Co-op advertising is a joint effort between a manufacturer and its retailers. Brands have the resources to create larger campaigns advertising their products and retailers need those resources to drive sales. Ultimately, co-op advertising benefits both parties, the manufacturer and the retailer, and enables them to reach their goals of increased brand awareness as well as driving more consumers to purchase.
How Does Co-op Advertising Work?
It’s common for manufacturers to offer co-op advertising programs to retailers as a way to share co-op advertising funds. There are multiple types of plans that manufacturers and retailers can create. A simple co-op advertising plan divides the marketing costs 50/50 between the manufacturer and retailer. In other cases, the manufacturer may cover 100 percent of the retailer’s advertising costs or provide the retailer with a fixed marketing budget annually.
What are the Advantages of Co-op Advertising?
By sharing financial resources between the manufacturer and the retailer, a co-op marketing plan provides several advantages.
1. Mutual Cost Savings
By leveraging the manufacturer’s marketing resources and the retailer’s relationship with customers, the two sides create a more efficient marketing operation that delivers considerable cost savings for both parties.
2. Increased Brand Awareness
Another benefit of co-op advertising is increased visibility for the manufacturer’s brand and products. When a manufacturer subsidizes the marketing efforts for retailers, the brand is able to share its message with a larger and targeted customer base.
3. Better Content Quality
Retailers may not have the branding expertise or advertising experience to create high-quality marketing materials. Most brands have marketing professionals who already create a lot of content. A co-op advertising plan makes it easier for independent retailers to get their hands on it.
Are Your Co-Op Marketing Programs Working?
How do you know if your co-op marketing strategy is worth the effort you’ve put into it? Audit your co-op marketing program to measure results
Whenever you launch any marketing campaign, you should determine its goals and KPIs before it begins. After all, how can you measure your marketing program’s performance if you don’t know what to measure? Use the acronym SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely — to create your campaign goals.
Indicators that Co-Marketing is Working
With your SMART goals in mind, evaluate your co-op marketing strategy’s performance. Look for the following indicators of success.
- Increased brand awareness as measured by formal market research or frequency of mentions in and social media
- More leads and increased sales
- Better brand reach, as measured by impressions or earned media
- Greater staff productivity by spending less time creating content
- Reduced expenses for design and advertising
- Increased website traffic, foot traffic and sales
For both brands and retailers
- Better marketing ROI
- Better engagement in social media channels
- More likes, comments, reactions, and shares
- Increased follower count
- More interactions that lead to sales
- Insight into what’s working and what needs to be adjusted
Indicators That Co-Op Marketing is NOT Working
If your co-op marketing strategy looks like it’s lacking in some of the indicators above, consider these factors that might be holding you back.
- The process makes more work for the retailer. Retailers are looking for ways to market your products better with limited budgets and limited time. Don’t increase their workload with cumbersome paperwork and complex regulations.
- The advantages to both sides aren’t communicated clearly. Make sure both parties understand the reason for the co-op marketing program. Brands should highlight some success stories to show the value of their program.
- Automate as much as possible. For a program to succeed for both brands and retailers, it needs to save time and money for both. Create a process that makes it easy to reimburse funds and pre-approve ads.
A well-planned co-op marketing strategy, as you can see, provides value for both brands and retailers. It positively affects digital marketing efforts in particular.
How Co-Op Advertising Can Help Boost Digital Marketing
Co-op advertising is a great way to expand your network and to share the cost of marketing between interested parties, but how does social media fit in with all of this? Co-op marketing often means traditional marketing materials like print handouts, but with digital marketing, a whole new frontier is available.
While 50% of consumer time is spent digitally, only 15% of ad spending is digital. So, if most of co-op marketing is not digital and it’s not on social media, where the majority of Americans have some presence, there are untapped marketing opportunities here.
Grow Your Co-Op Program with ThumbStopper
Engaging in a co-op program is a mutually beneficial opportunity that can lower advertising costs and achieve outstanding ROI in your digital marketing efforts. As a retailer and manufacturer, you should be taking advantage of co-op advertising programs. Put the money toward social and digital media advertising to expand your reach, increase customer engagement and boost website traffic.
ThumbStopper does the heavy lifting to publish your brand’s content to your social feed so you can take advantage of the resources brands are already creating and market your products. Contact ThumbStopper to learn more about what co-op programs may be available to you.