Localize Your Marketing Efforts with Strategic Alliances (Co-Op)

by | Sep 17, 2021

Co-op marketing is a strategy for scaling a company’s marketing program by sharing brand assets and marketing costs with channel partners – like your vendors. Leveraging the dollars that your vendor partners have available is a great way to help stretch the results of your marketing efforts, and “borrow” brand recognition to the benefit of your practice.

Just as co-op marketing programs are linked with brand success, they can contribute directly to the success of local marketing campaigns. In fact, 88% of businesses believe launching integrated local marketing campaigns achieves better results when it comes to brand recognition and competitive advantage.

Ironically, 53% of businesses admit their existing localized marketing campaigns don’t allow them to fully capitalize on their current market potential. Here’s where co-op marketing comes in. Co-op marketing programs focus on strategic alliances with your vendor partners that can help you better penetrate your local market.

Every year, over 4,500 co-op marketing programs are created across 50 distinct product classifications. In monetary terms, this equals approximately $50 billion annually. Unfortunately, about 50% of these funds are never used. Why not? Because it involves time, effort, and the unknown.

It can be challenging to foresee how much a practice may benefit from engaging with co-op marketing, or how much funding may be available. You may have to explain how you would like to use those funds, and figure out how involved your vendor partner will need to be to participate with you. There may be paperwork or applications to complete to get started. That doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try – or at least ask questions.

Many practices do not reach out to their vendors to inquire about co-op availability and the development of local marketing campaigns. And often, practices shy away from co-op funds because they “don’t have the time.” Despite the process involved in obtaining co-op marketing vehicles and reimbursement, the benefits can be worth your efforts. Even if you receive just one new patient as a result!

These tips can help you make your co-op marketing efforts as productive as possible, and avoid some of the potential stressors of co-operative programs.

Have a set of clear objectives

You need to establish a mutual understanding as to how your funds are being spent, and what you will receive, in order to prevent misunderstandings later on.

Make sure you are able to track your spend

Your vendors should be able to track every dollar spent through your co-op plan. This helps you determine the success of your localized co-op campaign, as well as what vehicles will be most useful in the future.

Get a specific point of contact

Some vendors have a specific point person who will assist you in your co-op efforts, from providing you with information on funds you have available, to creating campaign materials.

Marketing is often a coordinated effort between vendors and practices that join together to reach the right consumers and deliver the right products to meet their needs. Co-op marketing is a great way to reach this favorable end!

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