Co-marketing is a strategic approach to marketing operations in which two or more non-competitor companies team up to create a marketing campaign that benefits all the parties who participate, as Entrepreneur’s Rich Kahn puts it.
Although many marketing strategists recommend it to small businesses as a growth strategy, it works as well – or even better – for enterprise-level companies.
Successful Co-Marketing Campaigns Abound Among Enterprise Companies
Many major brands have forged successful co-marketing arrangements, showcasing their product lines to new audiences. These profitable partnerships include:
- Sherwin-Williams and Joybird: Sherwin-Williams is the go-to paint brand for top designers and construction professionals. But when they partnered with home furnishings brand Joybird to create comprehensive design schemes for rooms that included both brands’ products, they opened up new market segments on both ends, increasing their brand reach and, eventually, their revenue.
- West Elm and Casper: Casper, a mattress manufacturer that sells its products exclusively online, ran into a roadblock among some skeptical customers who wanted to try before they buy. Enter West Elm, a world-class home furniture company. Together, these two brands combined their marketing savvy to come up with a way for customers to try Casper’s mattress in person before making a purchase. The catch? The mattresses were showcased in West Elm stores’ displays surrounded by West Elm’s stunning furniture, enticing Casper customers to recreate the high-end look in their own homes by buying the bedroom furnishings as well.
- Doritos (Frito-Lay) and Taco Bell: Who doesn’t occasionally binge on one or both of these late-night favorites? By themselves, they’re craveable. “But what if you combined the taste?” asked the two brands’ marketing geniuses. Partnering in a co-marketing campaign, Frito-Lay created a Doritos-flavored shell from Taco Bell’s signature crunchy taco – the Locos Taco. Not only was it craveable – it was downright addictive, with the fast-food giant selling a billion Locos Tacos in its debut year.
Build an Instant Customer Base for New Products
Just as Taco Bell did with their Frito-Lay partnership, you can give your new products an instant customer base when you partner with a complementary brand. Meet with your company’s top marketing and sales leaders for a content collaboration session, where you’ll brainstorm ideas for possible partnerships.
Then, pitch the ideas you came up with to your prospective partner brands. When you arrive at a good fit for both partners, collaborate with your new partner’s creatives to create content to introduce your new products to people who will want them.
Use Co-Marketing to Optimize Search Results
As Kahn points out, co-marketing is an excellent strategy to use if you want to optimize your search results, especially if you’re trying to expand your brand’s reach into new markets. Choose the right partner with the right audience, and soon, these newcomers will become a key segment of your own audience.
As your partner’s audience discovers your brand, they’ll likely share their find with their friends and colleagues, building a formidable network of backlinks. The more quality backlinks, the more you raise your visibility among your new target audience.
Use Co-Marketing to Decrease Marketing Spend
Combining resources and brainpower can help marketing teams on a tight budget save money while generating more revenue, as Ali Spiric points out. Although you might have to revise some of your content assets to meet your partner’s goals, it shouldn’t take up much time if you have a robust content metadata solution to help you find assets quickly.
Use Marketing Analytics to Guide Your Co-Marketing Decisions
Your marketing analytics tell a story. It’s the story of success or failure in reaching specific market segments.
Your data can help you identify possible co-marketing partners. For example, if the numbers show that your company has had little success in reaching one of your target markets, you can look for partners that have proved successful in selling to that segment.
Set Your Goals Before Choosing Your Partner
If you don’t know where you want to go with your co-marketing campaign, you won’t be able to choose a partner that can help you meet those goals. For example, if you manufacture cars and are looking to find a partner to help you promote your new electric vehicle (EV), you should identify the market segments you want to reach before you reach out to new partners.
If your goal is to reach potential EV buyers, that knowledge can help you cut partners whose audiences don’t match your target metric – such as gasoline manufacturers. And, it can help you discover potential partners you might not have thought about in past campaigns, such as EV battery makers.
Expanding your partnership to content creators with expertise and passion for the niche you’re trying to reach can drive even more prospects to you and your partner. With Americans digesting content at a greater rate than ever before, partnering with content creators who already have a sizable audience in that niche can extend your reach even further.
Image via Oberlo
Make Sure Your Content Platform Is Up to the Challenge
In a co-marketing campaign, you’ll need a content management solution that can reach across multiple channels. Additionally, if you plan to share campaign data with your partner, that platform needs to easily integrate with your partner’s analytics solution.
Since your marketing teams will still have to perform their usual marketing tasks in addition to running the co-marketing campaign, it’s essential to make use of content automation so that you can put routine tasks on autopilot and your teams can concentrate on creative tasks.
Once Your Campaign Goes Live, Measure the Results
You’ve invested a lot of labor and love into making your co-marketing campaign work. If you have a robust content measurement tool, use it to assess your campaign’s success in real time.
If you see areas where your campaign isn’t performing up to par, tweak those elements to optimize their performance. Share your numbers with your co-marketing partner so they can participate in making decisions about any needed changes. After all, they have as much to gain as you do.
Whether it’s measuring the results of your latest co-marketing campaign or metadata management and everything in between, DivvyHQ is a content marketing platform built for today’s enterprise.
With custom analytics that integrate with most companies’ analytics platforms, state-of-the-art metadata, a dynamic content calendar, multi-channel campaign management, and much more, you’ll have everything at your fingertips to churn out quality content.
Even better, you can try it free for 14 days with no obligation. Start your free DivvyHQ trial today!