Co-Op Advertising is Local Advertising
With the cost of products increasing daily, it may be more important than in recent years for brands to offer co-op advertising funds to support their retailers. Co-op advertising means advertising dollars provided by the manufacturer or brand to channel partners (retailers/dealers) that sell their product.
Based on the individual co-op program guidelines, retailers will receive funds to help alleviate the burden of advertising costs. Co-op programs are designed to share in the retailer’s advertising expenses — typically in a 50/50 agreement, but they vary from brand to brand based on a variety of considerations such as advertising type, events or trade shows, and product focus.
The bottom line is that co-op advertising programs make it easy for local dealers and channel partners to engage customers, promote a brand, and make sales.
Establish a co-op advertising foundation
Brand and retailer marketing collaborations may include special promotions and events, customized ad templates, and targeting consumers that have made previous purchases. This marketing support represents a win-win for both the brand and the retailer by sharing the expense of traditional or digital advertising. As important as it is for brands to offer co-op advertising support, it is equally important for retailers to take advantage of this advertising support — it is free money! But how can co-op advertising boost buying power for a retailer?
All manufacturers and channel partners involved in the co-op advertising initiative want the same goal: reaching a target consumer, getting a sale, and maintaining brand loyalty. So, generating program guidelines to include built-in disciplines and audit controls helps to protect brand identity when working with multiple players.
Continuous, comprehensive reviews of the ads and activities provide greater control and influence over channel partners’ advertising behavior. With a lot of cooks in the kitchen, maintaining flexibility by including additional products, features or services, rebates, and incentives are key to the success of the program. Having these foundations before kicking off a co-op project will decrease confusion with the customer, allow for smooth relationships with the retailer/dealer or channel partner and preserve brand integrity.
Determine where, when, and how to use co-op dollars
Any product category that is devoted to durable, consumer-oriented products can be a great candidate for a co-op advertising initiative, especially if the brand is looking for a local presence. These can be branded products that typically last a longer period of time, such as electronics, apparel, building and hardware materials, appliances, and automotives. Co-op dollars can also be used for local events or fundraisers that might take place in-store or in the neighborhood.
The success of the initiative relies on the tactics behind it. Remaining open to reaching customers in new ways — whether they be loyal customers or an entirely new audience of potential shoppers — is an ever-changing and evolving approach to local marketing. This is how co-op advertising becomes multi-location yet local at the same time. One brand may send multiple dollars to stores across a wide demographic, supporting a hyperlocal approach for the store and a multi-location one for the brand.
Embracing the brand and locations of all partners involved generates a melting pot of localities, and success in one local market can be transported to another. When brands and retailers come together to focus on one plan and strategy, their power to make the sale only grows stronger.