How to Execute a Co-Marketing Campaign

co marketing

When you were in school, you probably loathed group projects.

You might have even been the kid who rushed to complete all the work on the night before it’s due.


But as adults, teamwork is in.

Collaboration is encouraged, especially in the SEO and marketing worlds.

And one of the ways we collaborate in the marketing world is through co-marketing.

But knowing exactly how to build and execute a co-marketing campaign is key.

So, we’ve come up with a list of steps to take in finding a co-marketing partner and successfully pulling off your campaign.

1. How to Find the Right Co-Marketing Partner(s)

Co-marketing or cooperative advertising, as some call it, is an agreement between two marketers with complementary products.

So, say you sell toothpaste and someone else sells toothbrushes.

You really can’t use one without the other (have you tried brushing with your fingers?).

Ignore the fact that most toothpaste companies also make toothbrushes. You would probably want to partner up with the toothbrush company to mutually sell your products.

This does several things for marketers.

It opens up a new audience. It gives you insight into a complementary industry (you may know everything about toothpaste, but nothing about what toothpaste goes on).

It increases the manpower and the money behind a marketing campaign.

And it helps even the costs of a campaign out.

Remember, the other partner in this relationship is looking to get as much out of this as you.

Choose a partner based on both your needs and theirs.

Sometimes, if you partner with a bigger company, you gain more reach because of their success.

But will they benefit from your product being married to theirs for a time? If not, you might have a difficult time coming to an agreement or a partnership.

2. Consider Your Co-Marketing Goals

Most projects can’t be successful unless you’ve first made a plan.

In this phase, you’re building a relationship with the other person.

This is a critical phase in the process as it will determine your success going forward.

You might meet the person or business online through e-mail or through a video conference. You might just message through popular platforms like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Although, they will already be familiar with you. Most marketers and businesses won’t work with you if they aren’t familiar with you.


So, what are some goals you might consider?

You want to make sure they are in line with both your company mission and the mission of your partner(s).

If you don’t make sure you’re both in cahoots on the goals, you’ll have major problems later on in the process.

If you get part way through the campaign and realize you have completely different goals, you’ve wasted both your time and your money.

Goals can include things like sales and services goals. Website traffic. Number of e-book downloads. An increase in leads.

You’re going to need to connect and discuss these goals. And you want to have your goals ready before the meeting so that full negotiations can start.

3. Set Your Expectations

Some people ask “what’s the difference between goals and expectations?”

Goals are the end result. And expectations are what you expect to happen during the process.

You want this co-marketing campaign to go as smoothly as possible. So coordination is key.

If you go off to the races without knowing who is doing what or when then you’ll step on toes.

You will also have duplicate work. And you could possibly go over budget.

Ask a few questions to set the expectations for your project.

Questions like:

  • How will you communicate? And when will you check in?
  • What kind of content are we going to produce?
  • Are there consequences if deadlines are missed?
  • Who will create the final outline?
  • How are you going to divide up the promotion responsibilities?
  • Who will write the content draft?
  • How will we promote?
  • Who will copyedit?
  • Who will host the final page or download page?
  • Who will do design?

There are probably other questions and responsibilities you could review.

But the point is; delegate. If you don’t, you will regret it.

So plan in advance. Create a timeline. Write out goals. And be creative.

4. Consider a Co-branded Product

In 2016, Taco Bell and Doritos had a baby. A taco baby.

They called it the Doritos Locos Taco.

It was a Doritos-flavored taco shell with Taco Bell ingredients.

This is the perfect example of a co-marketing campaign using a co-branded product for mutual benefit.

This takes a certain level of cooperation that might take time and effort.

But in the end, it’s totally worth it.

If you’re a toothpaste company, you might see if the toothbrush company has any designs for a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush.

If you can actually come up with a toothpaste dispensing toothbrush collaboratively, then you could co-advertise that it’s a toothbrush with your toothpaste inside.

Of course, negotiations would have to made as to who gets to make money off the product.

If the toothbrush company are the ones who design the brush, it will probably be them. But then your name is on their product. And your product is IN their product.

That’s a big win-win for you and your product.

5. Collaborate on a Contest

The Monopoly game United Supermarkets stores is a massive co-marketing campaign.

It involves 45 companies all partnered with United Supermarkets to run a months-long monopoly game with massive prizes.

The kind of cooperation that’s needed for a project of this undertaking is pretty incredible.

But you don’t have to create such a huge contest to be successful.

A giveaway or a series of giveaways could be enough to get both product names out there.

Again, it takes a certain amount of cooperation. But this could be a very successful way to collaborate on something.

Save Money Co-Advertising

Marketing costs can be pretty hefty. And if you have a budget and are a small company, you might not have that much to spend.

One of the great things about co-marketing is the shared cost. It can be much cheaper to work together.

Have you had success with a collaborative campaign? Let us know in the comments below.