For many small businesses, co-op advertising is an untapped well of funding. Whether from product manufacturers or other agencies, arrangements for cash reimbursements for a percentage of your advertising costs on certain items are out there. The funding helps you advertise – the advertisement helps the manufacturer sell more product. Everybody wins.
What is Co-op advertising?
When a manufacturer wants to increase sales volume of a particular product line, reach a specific target market, or as part of their plan for brand recognition, they will make money available to retailers to share – in part or sometimes in whole – the cost of advertising that product in your local market. Many of these cost sharing arrangements will be for a limited time and will of course have specific limitations and requirements for participation. But you can be reimbursed for a percentage of the cost of your advertising – a very lucrative deal for your business, and a wise investment for the manufacturer. Everyone in the co-op chain benefits.
How do I find out if my suppliers have co-op money available?
Ask. It is really that simple. And when you begin to look around you may find other untapped sources of financial backing for your marketing. Depending on the specific nature of your business, look into grants or funding that could be available through trade associations, chamber of commerce, local entrepreneurial groups, or government assistance for start-ups, agricultural businesses or tech groups. Large entities like the state, local and national government as well as large corporations have many programs designed to stimulate economic activity in a general field or of a specific product. Sometimes, the raw materials used in the production of certain products also have marketing campaigns that could be helpful. Got milk? Cotton: the fabric of our lives. Pork: its what’s for dinner. And so on….
Often the requirements of the co-op funding are little more than placement of a logo on your print advertising and a proper claim submittable. Check with your suppliers – it never hurts to ask. And remember that a good print/marketing provider will be able to help you with the implementation of the co-op requirements as well as the claim submission and billing for the advertising funds. It’s a deal too good to not investigate.