If you’re like many business-owners, you know that you have co-op dollars available. Whether the supplier, manufacturer or distributor is paying into your marketing plan, you have revenue percentages available to promote the strength of your products in the marketplace. It’s in everyone’s best interest to move manufactured goods into the hands of the consumer quickly. The tricky part is keeping track of it all to ensure you make the most of what’s available.
1. Know How the Funds Work
Often, the percentage of your cost of goods dedicated to co-op marketing will grow based on the amount you purchase from the vendor partner. Many will limit or cap the dollar amount at a certain level, but in brief, the more you stock of the particular brand, the more is available. In some cases, points are accrued over time, “unlocking” new levels of benefits. Whatever is true with your supplier or manufacturer, be sure you fully understand the program before you start.
2. Know Your Budget Before Strategizing
While some vendors allow more room for negotiation, it’s typical that your plan will pay just a percentage of the funds. If, for instance, you have a benefit amounting to up to $2000 matched at 50%, but the marketing strategy you’ve deployed is valued at just $1000, the total co-op benefit to you would be half that: just $500. Be sure you know the value of the benefit before you begin. This will ensure that you are making the most of what’s available.
3. Spend time to Understand the Rules
Some manufacturers supply ad materials that must be used when supporting your brands. Others are more lenient, allowing some latitude in how the branding is fulfilled, as long as their imagery is used. Still others might allow for fresh creative development, as long as the manufacturer/brand logo is prominently displayed. In any of these cases, understanding the guidelines is critical to receiving payment. Working to understand the rules in advance will reap rewards later.
4. Be Willing To Ask
Especially with small retailers, vendors may not share that these benefits are available. You’ll only know if you ask, so be sure you speak up. Be proactive, and be willing to ask for what you want or need. At early stages, you may adjust your buying strategy based on the benefits available to you!
Co-op marketing strategies are a familiar concept to our professional marketers. In fact, our plans will always include discussion about what can and cannot be done when developing a strategy. Let us help!