You can’t do it all alone! This saying is especially true in small business marketing. There are many situations where partnering with another service or company to jointly “hawk your wares” would produce better results than if you were to simply market on your own. If you’re operating a local restaurant and your sales have slumped in the past couple of months, consider reaching out to other community eateries to host a “Restaurant Week” promotion where your neighborhood’s restaurants all offer special discounts within a certain time frame.
Many cities recognize “Restaurant Week” as an effective marketing strategy that attracts a considerable amount of interest because businesses are pooling together more value for their customers. Participants of the 2011 Louisiana Seafood Restaurant Week saw an 85.7% increase in sales during their campaign – that’s effective marketing!
Of course you don’t have to put together something as elaborate as a week long event to reap the marketing benefits of strategic cooperation; consider looking for partnerships first.
When I co-founded NuKitchen, a gourmet meal delivery service based in New York, I partnered with Related, a property management company for luxury condos. One would think that food and real estate, being the two separate industries that they are, would not work well to market together but my partnership with Related proved otherwise!
My company began offering food samples in the lobbies of Related’s New York buildings. Related was happy to allow us to showcase our gourmet offerings because our service was an amenity for their customers. We gave them an extra value point that helped them gain new customers and better their reputation. We also provided an exclusive discount to the residents of Related’s buildings, which meant that just by offering a few free meals (and at no other cost), we had access to hundreds and even thousands of new customers. Our partnership with Related proved to be vital to our success: it helped us establish our beginning customer base.