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Co-op Advertising Enables Advertisers To Get More Promotion With Fewer Dollars

by Trey Pennewell

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Published on this site: April 1st, 2009 - See more articles from this month

Co-op advertising has been around for as long as there has been print advertising, and it continues strong even in today's digital world of television and online advertising. Read this article to learn more about cooperative advertising and how you can use it to accelerate the growth of your offline or online business.

Examples Of Modern Coop Advertising

Co-op advertising is a standard advertising practice utilized by manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers or distributors to get their products highlighted in regional and local advertising.

Probably the most common form of Coop Advertising that you will be personally familiar is with amusement park advertising. Nearly every amusement park across the country does a lot of coop advertising campaigns with the soft drink companies or snack food companies.

If you think about the local amusement park in your part of the country, you will realize that the amusement park in your area frequently suggests that you can save $5 on the ticket price of the park - IF you bring in a Coca-Cola or Pepsi can.

The soft drink companies enjoy the endorsement of their products by the amusement park companies and the amusement companies get extra special pricing on product purchases. But more importantly, since the advertising specifically mentions both the amusement park and the soft drink product, the soft drink company will help offset the cost of the advertising campaign by jointly paying for the advertising with the amusement park company.

Grocery Store ads are another great example of co-op advertising at work. Whenever you open the grocery store ad in your local newspaper and see specific name-brand products featured in the ad, chances are very good that the manufacturer paid part of the cost of the newspaper advertisement or insert to have its product featured in the ad by name.

Extend Your Advertising Reach

As a small business owner, one of the most important keys to success will be the advertising put forward to promote your business. But when looking at the real cost of some advertising, it might seem that your business does not have enough money available to bring the advertisements to life.

But, if you take the time and make the effort to discover the scope of available coop advertising, you will soon realize that you can frequently get up to half of your advertising bill paid by third-party companies.

Honestly - manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors set aside billions of dollars every year to help promote their products through coop advertising programs. In fact, depending on the coop advertiser, funds are available for television, radio, print, and online advertising, up to and including display listings in phone directories.

Think about your local tire store. Often times, the tire store will highlight a specific "brand" of tires in its advertising, such as Firestone, Michelin or another brand. The tire company benefits handsomely in brand recognition and overall sales of their product line, when the local tire shops highlight its brand over another in its local advertising.

If you want to explore the multitude of available opportunities in coop advertising, we recommend "The Co-op Advertising Programs Sourcebook (tm)", which is the definitive source of (4,000+) companies that have co-op advertising programs available. At $619, the cost is a bit on the high side, but a single advertising co-op deal could easily compensate you for the cost of this book, which can be found at http://www.co-opsourcebook.com.

How Co-op Advertising Works

As with any type of advertising, there are always advantages and disadvantages in using it.

The advantages of coop advertising include:

  • You can use the coop money to either reduce the cost of your advertising or to extend the amount of advertising you can employ for the promotion of your business.

  • You can use the coop money to improve the quality or design of your advertising - for example, full-color ads or inserts in your local newspaper.

  • You can extend your reach and advertise in mediums that you may never have considered previously, such as telephone directories or television ads.

The disadvantages of coop advertising include:

  • Often, the co-op advertiser will have certain restrictions that must be met in order for you to qualify for the co-op money. For example, you might have to restrict your advertisement to their product only, or you might have to use their creative copy in your display advertising.

  • You may find time restrictions in relation to the advertising window in which the co-op advertiser might be willing to pay. For example, the coop advertiser may only support ads in the Sunday newspaper, but not mid-week advertising.

  • Often, you will need to pay for the advertising in advance and be reimbursed by the co-op advertiser for their portion of the advertising cost at a later date. Many advertising co-op programs require that you send them a copy of the print advertising for verification, before they will issue a check for their portion of your advertising bill.

Even with the disadvantages associated with co-op advertising, the disadvantages are usually so small as to make them non-consequential in your decision to use co-op advertising. After all, if the other guy is paying up to half of your advertising bill, then the other guy's restrictions seem a small price to pay to have him help you advertise your business.

Online Co-op Advertising

Offline businesses have been slow to adopt many online advertising methods, simply because it is more difficult for them to measure the direct impact of their advertising dollars.

One could speculate that perhaps I should be able to get some co-op advertising dollars for having written this article, since I mentioned Firestone and Michelin tires, and Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola by name. But the truth is that co-op advertising has not been available on scale in the article marketing industry until just recently.

With the recent launch of http://www.SponsorArticles.com a system that provides a method to join advertisers in co-op article marketing has been made possible.

The system put forward by Sponsor Articles is unique in that it permits article writers to submit articles for free, and then it permits Sponsors to bid for the right to sponsor the cost of article distribution through several article distribution companies, in exchange for shared advertising within the articles' resource box.

To put this in perspective, a small business owner who writes articles for the promotion of his or her website will submit articles to the system, knowing full well that a sponsor can add a link to the resource box, in exchange for paying the costs associated with the mass distribution of the article.

As with any co-op advertising system, costs are shared between two advertisers. In the case of the Sponsor Articles system, the small business owner will cover the time or cost investment of creating an article to promote his or her small business. And then the Article Sponsor will cover the costs of distributing the article through a number of article distribution services.

Both parties will benefit from the expanded reach of the article, with links in the resource box that point to their respective websites.

In Conclusion

Co-op advertising is alive and well for Main Street businesses, and there are programs available online that brings the power of co-op advertising to the online marketing environment as well.

For those who participate in co-op advertising, the process offers a powerful win for both parties. Both parties are able to double their advertising exposure with the same amount of advertising budget.

If you have never participated in a co-op advertising campaign before, you at least owe it to your business to explore the possibility. Some of the most successful businesses on the planet have a co-op advertising budget in place, and that available money could help accelerate the growth of your business as well.

Trey Pennewell: Has been involved in the SEO and article marketing industries since 2005. You can learn more about pay for performance SEO at
or article marketing at http://www.thephantomwriters.com/.

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