By Boyd Wason
In general, marketing is an individual sport.
As an endeavor that helps grow companies, an effective approach must be sustainable, industry-specific, and carefully crafted, and sharing yours with others is generally a good way to help a competitor gain footing.
There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and co-marketing is one of them. While it may seem counter-intuitive, partnering with another company in your industry can be mutually beneficial, bringing two sets of strengths and resources together in order to create something that has advantages for everyone involved.
What Is Co-Marketing?
Co-marketing is a concept that brings two or more companies together in a joint marketing effort. Most common in content marketing, co-marketing is a platform for collaboration, allowing multiple marketing teams to come together to create something unique and powerful using two sets of resources. While some companies are hesitant about sharing the spotlight with another business, co-marketing offers many benefits, providing a way to reach a new market, access to additional research and areas of expertise, and double the promotional power to put behind a campaign. By teaming up with another business, you can open new doors, target a new audience, and add a unique element to your traditional content strategy.
Choose a Partner
A partner in a co-marketing project should be a complementary business to yours, one that does not directly compete but is still related to what you have to offer. If your company sells fast casual food, for example, teaming up with a local dessert bar gives you access to a similar audience that appreciates food-based products. If you already have ties to marketing departments at companies you have in mind, a direct email or phone call is a good way to start. Social media is another good way to make connections, giving you a method of contact that isn't too personal or intrusive.
Set a Goal
Co-marketing should not be one company doing a favor for another; it should be a fully symbiotic process that offers benefits to both parties. Before diving in and setting up a work schedule with a partner who has agreed to work with you, make sure your goals align. If your goal is to expand your audience while your co-marketing partner wants to announce a new promotion, you may have a challenge creating content that works. Everyone should be on the same page before getting started. Once a goal is decided upon, set up clear expectations and timelines that work for everyone, ensuring a smooth, easy, and conflict-free process.
Sometimes, two heads really are better than one. Co-marketing transforms an individual process into a joint one, allowing the advantages of multiple companies to come together in one unified project. Offering benefits ranging from increased visibility to enhanced creditability, co-marketing campaigns can be highly effective for your company, giving you new and diverse ways to get your message across to those who need to hear it most.