Creating and executing successful in-store promotions is no easy feat. Coming up with a novel and engaging idea is only half the battle, and a tough one at that! Getting the word out is an equally taxing task. Both are made exponentially easier when you expand your horizons and consider partnering with other local businesses.
Choosing a Strategic Partner
The first step to planning a successful event or promotion with another local business is choosing the right partner. There are 3 factors to consider when choosing a strategic partner for your events and promotions:
- Complementary, but Not Competing: While the connection does not have to be immediately obvious, there should be a logical link between your company and your partners. For instance, a clothing boutique and restaurant might team up on an ultimate date night promotion: the boutique featuring special pricing on date-worthy outfits and the restaurant providing complementary glasses of wine or a special prix fixe menu to guests who provide vouchers after making purchases at the boutique.
- Brand Personality: Even if a partnership makes on paper, it may not be a perfect fit. The customers at an upscale boutique won’t necessarily be the same as those at neighborhood bar and grille. The goal for each party is to strengthen their position with a mutual target market and plan a promotion that exemplifies both brands’ personalities.
- Social Following: Ideally, you should work with a business with a similar number of followers or more followers than your business, after all, the goal here is to grow your customer base.
Planning Your Promotion
Get creative with your event or offer! Collaborate with your partner to see how much they are willing to invest and discuss any restrictions, then brainstorm concepts together. As the ideas bounce back and forth, the more inventive they’ll become. What started as a simple shopping night can turn into a community-wide party with the right theme! Also keep your customers’ lifestyles in mind. Are they always looking for something to do on the weekends? Plan an event for Friday and Saturday night, making your store a hot spot for the evening. Are their weekends typically booked with the area’s nightlife, short getaways and the like? Choose an offer which they can take advantage of all week long rather than a single event.
Spreading the Word
One of the top benefits of partnering up with another local business for your promotions is the chance to (hopefully) double participation in your offer or event. However, in order to ensure that each party is holding up their end of the bargain when it comes to promoting the event, you must set clear expectations on how and when information should be disseminated to customers. Consider the following:
- Social Media Strategy: Together, you and your partner will want to agree upon what will be posted on social media and when the posts will be published. Have one designer create imagery to be shared upon both businesses social media for consistency and post on alternate days to ensure maximum reach. These assets and a posting schedule for each platform should be made available to everyone involved at least a week before the first post is to be published. Be sure to tag your partner appropriately and ask them to do the same. Also consider directly sharing between pages to boost your reach.
- Eblasts to Both Lists: Again, here to make things easier on your partner and ensure consistency, create an eblast that can be sent to both lists. Ask what system they are using for email marketing and keep that in mind so when you give them the assets they can easily load it into their system and send. Consider an RSVP form on your site so you can capture the information of those on their list and continue to market to them in the future.
- Co-operative Facebook Advertising: Finally, determine how much each party can invest in social advertising – typically Facebook, though LinkedIn and Twitter ads and/or promoted pins may also be helpful. Sharing the costs means you can expand the reach of your advertising even further!