Co-marketing is the cooperation of two or more companies to advance everyone’s marketing interests. This kind of cooperation is usually between companies in different industries. For example, restaurants and bars often promote specific cab services or soda brands. However, co-marketing can sometimes happen with similar companies, usually through webinars.
How co-marketing webinars work is as follows: company A identifies another, company B, that has similar, but not identical, products and services. They invite that company to join a webinar to discuss issues in their industry. Business buyers that attend this webinar see the differences between the two brands. Some people on A’s invite list who never really wanted to buy from A choose to buy from B, and some people from B’s list do the same with A. A makes more sales, B makes more sales, and the customers get solutions that work better for them. Both brands get a better reputation.
In addition to the invite lists, companies also share their data and expertise. This allows companies to learn from each other and mutually grow. It also improves the overall quality of the webinar and makes it more likely that participants will choose to attend webinars in the future.
Co-marketing is a little different than most business because you have to be careful. You want to build a lasting and productive partnership. This requires good manners, open communication, and lots of work.
When inviting another company, make it easy to say yes. Selling an idea is just like selling a product. If you want another company to come onboard your webinar, make sure they know exactly what they are committing to with detailed task lists, accurate schedules, and realistic projected benefits.
Set a measurable goal. Decide on metrics that make sense for both companies. Set goals for attendance and generated leads.
Plan well in advance. Nothing is more damaging to a relationship than a tight deadline.
Establish good business relationships. Pick another company that you respect and that has access to new and interesting data or expertise. Once you’ve picked a company, stick with it. Give more than you get, at least at first. Do not ever sit back and let the other company pick up your slack, or you will have to start fresh looking for new friends, and have a bad reputation to boot.
Declare and negotiate conflicts of interest. Is there any product or service that is in direct competition with your co-hosts’ products and services? work out which products or services should be off-limits for advertising from both parties.
Speak before and after. Use video chat instead of email. See if the other company has any concerns about the webinar, both before and after it happens. Make plans to improve and optimize the process for next time.
Above all else, pay attention. Pay attention to how co-marketing helps both you and your co-host. Pay attention to what your co-host likes and wants. The success of your co-marketing relationship depends on listening more than on talking.