Trending Now: Retail
Date: October 12, 2016
Most business owners know that local advertising can deliver powerful results and wish they had more funds to devote to it. But across America, billions of advertising dollars allotted to local retailers goes unspent. What gives?
Co-op funds provided by manufacturers and distributors offer retailers the opportunity to boost their local marketing efforts at little or no cost. Here’s how to put those dollars to work promoting your business.
A powerful resource for your business
Co-op advertising dollars are the closest thing to free money a business owner will ever see, and there are plenty of them to go around. The funds available for co-op advertising in the U.S. grew by 20% between 2012 – 2015, rising to a staggering $36 billion.
Co-op dollars give you to the ability to build a stronger, more effective local media mix. They can reduce your creative and production costs, as well. Because co-op advertising is brand-driven, it increases the appeal of your business by associating it with well-known, trusted brands. It also multiplies the power of your messaging by aligning it with brand strategies supported by national and regional advertising budgets.
Money on the table
Given co-op’s many advantages, it’s shocking to realize that over 40% of available co-op dollars go unspent. That’s more than $14 billion of marketing and advertising money left unused every year. Some experts believe it’s much more. We’re all familiar with the old adage: never leave money on the table. So how does this happen?
The reasons more local businesses do not take advantage of co-op programs are actually very straightforward. They include:
- Lack of awareness.
- Unsure of how programs work.
- Don’t see the programs as valuable.
- Perceived programs as too complex or time-consuming.
- Need assistance and unsure of where to find it.
Getting your co-op dollars
The good news is that these issues are easily resolved. How can you take advantage of co-op dollars? Here are some tips:
- Check with manufacturers and distributors to find out what programs are available.
- Choose the programs that make the most sense for your local market.
- Work with experienced, local media professionals.
- Follow all co-op guidelines to avoid issues.
- Track results to see what works best and build on success.
- Be sure to complete any required paperwork/follow-up is completed to maximize your benefits.
Decoding the digital side
The growth in co-op funding over the last few years has been driven by the rapid growth of digital advertising. It took manufacturers and distributors a while to realize the tremendous potential of localized digital marketing. But once they did, they rushed to help retailers make the most of it.
Despite the increases in funding, many small-to-medium-sized businesses have lagged in their digital marketing efforts. Hardly surprising, given the rapid pace of change in the ever-evolving digital landscape. Working with local marketing pros who have digital and mobile experience will help ensure you receive maximum co-op funding.
The local co-op experts
If you’d like to turbocharge your marketing with co-op advertising dollars, we can guide you from start to finish. To learn more about the many ways we can help grow your business, contact us online or call 920-843-9656 today.
Editorial/Research Staff, “The Changing Face of Co-op Programs,” White Paper, Borrell Associates, Inc., August, 2015.
Entrepreneur Staff, “Co-op Advertising,” Small Business Encyclopedia, Entrepreneur, NDA, entrepreneur.com.
Lieb, Rebecca, “Co-op Advertising: Digital’s Lost Opportunity?” White Paper, Internet Advertising Bureau, Local Search Association, Altimeter Research, October 13, 2012, iablab.com.
Ritkes, Gary, “Is Your Brand Making The Most of Your Co-op Marketing Program?” Sproutloud Newsletter, May 30, 2014, sproutloud.com.
Sterling, Greg, “Report: Billions in Co-op Advertising Funds Left Unspent Annually,” Marketing Land, August 1, 2015, marketingland.com.