Photo Marketing Association International
Las Vegas, Nevada
Thursday, February 12, 2004
30 Minute Photos Etc.
3 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606
What’s a great way to place your photo imaging services in front of new customers? Cross promotion. It creates value for your services by identifying complimentary businesses to help promote your company.
The benefits are synergistic. You get photo lab in front of a new audience of pre-qualified prospective customers. The other business which is cross promoting with you also gets to build interest and goodwill with its existing customers. It provides value added to them and to you.
To stand out from your competition and reach customers in a crowded advertising marketplace, where we are competing against all kinds and sizes of other photo labs an ideal solution is to join forces and more effectively you’re your business.
Cross-promotions include “bundled” offerings; cause and advocacy related marketing, co-branding, co-op marketing and shared space. When done successfully, cross-promotion can yield a big marketing payoff as you and your partners successfully expand and grow each other’s customer base. It’s a “win-win”. Your partners gain an inexpensive and credible introduction to more customers which is much more effective than from traditional “solo” methods of networking, advertising, or public relations. I always like to get many people involved in a project and create ownership for everyone involved. When everyone is on the same side, great results occur. From observing the black jack tables, it’s really like doubling down on a good bet, you gain more opportunity to benefit from the same hand.
Here are some low-risk and high-opportunity ways to jump-start your cross-promotion.
Sponsor photos for charitable golf tournaments and fundraisers. They take the pictures, you do the processing and make sure to label every photo with your lab’s name and website. We design cover art which includes their logo, our logo and reference to the event. The labeling also encourages the recipients to contact us for future events they may be planning. This is really the model of cross promoting efficiency; they do all the work, they take the pictures, deliver it to the lab, we make 5×7 enlargements and insert it in portfolios while they wait, they delivery the completed order back to the group the same day and we get plugged throughout the event. We also include distinctive promotional codes so they can use our online ordering to make prints from their digital cameras at a discount. Think of the instant credibility you gain. You are linked with the most prestigious fundraisers. I just love making the introductory call and explain 30 Minute Photos Etc’s long history for this contribution and that there is no cost to them. Other charge big bucks to photography and provide prints from these events. We do it for free; well almost. We really should be paying them for the value added of promoting our services. And that’s the beauty of a “win-win” cross promotion, where both sides feel as if they have benefited equal to or grater than the other.
Give things away for free. As part of our campaign to differentiate and specialize, I use the tag line “Your photo privacy is our specialty.” This gets us business from law enforcement, celebrities, political leaders and companies concerned about preserving the privacy of their images, such as with automotive manufactures and the images of their concept cars. One recent event had us contributing complimentary enlargements of a State governer and those paying big bugs to shake their hand. We included a digital photo calendar of each image along with the imprint: “compliments of www.30minphotos.com.” You can bet those custom calendars are proudly on display and our website broadcast to a most influential new customer base.
How do you learn about your community’s fundraisers and local silent auction opportunities? Just read the local paper and your local magazines for references of society and cultural events. Does your local paper or community web site have a calendar of upcoming events? Usually there is a contact number to secure more information, and that’s just the lead you need. Contributing to silent auctions with prizes, discounts to all attendees is an easy endeavor. If you have an online service the traction you garner from offering the entire group with a special discount is invaluable. Just design a unique promotional code and watch the orders come in; they want to support companies who support them.
The local animal care center, senior center, multi-cultural programs, schools, religious groups also afford all types of cross-promoting opportunities.
Internet cross promoting is a smart cross promoting medium. Do a search of all the local photographers and invite them to be added to your “network of professional photographer directory”. They add their website and you help market their services. Post an online photo gallery featuring photographers so they can benefit from your exposure.
Beyond these strategies, is my list of ten winning cross promotion gems.
Goldstone’s Ten Cross Promotion Gems:
Print joint promotional messages on your receipts and order stuffers. Offer reduced prices and special services if customers buy products from you and your partner.
Hang signs or posters promoting the other business in your store and distribute as inserts with your photo orders and as flyers in your order envelopes.
Mention one another’s benefits when you speak at local events or are interviewed by the media.
Pool mailing lists and emails to send out joint promotional messages.
Promote your partner’s products during their slow times, and ask them to do the same for you. One way is to share inexpensive ads in local papers and within nonprofit event programs.
Put one another’s promotional messages on Lucite stands on your counters or on floor stands. This is ideal for promoting the Chamber of Commerce and having your customers get brochures on how to join, while effectively revealing that you are a member of the Chamber.
Encourage your staff to mention how your partner’s products can be used with yours. We have coupons with a map and discounts for the local framer.
Give your partner’s product to your customers with their compliments when they buy a large quantity of your product, and ask your partner to do the same.
Co-produce an in-store or office event – a demonstration, celebrity appearance, free service, or lecture. We get involved with the fine art center and all area schools.
Collaborate with other organization’s PR and marketing talents to promote your services. We get involved with many causes and they do the selling for us. The local energy coalition is one example, because we are advocates for saving natural resources, they use us to profile how to save electricity, they handle the publicity and get news coverage which benefits them and us too.
What organizations can you collaborate with to have them market your services?
Cross promoting is easy. Even the most time-pressed photo lab can attract more customers with less effort through the right cross-promotions. It’s always better to join forces with other credible people who also reach your market and add credibility to your services.
Have fun as you try new ideas with new partners. Here are some recommendations:
- Framing shops
- Professional organizations
- Sports and lifestyle businesses
- Camera stores
- Travel agencies
- Dry cleaners
- New parents
- Outdoor enthusiasts
- Multi-cultural / diversity programs
What strategies can you recommend that have worked for your photo business
What are some of the obstacles you encountered?
Some typical value added products we can contribute include: Discounts and gift certificates for online ordering, Free photos and enlargements, Free digital CDs with each order processed. What other products can your business contribute to enhance the benefits of a cross promotion?
You always should have a simple term of agreement contract so your partners all are on the same page. Everyone should know what to expect, what the details are, what the benefits are and how the promotion will be carried out. Afterwards always have a debriefing session to compare notes and make sure that it was a “win-win” for all parties. Discuss what was learned from the event, and then get ready to embark on the next promotion and next year’s golf tournament and special event. Remember that staffing often changes, so your contacts need to be kept fresh and updated. Make sure to have them one your email database so you are communicating with them year-round, which certainly helps keep you on their mind. After you close the chapter on that promotion always begin the next by asking why your partner could recommend to also benefit from your services. It is always so much smarter to link up with others then go it alone.
How do you establish new partner relationships?
And, as an added bonus, because it’s always important to include something extra, here are a few samples of my email marketing campaign which is targeted to customers across the nation.
Thank you for being here and enjoy the convention.