' cross-promotions can be tied to their market's special need (left-handed, pregnant, promoted, or pressed for time), value (vegetarian, non-smoker or "only the best"), lifestyle (heavy traveler, gourmet cook, or avid shopper), job (night worker, doctor, or salesperson), time of day activity (morning coffee, Saturday errands, or dinner), time of year (school's out, Thanksgiving, or biggest local festival), time of life (divorce, graduation, or birthday) or even preoccupation (dieter, article clipper, or procrastinator).
- You save money You save money by sharing expenses/resources with partner(s). Split costs of a common "offer" or promotion card, or trade free gifts of your services with products of your partners -- to offer each others' customers.
- You reach more people You reach more potential guests by working with partners who are reaching the same kinds of people, but they may not be your customers yet.
- You reach people more frequently You reach people more often because your exposure at least doubles with just one partner -- your cross-promotion appears in front of both customer bases.
- You stand out You gain memorability because your promotions are more unique and eye-catching than the usual advertisement or public relations.
- You build credibility You gain credibility as your partner(s) tout your services or products.
- You stabilize cash flow You and your partner(s) can help each other through "slow times" and leverage opportunities during "busy times."
- You make news You become more newsworthy when you carry out unusual cross-promotions, especially with unlikely partners or nonprofit and/or government partners.
- You generate more reasons to buy -- and buy more You offer your customers more reasons to buy and more reasons to visit more frequently, when you involve ideas and resources from partner(s).
- You improve support of community causes You are more efficient when you collaborate with the right partners.
- You have fun You can have fun trying new ideas with new partners -- and see the positive results as intrigued customers are attracted to your business or public agency, with more reasons to buy.
HOW to Take the Right Steps to Cross-Promoting Target your specific market Pick a niche market you want to reach better, more, differently, memorably, or credibly (for example, frequent business travelers, entrepreneurs, new parents, Human Relations managers seeking gifts for promoted employees, outdoor enthusiasts). Consider beginning with entrepreneurs and "Walk Your Talk" to reach out to them. Who's on your common ground? Brainstorm to consider other owners / managers who also want to reach your "mutual market." Other than your niche market, the universally most helpful partners -- the "Most Valuable Cross-Promotional Players (MVPs)" -- are the three main kinds of businesses most people visit at least once a month: banks (waiting areas, bill stuffers, window space, and a need to differentiate their service), supermarkets (window, check - out counters, grocery bag space), and gas stations (plexiglass flyer rack on gas pump). Start safely and successfully Choose a "quick-start," low-risk first action to propose to a potential cross-promotional partner. Jump start Propose a "Jump Start" action from the article on "14 Low-Risk Ideas." Propose partnership to someone you know already or who has a very strong mutual interest in the same market. Demonstrate goodwill and commitment to partnering by making the first cross-promotional action even more beneficial to your partner than to you. One plus one plus one can equal five When you gain agreement with your partner to carry out your first action, ask your new partner to consider approaching a third partner to join you. With the right third partner, you increase the credibility, quality, and quantity of your visibility -- and lower each partner's costs. Get concrete Be very specific with your partners about what each of you will contribute (including time, money, products or services, employees' participation, store space) and how you will benefit. Then write a simple agreement for all partners to read and approve. Just do it! Carry out your first cross-promotional action with as much forethought, care, and fun as you might any newly valued venture or friendship -- which it might be. Plentiful praise Thank your partner(s), employees, guests, vendors, and any others who even remotely helped to make the action happen. Also, praise them to each other. De-brief immediately Immediately after the action, compare notes about the level of success, needed improvements, and -- if considered mutually successful -- the next cross-promotional action on which to embark. © by Kare Anderson. All rights reserved. Kare Anderson is a behavioral futurist who speaks and writes about "Say It Better" methods of thoughtful communication, conflict resolution, cross-promotion and outreach, and multisensory techniques to create more memorable on-site experiences. An Emmy-winning former TV commentator, Wall Street Journal reporter, she’s a national columnist in 98 monthly magazines (from Gourmet Retailer to Broadcast Engineering), nine-time author ( Getting What You Want, Pocket Cross-Promotions, Make Yourself Memorable, Beauty Inside Out, Cutting Deals With Unlikely Allies, Resolving Conflict Sooner...) and publisher of the "Say It Better" online newsletter now read by over 17,000 people in 32 countries. Anderson is also the co-founder of The Compelling Communications Group The Compelling Communications Group