As tough as 2020 and 2021 were, there were several industries that flourished despite the times. E-commerce is a prime example of this, as seen in Shopify’s stock tripling in price from March 20, 2020 to March 19, 2021.
Despite the boom in online businesses, we’re seeing that many businesses are missing out on potential profits because they’re not engaging in cross-marketing and cross-promoting. But what exactly is cross marketing or cross promoting? And how can they help your business grow? Read on to find out.
What Is Cross-Marketing?
Cross-marketing is simple. It’s when two or more companies decide it’s time to work on a project together. Examples include Taco Bell and Doritos creating Doritos taco shells, or Etude House and Hershey working together to produce a make-up palette in the shape of a Kit-Kat Bar.
In other words, cross-marketing is when two or more companies produce complementary products or produce a whole new product together. By doing this, the companies involved are being put in front of the core demographic of both companies at the same time, extending their visibility on the market.
When Should You Participate in Cross-Marketing?
When an opportunity arises, you will need to do a cost-benefit analysis and research the company you might be getting into business with. Cross-marketing is a slam dunk marketing move when both your company and the other participating company(ies) have solid reputations with their respective clientele.
If you hop onto an opportunity without doing the proper research into the other business, the cross-marketing could backfire on you. If their reputation is terrible with their clientele or community, it will reflect poorly on your business because you decided to participate in marketing and promotion with that business.
You should participate in cross-marketing or cross-promoting whenever the chance works to your benefit, even if it’s something as simple as handing out business cards for a business that complements your own. In fact, handing out business cards for a complementing business may start an unintentional cross-promoting situation.
Why Cross-Marketing Helps Your Business
Cross-marketing and cross-promoting help your business in several different ways. Arguably the most important is an increase in sales. A cross-marketing agreement, or a subtle cross-promoting agreement like handing out business cards will lead to more people finding out about your business.
A cross-marketing or cross-promoting agreement also increases brand awareness by putting your business name in front of a whole different clientele that you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten the attention of. The increased brand awareness leads directly to brand recognition, and brand recognition is invaluable. Whenever someone sees something slightly related to your logo or slogan, they will remember your business.
Through a successful cross-marketing or promotion agreement, you’re also gaining brand authority. Brand authority is the level of trust that consumers put into your product or service. Brand authority creates loyalty, and loyalty creates invaluable word of mouth recommendations. This has the potential to do more for your business than any other marketing technique.
Finding a Business That Complements Yours
For some businesses, this task is easier said than done. Remember, different companies and businesses specialize in different areas for a reason; they require an advanced skill set to accomplish the job that they are trained to do.
The first question you need to ask yourself is whether the earned revenue is worth the potential turnaround with employees, the hassle of training the employees, or the extra work of getting the education required to perform the new job. Be honest when answering this question and be willing to step out of your comfort zone towards opportunities that could grow your existing business.
Here’s an example of two businesses that compliment one another well:
- Business A specializes in selling cell phones.
- Business B specializes in repairing cell phones.
While Business A could hire repair specialists and Business B could begin selling cell phones, that would require a lot of extra work beyond their existing expertise.
Instead of these businesses competing with each other, it is more advantageous for them to create a symbiotic relationship by simply being aware of each other. Business A will promote Business B with clients who need their screen replaced. Business B will refer clients to Business A when a phone is beyond repair. The cross-marketing to promote this relationship can be something as simple as handing out business cards or getting word of mouth recommendations.
Businesses that complement each other exist in every industry. In the building industry, The Coutts Agency actually services two such businesses — a log home builder and log home supplier.
The log home supplier produces the designs and materials package for log homes, while the log home builder constructs log homes. When the log home supplier needs a builder they can contact the log home builder. Adding to this, the log home supplier has their own lumber business from which the log home builder often purchases lumber for other projects.
Can you see how these two businesses work together so well, and the opportunities for them to cross promote each other?
Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
Complementing businesses that collaborate not only win financially together, but they grow together from the brand authority, trust, and loyalty that they create with their audiences. It is worth doing the research and connecting with other businesses to find out the benefits that could help you both grow.
Cross-marketing and cross-promoting offer the potential for many long-term and high-yielding benefits, whether your business is new or old.
What local business do you think you could collaborate with in a cross-marketing agreement?