E-commerce Link: Mutual Benefit
1. Efficiency. Most of these co-op deals are set up as barter relationships, so they can be extremely efficient. Typically, the only costs involved are staff time for program set-up or performance marketing agency fees.
2. Third-party Endorsement. By partnering with a strong company, you reap the rewards of a positive brand association.
3. Growth Potential. In some cases, these relationships can be so successful that companies grow them into larger business development deals. This is relatively easy to do since relationships already have been formed and a level of trust exists between the two partners. Additional arrangements can be made for brick and mortar cross-promotion, event sponsorship, co-branded advertising initiatives and more.
Cooperative partnerships require a good deal of communication between all parties involved to make sure everyone benefits. Here are a few key action points you’ll need to undertake when participating in this type of deal:
• Get necessary internal resources on board. Depending on the deal structure, this might include securing Web development time; legal resources; staff responsible for tracking and measuring marketing activity; marketing personnel required to get the deal done; and creative resources to build ad units or design marketing materials.
• Establish available inventory for exchange. Do you have print ad space available with which to barter a homepage banner ad? Is your insert program maxed out, or can you accept an insert in exchange for a confirmation page link?
• Coordinate multiproduct departments. If your company markets multiple product or service lines, check with the department managers to find out if they want to be involved in the deal or if they have inventory to barter.
• Get everyone on the same page. Create a mutual project plan that states each partner’s responsibilities, and specifies when each task needs to be completed and by whom.