Marketing Basics: Save money on your marketing

Use joint ventures to cut your marketing budget in half and double your list…

Cutting your marketing budget in halfSmall businesses are always looking for ways to save money – especially right now. Joint venture marketing is a perfect way to do this. You share the costs and you share the list.

And it’s EASY!

So in this installment of the Marketing Basics: 17 Ways to Generate Leads for your Business, I am going to give you some ideas on how you can generate leads for your business while keeping your costs down using joint venture marketing.

Identify your target market

Identifying your target marketUnderstanding and knowing who your target market is, will help you identify other businesses that you can enter into a joint venture with. Normally you won’t want to do joint marketing with a competitor of yours, unless you are teaming up to offer and wider range of services and products and double your capacity.

However, the usual approach is to find a business, that is not a competitor, but who has the same or similar target market as you. For example, if you run a sportswear clothing shop then you may have the same target market as a fitness or sports provider such as a leisure centre, a gym or a personal trainer. Or if you run a Virtual Assistant business then you may have the same target market as a small business accountant or independent stationery supplier.

So you can see that by understanding your target market you can identify other business that will see value in working with you.

understanding how you both benefit - shaking handsUnderstand how you will both benefit

This is the bit where you have to work out what’s in it for your joint venture partner – before you approach them. Because they are going to be looking to gain from the partnership too. Start with looking at what you want to get out of it:

** Access to a list that is larger than yours

** Share costs

** Widen your target market if they are not exactly the same

** Expand what you can offer to your client

Chances are your potential partner will want pretty much the same things. Work out how you are both going to get them. For example, if you have a large list but only one product to offer, the benefit to your JV partner is they get access to a large list and you perhaps get a commission on all products sold to list as well as building credibility with your list by being able to offer them products they may not have come across before.

Another example of joint venture marketing, on a very simple level, is to produce a piece of marketing collateral. You share the costs of production, printing and delivery – and you share the benefits.

What do you want?

What do you want? Finding your way out of the maze.Before you start approaching potential partners and coming up with lots of exciting ideas, take a little time to write down what you are hoping to achieve from partnering up but more importantly what you expect to gain out of each activity. Not “access to a larger list’ but more quantifiable than that. You want to get 10 new customers into your shop or you want to grow your subscriber list.

Knowing what you goals are will help you decide on the best activity to achieve them. E.g. if you want to get 10 more customers into your shop in the next fortnight then offer a time-sensitive deal they can’t refuse. If you want to grow your subscriber list then offer your partner’s list a gift or bonus simply for going to your website and signing up to yours. Then you can continue to market to them and develop your own business relationship with them.

In other words: Your goals define your actions.

Making it work

Easy as 1... 2... 3...!This is the fun bit! Coming up with the ideas. You know your target market, you have identified and approached other businesses (usually serving the same geographical area as you) that share that target market or similar and you know what you and your potential partners expect to get out of working together.

Now you need the ideas. 1… 2… 3…

1. Identify the needs, wants and desires of your target markets – what do they get out of buying from you. I.e. WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM?

2. Set out what you both want to achieve from the activity.

3. Come up with exciting and fun ideas that will fulfill numbers 1 and 2.

Ok it’s fun, but not always that easy and sometimes this is where you need the help of a marketing professional. One of the things I do for my clients is come up with creative and exciting ideas as to how they can market themselves. But to get you started (if you don’t want to talk to me…), here are some activities that lend themselves really well to joint venture marketing:

* Events, workshops, teleseminars

* Leaflet drops, adverts, competitions

* Seasonal promotions, referral schemes and discounts

* Bonuses, giveaways, guest blog posts or newsletter articles

If you want to know more about joint venture marketing or want to talk to me about helping you put a JV plan together from scratch then email me or give me a call on 0845 272 3539 or email me on