Cross-marketing as promotion

Cross-marketing as promotion

Today's business reality is characterized by unprecedented competition, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. More and more people are not at all enjoying the prospect of spending their entire lives working for an uncle, with a significant limit to their maximum earnings automatically attached to it. Because the "uncle" has a spending plan, which does not involve raising salaries above the market, that is de facto penny in comparison with the income of more or less successful entrepreneurs.

At the same time, today almost everyone has the opportunity to organize their own online store, as there are more and more opportunities for online promotion of goods and services. Someone is lying on the couch and watching soccer and did not even realize that the time killed for 2-3 games, enough to give a start to their online business.

Our ancestors, even the most enterprising, never dreamed of this. And now a very popular tool - cross-marketing, which works great for offline sales and online trading. Despite the fact that the first attempts to use this method of popularizing business in the West, dating back to the early 90-ies of the last century, today's opportunities in the field of online gives cross-marketing new facets. In Russia, however, cross-marketing was only used more or less actively by major brands in the early 2000s.

Surprisingly, even today not all business owners are fully aware of the intricacies of such an effective tool. And in vain, because the skillful handling of the nuances of cross-marketing can accelerate the pace of promotion. Cross-marketing - one of the most effective methods of online promotion, and therefore the features of this tool is undoubtedly worthy of detailed study.

What is cross-marketing today

Cross-marketing is a complex of diverse activities aimed at a mutually beneficial collaboration of several organizations or brands. Cross-marketing assumes the joint analysis of client base data and also provides for development and realization of a common advertising strategy for advancement on the market. In the case of similarity of target audiences, such a friendly "pairing" gives the opportunity to benefit all participants in the joint project - more effective promotion and a parallel increase in sales of goods and services.

If a company decides to use such a tool as cross-marketing, it needs to find a partner and develop a common marketing strategy with the ultimate goal and to the interrelated target audience. Experience shows that when properly implemented, such interaction always brings the expected result. And one of the most significant advantages of such a marketing move is that the customers of one cross-marketing participant should become consumers of the goods or services of the second participant, and vice versa.

An illustrative example would be a collaboration between a grooming salon (a salon with a range of pet care procedures) and a pet clothing store. In this example, the same target audience (pet owners) and sold similar products and services. The result is mutually beneficial cooperation and customer growth without fierce competition. Cross-marketing has proven itself in the promotion of brands since the 90s and to this day, this marketing technology brings high results, increases sales and reduces the cost of advertising their products.  The main thing is to come up with an effective collaborative idea that works.

Collaborative cross-marketing style promotions have long gone beyond the usual offline promotions (for example, when buying one product - the second product was a gift or a discount). More and more businesses and brands are incorporating Internet technology and interacting with online resources (e.g., Burger King and World of Tanks).
Types of practical cross-marketing as a means of promotion

Representatives of different schools of modern marketing prefer to structure the types of this tool in their own way. But in terms of the potential interaction time of two or more organizations, most experts note two main types of modern cross-marketing:

  1. Strategic. It assumes the deepest possible integration of marketing efforts of several brands for the purpose of long-term interaction. The peculiarity of this approach is the absence of rigid requirements to achieve results in the style of "as soon as possible". The emphasis is on the implementation of activities that should lead to a cumulative effect according to the "snowball" principle. Initial campaigns and promotional activities provide a foundation for subsequent activities, and only in the second or third stages, strategic cross-marketing shows peak performance, expressed in an acceleration of sales growth.
  2. Tactical. One-time, short-term joint marketing activities designed to give a sharp, but short-term impetus to business development. The disadvantage of tactical cross-marketing is the high probability of inefficient spending of funds on one-time actions, which, besides the "noise effect" will not bring a significant, able to last for some time, sales growth.

Benefits of Cross-Marketing

From the description of the term cross-marketing it is clear that this marketing move provides a positive result and a potential truly plentiful benefits, sometimes inaccessible if limited to the usual advertising. Let's look at what specific benefits in promoting products promise such a partnership:

  • Reduced advertising and promotion costs for products participating in cross-marketing promotions is a major and one of the main benefits. A joint plan and advertising saves money for both partners, and in the case of mutual advertising on Internet resources, investments may not be necessary at all.
  • Growth in sales of goods and services is obviously the main result of cross-marketing projects. After all, by investing less - you realize more.
  • Increasing the number of consumers is also a strength of cross-marketing. Applying cross-marketing, you can quickly build up your potential customer base by advertising with your partner.
  • The method itself is fast and highly effective. Usually, promotions or advertising done together with another manufacturer or brand give quick results in the shortest possible time. At the same time, any of the partners always have the ability to change the terms of the promotion or assortment in case of a negative course of events.
  • Strengthening business relationships is also an important benefit of cross-marketing. After all, in the business world, having a good strong relationship with a partner is already a step towards sharing and gaining experience, raising your level of awareness, and possibly expanding your business projects.
  • Increase the level of confidence of the buyer in the seller of the product or service. Experience shows that the joint advertising of two brands has a more positive effect on the potential buyer than direct advertising of a single manufacturer's goods.
  • The uniqueness and exclusivity of the offer on the goods and services market. Promotions, which producers hold jointly, usually have a very bright and unique advertising - this increases sales and is remembered by the consumer for a long time.
  • Exchange of experience between specialists in the field of advertising and marketing in a joint project. To date, the accumulated experience is one of the most valuable achievements in the field of business. By participating in a joint project, business partners not only share, but also gain someone else, new experience and knowledge, using which in the future, you can make a unique independent advertising company.

In short, cross-marketing not only allows you to increase sales in a short period of time, but also expand the core of loyal customers with the highest level of brand loyalty. And this is the foundation for stable, long-term development.

Disadvantages of cross-marketing

With all the apparent benefits of cross-marketing, you shouldn't forget the pitfalls of this method. Despite the fact that it is possible to level out almost all of the disadvantages with a competent approach to practical implementation, it is important to understand the risks that can be expected. Informed - is armed, so let's analyze the potential problems in detail:

  • Lengthy setting of rules for working with a potential marketing idea partner. As in any other business relationship, cross-marketing is about developing joint rules, frameworks and boundaries in the campaign. And here you can run into a complete misunderstanding of the vision or a misalignment of the entire campaign by one or the other participant.
  • Companion dishonesty. Such a possibility should not be ruled out, and so these risks should be built into the plan for the company.
  • Inability to control and make decisions during all stages of the campaign.
  • Partial disclosure of business secrets and information about your own company to a partner in the campaign.
  •  A poorly conceived and improperly organized cross-marketing campaign, which can lead to large financial losses for all participants.
  • Choosing to partner with a competitor brand. If the offered goods or services are repeated in the participants of the cross-project, it will be a failed action, and the direct choice of the buyer, where both participants will receive a comparison of goods and decrease in sales.
  • Combining different target audiences (by interest, budget, status) in a cross-marketing campaign, which is very likely to lead to the failure of the project.
  • Reckless combination in the project brands from different price segments. Most likely, it will be a mistake to combine an elite brand with a no-name with no reputation. This will not increase the sales of both brands, while lowering their ratings. At the same time, under certain conditions, the effect can be reversed.
  •  Poor quality products and services from the equity partner. If a customer is disappointed in the products supplied by one of the participants, that negativity will automatically transfer to the products in the bundle in that promotion.

By analyzing the above disadvantages of cross-marketing, we actually get detailed instructions on how to avoid mistakes by implementing this technology in practice.

Is cross-marketing worthwhile?

Working with an axe (for example, chopping firewood) requires an order of magnitude less professional skills than skilled control of a microscope. Cross-marketing is a fairly versatile tool, which in skillful hands can bring sometimes unexpected (in a good way) results. A prerequisite - the professionalism and experience of the marketer, who is responsible for the implementation of activities. Any business owner, to tell the truth, wants to spend as little as possible and get the best result possible. In this context, cross-marketing in some cases, and in the right hands, just an indispensable marketing tool, because well chosen partner and a well-developed strategy virtually minimize the financial cost of implementing cross-marketing activities.

As a result, the customer base grows and even more - those groups become loyal customers who without cross-marketing cooperation might not even know about the product at all. And this is sometimes impossible to achieve using standard advertising methods. The conclusion is without alternative: cross-marketing in terms of prospects for promotion is clearly advisable to adopt any modern business. Especially if the state has professionals not only in marketing wars, but also in the construction of friendly marketing relations.