Coalition marketing… otherwise known as 3rd party partnerships, otherwise known as “buddy marketing”.  For today, I’m going with the “friendliest” of all three names.

Buddy marketing is when two or more non-competing, complementary businesses work together in their marketing efforts.  The key benefits for each business are:

  1. Reduced marketing costs,
  2. 3rd party endorsement of your business,
  3. Reaching a new set of potential, relevant customers who already have a relationship with your Buddy Business.

How does it work?  The general idea is to publicise the products or services of your Buddy business in return for them promoting you.

There are many ways to work together – some very straightforward, some a little more involved.

If you mail out brochures, include a leaflet and/or business card of the other business. Or even better, include a letter to your customers endorsing the other business.

  • LIKE each others Facebook pages.
  • Includes to each others websites when doing email marketing.
  • Include bounce back offers in receipts.
  • A print ad twice the size isn’t always twice the cost. Book it together and share the cost. You can even create the ad to look like two separate ads if you prefer.
  • Share other marketing costs, eg. co-sponsoring an event.
  • Run a joint promotion or leverage each other’s businesses for prizes. Business A runs a promotion offering Business B products/services, then a couple of months later do the reverse – Business B runs a promotion offering Business A products/services.
  • Become a customer of each other’s businesses. That way you’ll genuinely be able to recommend them and speak from personal experience.
  • Offer value for being a customer of both business, ie. special offers, discounts, bonus deals.

The point of buddy marketing is… everybody wins!  You, your business buddy AND your customers.

The key to successful is respect for each others’ business and the value that cross promotion can have, plus for both businesses to hold a similar level of credibility amongst the exact same profile of customer.

Ideally a buddy marketing arrangement is medium to long term in order to really reap the benefits and for the relationship to be credible in the customer’s eyes.  However if this makes you nervous shorter term “seasonal” arrangements are possible and/or the actual collaborative marketing can be simple and not too involved.

JIVE offers a buddy marketing register.  A place to register your interest in partnering with another business, with no obligation whatsoever.  There is no cost involved unless we are able to successfully partner you with a like-minded, relevant business. And even then, the savings you’ll make because of the partnership and value you’ll get will far out way any initial partnering cost.  So why not give it a try.  There might be a perfect buddy business already waiting for you.