We are all familiar with the idea of cooperation and many of us would give our eye teeth to get just a little bit of cooperation in our daily lives. Fortunately, some retailers don’t have to go to that extreme.

Dealers carrying certain manufacturer’s brands have the opportunity to take a bite out of their advertising costs by taking advantage of co-op advertising. Many national brands offer co-op programs, sharing in the cost of advertising media in order to build brand awareness at the local level.

Marketing Land’s contributor, Greg Sterling, estimates the amount of advertising dollars available to retailers through co-op programs to be in the neighborhood of $50 billion annually, 40% of which goes unused every year and there are additional benefits to co-op marketing that go beyond budget bonuses. Imagine if you had to fashion some of those highly produced campaigns yourself. Hiring the talent alone could be a real kick in the teeth.

But before you go looking this gift horse in the mouth, consider a couple of important factors…

A national branding campaign doesn’t give you the opportunity to tell local consumers your unique story; to differentiate yourself from your competitors. As a matter-of-fact, if you are running the same co-op ads that each of the other retailers in your region are running, you are essentially advertising for them, as well as for yourself.

Additionally, when utilizing co-op advertising, you are still paying for a portion of the ads out of your own pocket and if your co-op focuses on the wrong segment of your business, you may be wasting valuable funds. If your largest profit center is in service but you are spending all your advertising dollars promoting the manufacturer’s product, you will not get the best return on your advertising investment.

Co-op can be a real boost to your marketing budget but relying on coop alone can be limiting. As with so many things, a good balance can get you results you can really sink your teeth into.

The molar of the story: Manning Media’s experienced marketing professionals can help you achieve a balance of individual branding while expertly navigating your co-op program. Call us in Frederick – 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown – 301-733-4500, or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE!

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