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How to expand your customer base by companies from related industries and enter new markets? How to add recognition to your brand, while saving on promotion? How to establish and strengthen partnerships with other brands? All this is achieved through cross-media marketing techniques. Read more about this in the RMAA Group’s blog.
Cross-marketing is a combination of marketing techniques that are used to combine the advertising opportunities of two or more brands with a fully or partially similar target audience.
The main rule of cross media marketing claims that among the customers of one company there are potential consumers of goods or services of another company. The exchange of target client groups of diversified enterprises is the essence of cross-marketing technology. Companies interested in these groups conclude a partnership agreement on the conduct of special cross-marketing actions. To achieve the necessary effect, firms are obliged to offer their clients products of the partner in exchange for a similar commitment from other party. A classic example of cross media marketing is the cooperation of airlines with hotels or insurance companies with car dealers.
When choosing a partner, you should focus on the following criteria:
• Companies should not be direct competitors;
• Companies should have a cross-cutting target audience;
• Promoted goods or services must be presented in one price category;
• It is desirable that the goods complement each other.
Cross-marketing as a marketing practice has many advantages. There are some of them, concerning Russian B2B market:
• Attraction of additional interested clients due to free recommendations of partners;
• Reduction of advertising costs;
• Involve the client for the first purchase;
• Increasing the coverage of the consumer market;
• Additional PR, the opportunity to advertise using partner’s channels;
• Combining the experience of specialists from different companies;
• Establishing of long-term cooperation and joint production of new products. With a stable intersection of interests, one-time cross-shares can develop into a strong friendship between the two businesses.
Also there are some risks associated with the using of cross-marketing in Russia, for example:
• Reputational risk associated with the activities of the partner. If your partner will provide substandard services, violate the law, or tarnish the reputation in any other way, your company will also have a negative effect. Therefore, it is important to choose a partner with a good reputation.
• Formality of relations. As a rule, cross-marketing does not oblige the company to unlimited cooperation, and the partnership can be terminated at any time by one of the parties. In this case, the provision of benefits for customers will be reduced, which will lead to a decrease in loyalty.
• Loss of exclusive cooperation. If your partner will work with your direct competitors, then the uniqueness of the offer is doubtful.
There are many options for implementing a cross-marketing. Let’s consider the most common of them:
1) Companies recommend each other to their customers;
2) Companies give their customers gifts provided by a partner;
3) Companies provide discounts to customers of their partners;
4) Companies provide discounts to employees of their partners;
5) Issuance of co-branding cards that give discounts on the services of several companies;
6) Joint advertising companies: general placement on banners, in TV commercials, in print advertising, joint e-mail marketing, etc .;
7) Organization of joint events: actions, presentations, press conferences;
8) Companies provide each other with their client bases for mailing and telemarketing;
There are other possible forms of cooperation. Cross-marketing can be used both for single action and long-term cooperation.
Traditionally, it is considered that cross-marketing is more suitable for the b2c segment: retail customers are favorably disposed to all kinds of promotions, gifts, certificates and discount cards, moreover in the b2c segment the brand image is more dependent on advertising. However, this does not mean that cross-marketing will be inefficient in the b2b segment. Let us consider some examples.
More often cross-marketing in b2b involves the pooling of suppliers of related products: for example, manufacturers of construction equipment and manufacturers of building materials, or manufacturers of equipment for poultry farms and producers of breeding products, or companies that develop software that can complement each other with useful features.
Let's take a concrete example: the distribution company “Bureaucrat”, the supplier of office products (from furniture to paper), is known for a number of cross-promotions with partner companies as Canon, HP and other suppliers of office equipment and office technics. Companies act together for b2b customers. Customers are encouraged to increase sales for specific product items (for example, paper by Canon or HP). As a result of sales, customers accumulate discounts. And at the end of the program, they are awarded a rebate (points converted into money) into a trade balance, the amount of which you can use to buy any goods from the "Bureaucrat".
Also, the principles of cross-marketing are widely used in content marketing. Companies can produce a joint content and distribute it through their channels. There are the following opportunities for using cross-marketing in the production and distribution of the content:
• Joint e-mail newsletters. Usually partners have their own base of contacts. Once united, companies can prepare a general newsletter and send it out to their bases. It is also possible for companies to send out mail to each other's customers.
• Joint white papers. The white paper tool allows you to fully show the customer the benefits that he will receive if he uses the services of both partners. It is also important that the distribution of such a book on the advertising channels of the two companies will be much wider than the efforts of one company.
• Joint preparation and conduct of webinars. With the help of webinars, you can attract an attention to yourself, your experience, to your company and collect a huge number of leads. Cross-marketing expects conducting webinars with the participation of representatives of two or more companies, which allows to disclose the stated topic more detailed and provide its audience with better content. In addition, two companies will be able to attract more audience on the webinar.
Cross-marketing is a great way to expand your customer base and conquer new markets. It should be noted that for foreign companies that are going to enter the Russian market, cross-marketing is especially relevant. A foreign company can conclude a partnership with a Russian company for faster integration in a new market. Specialists of RMAA Group will consult you on how to use the opportunities of cross-marketing to achieve your goals.
About the Author
Ksenia Kuznetsova is the Editor of the Blog about Successful Marketing Strategies in Russia. She has been working at RMAA Group as a Assistent of Client Service Director since 2015. Ksenia has experience in planning and carrying out of advertising campaigns for foreign companies in Russia.