Cross promotion, sponsorship & partnering with other companies

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Mother Teresa once said “I can do things you cannot. You can do things I cannot: together we can do great things.” Whether you’re carrying out humanitarian work or working to achieve marketing objectives, this is wonderful insight. Cross promotion, or partnership marketing is everywhere these days. Cross promotion is a great way to share the cost of a marketing campaign with a like-minded business, and to connect with consumers your current marketing efforts may not be reaching.5

When partnering with another business, it’s important to find a company that has similar goals and a strong customer base. Recently, Australian airline Qantas made news by announcing efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and increase sustainable practices within the airline industry. Qantas partnered with Tesla Motor Company, a well known electric vehicle manufacturer that already had strong sustainability efforts in place.4  They partnered as “Tesla’s airline of choice in Australia.” Qantas and Tesla are introducing joint marketing efforts, such as installing Tesla chargers at Qantas facilities and Qantas Club memberships for Tesla owners, all kicked off with a dramatic video shown on YouTube and promoted through social and traditional media channels.4

This June, Twentieth Century Fox is releasing the long awaited sequel to the 1996 blockbuster Independence Day. To tell the story of what has been happening for the last 20 years, the filmmakers created a big media push with online videos, a strong social media presence, and a website to help bridge the gap between the two movies.2 The US Army and Twentieth Century Fox teamed together to provide actual video footage from military campaigns for these promos, and created an online video game together. The two organizations also created futuristic looking Army recruitment videos using actors from the movie that direct viewers to the real Army recruitment website.2  One of the big reasons this partnership works is because both the movie and the Army are trying to appeal to a similar audience.

Cross promotion can also help two products within one business. The Peete family recently took advantage of their new reality TV show to help promote their new book.For Peete’s Sake is a reality show on OWN, exploring the life of an African American family with a child on the Autism spectrum. Holly Robinson Peete and her two children published a book called Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express this past February.3 The book sales helped to push the show among it’s readers, and the show helped promote the book among it’s viewers. As Jennifer Baker of Forbes pointed out, “The timing of this cross promotion has helped boost earning potential for both TV network and publisher—as well as for the creators.” 3

Partnering with another business can have some fantastic benefits: Broader market reach, joint budgets leading to bigger media buys, and innovative approaches to reaching customers. But it is important to pick the right partner. You should pick a partner where you both will benefit, and you should never partner with a business where one brand ends up “carrying” the other. 5 Also, unanticipated future occurrences can have both good and bad impacts on the way consumers perceive your brand. It is tremendously important to be aware of the risks of partnering with another brand. When Kmart partnered with Martha Stewart, their reputation took a major hit when Stewart was arrested for insider trading. 5

What sort of marketing can you do if you pick a company to partner with? That really depends on a number of factors, such as what your respective businesses do and what products you offer. A great place to start is with a video to explain your partnership. If you’re a retail or consumer business, create a 30 second TV commercial announcing your partnership which directs viewers to a longer, more in-depth 2 minute web video. If you’re partnering together on an event, show your customers why your businesses make such great partners, like a health organization partnering with a marathon. Brainstorm Media can help you create TV commercials or behind the scenes videos. If you’re a B2B company, a short video with the presidents or marketing directors of both companies can go a long way toward explaining how your partnership will positively impact your customer’s bottom lines.

Cross promoting your products in partnership with another business can have fantastic rewards. Partner with another strong business that shares your values and goals. Inform your customers why you’ve agreed to the partnership and use it as an opportunity to create content to share, making sure your company remains front of mind for your consumers. And have fun with it–partnering creates marketing and advertising opportunities you would not have on your own. But above all, don’t force a partnership that isn’t there. And remember that Brainstorm Media will be here for you to help tell your story, whether it’s to one… or one million customers!

Written by Bruce Houtz, Editor/Producer at Brainstorm Media, Inc.

1. Kiefaber, David. AdWeek. 2016, May 23. “Nike unveils a Starbucks sneaker, which will go nicely with the Krispy Kreme one: Available in venti?”

2. Lilley, Kevin. 2016. May 18. Army Times. “Army’s new recruitment drive: Sign up, maybe fight aliens. 

3. Baker, Jennifer. 2016, May 7. Forbes. “‘For Peet’s Sake’ finds success on OWN and with African American Demographic.”

4. Garcia, Marisa. 2016, April 3. Skift. “A Qantas plane races a Tesla in cross-promotion to push sustainability.” 

5. Jones, Sarah Beth. 2016. May 14. Business 2 Community. ” The DOs and DONT’s of partner marketing.”

6. Yager, Sarah. 2014, July/August. The Atlantic. “Doritos Locos Tacos: How Taco Bell and Frito-Lay put together one of the most successful products in fast-food history.”

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