How Co-op Advertising is Fueling Localized Marketing Programs 

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Co-op advertising — for example, when Coca Cola and McDonald’s, a CPG and QSR, cooperate to fund and gain exposure via an ad — has obvious local implications for the many manufacturer and distributor relationships that drive the brick-and-mortar economy. 

Russ Mann, vice president of marketing at the Advertising Checking Bureau, checked in with Street Fight to discuss the state of multi-location marketing and the role co-op advertising has to play in the space.

How common is it for multi-location brands and retailers to localize their marketing spend using co-op advertising? How local does it get?

Co-op advertising is multi-location advertising. A multi-location marketing program is fueled by allocating budgets and creative assets, strengthening success in a specific, targeted market. It gets as local as you’re striving for — whether that be with promotional events, geotargeting advertisements, or activating location pages to know where you should be prioritizing your spending. 

Commonality depends on where brands want to be. When brands are able to substantiate why they should be spending more money in one market rather than another, they can then boost sales through reprioritizing their budget and creative resources. 

What technologies and tactics are fueling localized multi-location marketing?

Brands will have to use opportunities for co-op advertising to try and reach consumers in their market, whether that’s in-store or online. There’s a lot of competition and over-saturation in a lot of markets, so in 2023, brands are likely to begin activations to make them stand out to the consumer. This could include joint promotions, ad slicks, or anything that modifies advertising based on specific locations. 

Localized multi-location marketing can also be fueled by brands expanding turnkey offerings to include sponsorships/promotions, mailers, and digital ads, or offer increased Co-op reimbursement rates for all turnkey activities billed through Co-op funds. 

What are the barriers to entry in the co-op advertising space?

Whether it’s economic challenges, decreased budgets or corporate downsizing, brands may find difficulty managing Co-op advertising for multi-location marketing both in-store and online. That’s why it’s important to be flexible in how brands ask their retailers to spend accruals. 

Brands need to expand reimbursement to include non-traditional tactics such as infrastructure, sales incentives, virtual events, and other emerging digital media, across all shopping channels.  Simplifying co-op platforms, refreshing initiatives and ideas while increasing communications and providing educational materials to retailers for a streamlined approval process is crucial. 

Taking the plunge into multi-location marketing can be extremely beneficial if brands supplement co-op programs to connect with consumers on a more hyper-localized basis, meeting them where they are either in person or through a screen. 

What wins or data have you seen to support the importance of localized marketing?

Localized marketing through co-op advertising programs has always been a win-win for both the manufacturers and the channel partners supporting these brands by sharing advertising and marketing expenses and strategies. Customizing advertising in local markets across any media, whether digital or traditional, helps land a sale and builds brand and marketing support. 

Brands must recognize new shifts in consumer reward preferences, especially those that occurred throughout the last couple of years and modify their rebate and incentive programs based on these trends. Using compliance-type programs to make sure the advertisements are compliant and in sync with branding and corporate requirements provides an immediate lift.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]
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