Years ago I read a great article written by Donald Libey, a terrific strategic planner on the east coast. He wrote about consumer bundling, which was non-competing companies working together to hit a common target. The idea was brilliant and over my years at Hasselblad, we did promotions and advertising with Kodak, Bogen Photo (Now Manfrotto), Polaroid and even L.L. Bean.
We’re all tired of the rising costs of just about everything, but there is a solution. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your marketing costs, without cutting back on your exposure, look for some partners to share the burden of direct mail and cross-promotions. It’s not a new concept and I’ve written about different aspects of this so many times in the past.
Here’s a prime example: We’re about to head into the “slow season,” the first quarter of the new year. It’s the perfect time to find a few partners to share the cost of a winter or spring promotion.
Looking for ways to promote family/children photography? How about teaming up with a florist or children’s clothing store and design a cross-promotion for each of your businesses.
A few years back Vicki Taufer launched a very successful pet photography business with “Dog Days of Summer.” She found partners to help promote her pet promotion every summer with a pet food company, a local Dog “Barkery” and the animal shelter.
In terms of the actual presentation to your target audience, it can be anything from a mailing with a series of independent offers, like a smaller version of the “Val-Pak” envelopes we all receive at our homes, to an actual cross-promotion. Another good example is prom season in the spring and your opportunity to partner with a tux shop, limo service or florist.
It might not sound very upscale, described in brief here, but that’s where your creativity comes in when designing the offer and the promotion.
Consumer bundling is the perfect way for you to promote your business without having to absorb the full burden of the cost. Plus, the partners in the promotion become ambassadors for each other’s business. And here’s one more idea on cross-promoting – team up with a few other photographers! How about the combination of a wedding photographer and a children/baby photographer cross-promoting each other’s work?
Don’t let the cost of reach and marketing slow you down in 2018. Look for partners and remember, two other businesses working together on a mailing, for example, reducing your cost to a third! This is like a bunch of friends going to lunch – you just need a few new partners to split the check!