Article: Utilizing Co-Marketing to Grow your Business

05/08/2017
by NEAFP Co

Utilizing Co-Marketing to Grow Your Business

by Brianna Paon

One of the great advantages of bringing your alpaca products to local events and farmers markets is you're surrounded by like minded vendors, catering their businesses to the needs of the community. Connecting with like-minded businesses and finding ways to work together can be mutually beneficial. The key is finding a business that you are not in direct competition with, but share the same demographics. For example, if you are selling U.S. made alpaca products, you will likely have success cross-promoting with a business that shares your target demographics, such as a local craft brewery, a handmade soap maker, or a dog treat bakery!

There are plenty of innovative ways to promote another business while trying to sell at yours. For the purpose of this blog, let’s say you do decide to co-market or co-campaign with a local craft brewery. Each of your demographics involves people that most likely appreciate quality goods, craftsmanship, and locally produced goods. By cross-promoting with a local craft brewery, you are both targeting the same type of audience, but your service offerings are totally different. So how is it that you begin this cross-promotion process?

Reach out to a local business that you find reaches a similar customer base and propose some ideas that will be helpful for each of you. There are several ways you can go about this that really don’t require much work. You could each display each other’s promotional flyers or business cards at your businesses so that more people can see them. The idea that one business is vouching for another business certainly can attract and strike interest in potential customers. Another option could be to exchange coupons with another local business. For example, if a customer buys two or more items from your store, they could perhaps get a coupon for a free or discounted draft beer from the local brewery. If a customer buys a pitcher of beer at the local brewery, they could get a 10% off coupon on their next order at your farm store.

Another good method could be to create a new pop up market or event altogether. You could invite the handmade soapmaker to vend with you at your next holiday event or open house during a weekend at your farm. By the two businesses working and promoting something together, each of you are sharing your respective audiences to boost your clientele. Recurring customers for the organic produce become new customers of yours, and vice versa. Again, each of you are targeting the same demographic, but are selling totally different goods. People have an appreciation for established connections between small businesses, and doing an event together, whether big or small, could prove to be successful for both your farm store and whoever it is you choose to work with.

Listed above are just a handful of ways you can utilize co-marketing / cross promotion with like minded, non competing businesses. Sit down and give some thought on local business types that would make a good fit, as well as ideas on how you can work together to make the arrangement mutually beneficial. Chances are you already have a vendor friend or two at the local market, they may even be one of your best customers! The next time it’s a slow rainy day at the market, have a brainstorm session on how you both can work together to make your small businesses that much more successful!