Back in my early Hasselblad days, I read an article written by Donald Libey, a terrific strategic planner on the east coast. He wrote about Consumer Bundling, which is non-competing companies working together to hit a common target. The idea was brilliant, and over my years at Hasselblad, you saw promotions and advertising we did with Kodak, Bogen Photo (Now Manfrotto), Polaroid and even L.L. Bean.
If you're looking for a way to reduce your marketing costs, without cutting back on your exposure, then look for some partners to share the burden of direct mail and cross-promotions. Here's a prime example: Homecoming at every high school in the country is only a couple of months away. Why not do a direct mail campaign with the florist in town and a limo company?
Looking for ways to promote your wedding photography? How about teaming up with a travel agent, a local venue, a tux shop and a florist?
Vicki Taufer, with her first "Dog Days of Summer" promotion, found partners to help promote her pet promotion with a pet food company, a local Dog "Barkery" and the local animal shelter.
In terms of the actual presentation to your target audience, it can be anything from a mailing with a series of independent offers, like a smaller version of the "Val-Pak" envelopes we all receive at our homes, to an actual cross-promotion, e.g. Plan the flowers for your wedding and get a certificate worth $__ off a portrait sitting and vice versa: get a discount on your flowers with your portrait sitting.
I know it might not sound very upscale, described in brief here, but that's where your creativity comes in when designing the offer and the promotion.
Consumer bundling is the perfect way for you to promote your business without having to absorb the full burden of the cost. And here's one more idea on cross-promoting - team up with a few other photographers! How about the combination of a wedding photographer and a children's photographer cross-promoting each other's work?
It's summertime and as the Fall approaches so does the seasonality of the fourth quarter. Here's a way for you to increase your exposure to your target audience, and at the same time reduce marketing costs. It's just like a bunch of friends going to lunch - you just need a few new partners to split the check!