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Collaborative Marketing

What is collaborative marketing?

Collaborative marketing brings two entities together for the benefit of each. The best partners in a collaborative marketing process are those whose brands are simpatico and share commonalities from which each may benefit.

Are these great marketing collaborations?

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While these are the bringing together of two tastes or entities, they’re not true collaborations.

According to entrepreneur and Forbes contributor David K. Williams, collaborative marketing is the next big thing. He also writes, “Collaborative Marketing, in a nutshell, is the process of sharing resources to increase leads, brand, and influence.”

Marketing collaborations that work involve two entities whose individual brand promises complement one another.

  • Features, Benefits and Attributes must mesh well to serve a collected / common goal.
  • Collaborations must fit easily. You cannot force collaboration.
  • The best collaborations feel natural.
  • Collaborations can be advertisements or public relations promotions or events
  • Collaborations serve common needs of your joint consumers.
  • Think creatively. Look outside your own locale and find great ideas to adapt.

That’s what a group of Charleston PR people did (I was the instigator who realized what a great opportunity this was and organized a ‘summit meeting’ of restaurant PR people which led to restaurant week here.) I took note of all the versions of restaurant week across the country – and realized that a restaurant week needed happen in Charleston. And look where restaurant week in Charleston is now.

Social media is a great way to promote and share with each other’s audience and to introduce each brand’s customers, followers and fans to products. If two brands share compatible consumers, cross promotion of each other’s services is a great way to gain new social media followers and increase awareness.


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  • Tennessee ads in Local Palate featuring Tennessee made products
  • Specialty foods who hold an event with a restaurant that uses their product. Or a vintner whose wines are sold at a restaurant are perfect examples of collaborative marketing
  • Associations do this all the time by teaming their member’s product category with a consumer product or a chef.
  • Imagine a local farm / lettuce grower and a local hand-crafted salad dressing line teaming up to co-promote in ads; or early season “Make the Best Salad” promotion at a local Farmer’s Market
  • Facebook promotions such as one recently completed by Charleston LLF member Go Charleston Deals – they’re giving away a $200 gift card to the restaurant of your choice.

Collaborative marketing is a great way to extend your advertising budget, gain new customers and increased awareness and extend your brand to a new audience.

What are some of your favorite collaborative marketing examples?

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