Cross Marketing: Partnering with Like-Minded Businesses Can Boost Your Bottom Line

Cross-marketing means forming advertising alliances with native companies that promote associated merchandise, entice comparable clients and have widespread demographics. 

By Jeff Siegel


Speak to wine entrepreneurs about cross-marketing, and their frustration is obvious. Smaller producers, who would profit probably the most from the apply, appear to be probably the most reluctant to embrace it.

Cross-marketing means forming advertising alliances with eating places, cheese retailers, mattress and breakfasts, chocolatiers, grocers and the like. It may very well be so simple as buying and selling electronic mail lists and referring clients to one another or as refined as a wine-and-chocolate or wine-and-cheese pairing. In different phrases, it’s working with native companies that promote associated merchandise, entice comparable clients and have widespread demographics. 

“It’s all about making a symbiotic relationship,” says Jennifer Tincknell, a associate in Napa wine advertising firm Tincknell and Tincknell. “Cross-marketing can embody a lot extra than simply wooing clients with reductions. It may be a platform to develop a portfolio of complementary manufacturers and merchandise that improve your personal. 

“You’re serving to your clients discover different merchandise they want, and it’s an opportunity to do one thing greater than the same old: ‘How will we develop our wine membership?’”

Becoming a member of forces

It’s a tactic that continues to be a lot underappreciated within the wine enterprise, regardless that it’s widespread in lots of different shopper classes. And, say a number of advertising consultants, cross-marketing is each price efficient and simple in execution.

“I believe one of many causes that so many smaller wineries are cautious of this [technique] is that they don’t see the way it can work for them, and they also assume it can simply be one other advertising expense,” says Philip Ruskin, who runs Ruskin Worldwide, a advertising consultancy whose purchasers have included these in wine and meals within the U.S. and Europe. “But when they have a look at it one other approach — that it’s a a lot less expensive advertising expense than what they may do in any other case — they’ll start to see the benefits.”

Take into account, too, says Ruskin, that although wine’s authorized restrictions can complicate cross-marketing, they don’t make it not possible. He’s labored with plenty of whiskey distillers in Kentucky, they usually discovered methods to make use of cross-marketing regardless of even greater authorized limitations.

Greatest practices

So how will you make cross-marketing work?

  • Establish doubtless companies. The important thing right here, says Ruskin, is to give attention to the native. A nationwide chain isn’t more likely to be as . How will you discover doubtless companies? Ask your clients: The place do they store? What do they love to do of their off time?
  • Don’t restrict the search. Ruskin says one of the vital ignored alternatives, surprisingly , entails superstar cooks. Is somebody making an look domestically? Is a neighborhood chef giving a cooking demonstration? These are alternatives to introduce the chef to your wine to not promote in her or his restaurant, however to make use of in a cooking demonstration. 
  • Know one of the best individual to contact. This can be one of the vital troublesome elements in making cross-marketing work. It’s virtually actually not the province of the vineyard’s wholesaler, and the rep would look confused at finest. Ruskin’s recommendation: Advertising begets advertising. Don’t ask the restaurant’s basic supervisor or the grocery store’s wine purchaser. As a substitute, does the native enterprise have a advertising firm or advertising worker? These people are more likely to be extra amenable to a pitch, particularly once they can see it’s a win-win scenario.
  • Be artistic. Sure, wine dinners. Sure, media samples. However there’s a lot extra (in addition to the aforementioned wine pairing twists). One typical whiskey strategy, says Ruskin, is a customized barrel sitting within the foyer of a restaurant or retailer. That very same tactic can work for wine: a particular mix, offered to the retailer or restaurant (permitting for the authorized necessities), with lots of and lots of of individuals strolling previous it and questioning what it means. It’s all about piquing curiosity and beginning a dialog.

Ultimately, says Tincknell: “Cross-marketing is all about native companies working with different native companies to advertise one another.”

As a result of native advertising works higher collectively.


Jeff Siegel

Jeff Siegel is an award-winning wine author, in addition to the co-founder and former president of Drink Native Wine, the primary locavore wine motion. He has taught wine, beer, spirits, and beverage administration at El Centro Faculty and the Cordon Bleu in Dallas. He has written seven books, together with “The Wine Curmudgeon’s Information to Low cost Wine.”

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