We've all heard the adage, "Two heads are better than one." And within your business, the power of collaboration is probably no surprise.
But what about when you're collaborating with the other business via a co-marketing opportunity? Well that don’t work all of the time.
What is Co-marketing?
Co-marketing is when two or more businesses come together for the sole purpose of promoting their businesses and in so doing, they share the rewards. This is a really powerful path you can take to get your message out to a wider audience for less effort simply by working together.
In a co-marketing partnership, both соmраniеѕ рrоmоtе a рiесе оf соntеnt оr рrоduсt, and ѕhаrе thе rеѕultѕ of thаt рrоmоtiоn. By levering the relationship аnd reach of a раrtnеr, co-marketing campaigns are dеѕignеd to dеlivеr more leads, buzz, аnd аwаrеnеѕѕ, with lеѕѕ wоrk.
However when we start to get into co-marketing, there are things that can go pear-shaped and the 3 common reasons why co-marketing opportunities don't work are;
This is when two businesses come together and are not aligned because they have different audience's that they're talking to and attempting to market to.
This is a situation where both businesses don't have the same experiences. This causes an imbalance of resources. For example, one business has a turnover of half a million dollars and the other 5 million dollars. You've got to have a good match of resources and marketing knowledge so that each party comes to the table with the same effort so that they can share the rewards equally.
Here, there's no trust within the partnership to share rewards. Things might be going really well and everyone in the partnership is all okay but when there's a little bit of a problem, our human nature kicks in and we are definitely going to make choices that are going to protect our individual interests and that of our business. This is normal and is just human nature and that is totally okay.
These are three main elements as to why I see co-marketing opportunities failing, so how do you overcome this?
Over the years through the school of hard knocks, I've developed my own checklist.
The first principle I have learnt is that there are more opportunities than I can focus on. Many people come to me with many ideas and opportunities for me. However, it doesn't mean that every opportunity is a good match for me.
So I've built my co-marketing opportunities checklist that I am willing to share with you today.
The first part when looking at an opportunity is basically me asking three questions of the other person usually over a coffee or short meeting to understand their business. The questions are;
- “What does your business do?” (i.e. what's their product or service and how does it help their customer).
- “Who is your ideal customer that you seek for?”
- “What type of marketing do you use to generate your own leads?”
When I understand these 3 things, it makes the decision much easier for me to move forward. After the first meeting, I then proceed to look out for the following:
I am particularly interested if the business owner can give me answers to the above stated questions in a reasonable amount of time. A good business owner who understands their customers and their business model should be able to demonstrate their understanding within 10-15 minutes of just normal conversation. If a person is not able to articulate those three points, personally, it has demonstrated that maybe the opportunity is not right for me at that particular stage in my business.
After I am okay with the experience level of the business owner, I will ask myself these two questions:
- “Is their ideal customer similar to mine?” Yes / No
- “Do I feel that their product or service is going to benefit my customers?” Yes / No
If the answer is yes to both, I'll move forward to figure out if I can trust this person. Trust only occurs over time, just because I've met a person at a networking function and I've had a coffee with them is not enough time. There is an old saying, “actions speaks louder than words” that I love so much.
So, if I get to this point where I feel the person there is a match and there's a win-win, then there's a potential for us to move forward. I will invite the person for a second coffee/meeting and I look for co-marketing opportunities to be involved in at a micro level. There many co-marketing methods (check the Marketing Mastermind Group for ideas), but one that I use often is to invite them to my Social Media Share Group.
Social Media Share Group is a method of creating a small group of people between 8 to 12, who all agree to share each others’ social posts on their individual social media platforms. It is important the group has a clear understanding on the agreed rules. For example, all the group members have to agree that a person will only make 1 request for a Facebook post to be shared per week and all members will also agree to share the post on their personal Facebook profile (subject to the post being professional and relevant etc).
I will set up a Facebook group for my business and after I post to Facebook, if I want to get some shares all I have to do is drop that link in the Social Media Share Group. It helps greatly to kick-start a Facebook advertising campaign.
So remember, you can’t stay in your corner of the business waiting for opportunities to come to you. You have to go to them and co-marketing is wonderful method to create opportunities to grow your business.