An advertising co-op can be a brilliant opportunity for both franchisees as well as brands. From pooling budget to aiding in decision-making, here’s how you can make the most of yours.
1. Develop a whole advertising co-op strategy
Don’t run co-ops as a separate campaign to your other sales and marketing efforts. Bring it all in the fold, with a clear strategic vision and clear KPIs that you want to hit.
2. Make sure you’re up to date on brand guidelines
If you’re a local retailer who has a co-op relationship with a national brand, the best thing you can do for a smooth campaign is get up to speed on the look and feel of your partner. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get a print ad out the door only to be told the font is wrong. Make sure you have the complete brand guidelines ahead of time and use this to ensure you’re not breaking any rules as you go.
3. Lead with incentive messages
Local advertising co-op campaigns are usually the last link in a three-tier system:
- Tier 1 (national) builds brand awareness
- Tier 2 (regional) reinforces core brand values but drives the messages with more specifics and buy now CTAs
- Tier 3 (local) is demand conversion, driving sales with incentives, offers, discounts and strong CTAs
Most advertising co-ops within big brands will sit in tier 3, so the messaging you use should reflect this role within the broader national marketing approach. You’re the closer. It’s your job (and the job of your co-op) to get sales at the local level, and good incentives work like a charm.
4. Go digital
Digital co-ops are increasingly common. If you feel your customer is online, then see if you can find a digital co-op to join or partner with. If you’re working with a national brand, see if they’re willing to create a digital co-op program for you. You’d be surprised how enthusiastic a lot of major brands are to get online wherever possible.
5. Own the co-op (or get an Agency to)
The reason so many co-ops deliver lackluster results is a lack of ownership from both the brand side and the franchisee side. While you might not be able to do much about seeing a project owner on the national level, make sure you have someone in your office that’s assigned to the project (and tied to its success or failure) or hire an agency to help you run things.
6. Make co-ops a core part of your process
Many franchisees see co-op campaign, as one-off events, sitting outside their standard sales process. However, this tremendously reduces the power of an ad campaign, as it creates a disjointed customer experience between what they see in the local media and what they see in store. Make sure your co-op works within your standard sales process to properly leverage those big brand dollars.
Those are our key guidelines for making the most of your advertising co-op. With these, you’re sure to get the momentum you need to hit your sales targets.
We partner with local and regional co-ops to optimize budgets and implement marketing strategies. Interested in learning more? Let’s set up a meeting!