Cross marketing is all about when the sum of parts is greater than the whole. Cross marketing happens when businesses join forces to market or promote a certain product, service, or image. Another form of cross marketing is when you use different marketing channels to market to the same people. It’s a powerful way for companies to associate spread their messages to different audiences. A good example of cross marketing is when coffee shops agree to sell a bakery’s goods in its stores and the bakeries sell that coffee shop’s drinks. Another is when you place an ad on Facebook and then place a similar ad on that person’s Instagram feed. The right cross marketing agreement can enhance your customers’ experience and build your brand image.
You may be thinking that cross marketing is a great idea. You have an incredible product, and another company you admire has the footprint and logistics. Ross Kernez from Hpone says thatby partnering, you’re gaining access to their network, and they get to showcase your products in their virtual and physical locations. However, finding good cross marketing partners takes work. Let’s dive into what cross marketing is and how you can use it to your advantage.
The Basics of Cross Marketing Between Companies
To get started, you need to know how a relationship with another company can help your business. In any cross marketing agreement, you have to relinquish some level of control, whether that’s putting your products on their website or bringing the other company’s public image into your sphere. Partnering with businesses you know and trust is a good rule of thumb.
Here are some of the most common cross marketing initiatives:
- Hosting a joint public or private customer event
- Linking products in one or more offerings/promotions
- Placing advertisements highlighting the two companies’ collaboration
Ironing Out the Details Before Launch
Control is often the biggest issue in cross marketing relationships. Who is going to have control over the process and how will results be measured? How results are accounted for and shared between the two companies is also something that needs to be ironed out.
Here’s what you should talk about in negotiations:
- Which party will manage marketing?
- What the costs will be and who is committing what amount of capital
- Who is managing the campaign?
For First-Time Cross Marketers
Our advice is to avoid taking on too much risk if you’re new to cross marketing. As we’ve said previously, cross marketing is a lot about control, and control is important when you’re a small company in the beginning stages of growth. The reputations and brand image of more established companies are more resilient, so they may feel comfortable taking a risk. From their perspective taking a risk can refresh their image, especially among younger demographics looking for companies doing new things. If you’re a smaller company, however, a wrong move can have a bigger impact on your business.
Start with something that you can manage and monitor effectively. In your negotiations, make sure you secure some form of control where you can change course and adapt if things don’t go the way you planned. Maybe choose one product for a short-term cross marketing campaign. Run it for a month and assess the results. As you repeat the process, you’ll feel more comfortable taking bigger chances.
Cross Marketing on Multiple Marketing Channels
Another form of cross marketing occurs when you use one marketing platform to enhance your ads or promotions on another. Why? When you optimize ads with cross marketing, you’re creating more personalized ads that create better leads and draw in people who are very interested in what you’re promoting. It’s a bit similar to remarketing, but you’re using different platforms instead of retargeting the same group of people on one channel.
For example, you can select a group for a Facebook ad campaign, and then arrange for an overlapping group to see another ad from your campaign on Instagram. People get more exposure to your marketing more subtly. Sometimes people grow resistant to a product, service, or company if they feel like they’re bombarded with ads every time they log on to Facebook. Using cross marketing can accomplish the same result without the risk of marketing fatigue.
Using Data that Cross Marketing Generates
Cross marketing on multiple platforms gives you more data you can use to make future marketing efforts more effective. Let’s say, for instance, you complete a social media marketing campaign. You can cross those results with your search engine data to create a personalized direct messaging campaign that targets likely customers. Your conversion rates will likely be higher because you’re threading the needle of people who are most likely interested in what you have to offer.
Creating a lead library and curating it based on your marketing results on different platforms is one of the best ways to increase conversion rates and generate the traffic you want. Measure the metrics and go from there. Your marketing will be more personal and impactful.