Well, no business is just going to hand over their database to another business for free, are they? But what if the two businesses shared a target audience and worked together on some joined-up marketing? In this way, each business shares it’s clients, thus doubling the market for both.
This idea is being used to good effect by several people in our business group, the latest of which is a solicitor, Chris, and a financial advisor, Fiona. Each deal with home buying from different angles and each has their own database. But they are now sharing resources and clients to promote their services jointly – independent and highly personalised financial advice on mortgages allied to an excellent value HIPS package that provides a better service than most estate agents at a lower cost.
I also talked recently about how a finance broker and a major bank helped me – well they also work closely together to cross refer. But it doesn’t have to be just two businesses – any number of companies can work together, presenting a range of products and services that their customers and prospects would not normally have access to through one resource.
The benefits are that you are gaining valuable information about your customers – their interests, habits, needs, etc. – which helps you develop further the ways in which you can help them and increase your sales. And, secondly, that you enhance the credibility of your business by being seen as a trusted source of other information and products/services.
So, independent businesses can collaborate for mutual benefit and, as a result, provide a better service for their customers. You increase your profile, share costs and build business.
Collaborative marketing is a great strategy, but if you want to try it out, why not use it tactically, for a specific promotion. Chris and Fiona are doing exactly that. Anticipating the rise in stamp duty next year, they are encouraging clients that are thinking of moving to bring their plans forward in order to save money. (By the way, should you be in this position, I have given Chris and Fiona’s website details below).
Jointly, they are creating a better proposal than they could individually and they are providing their customers with a specific, tangible benefit. Why not look at your business and see who you could collaborate with – using someone else’s database could be easier than you think.
PS If you’d like to find out more about our business group and what sort of companies you could collaborate with, why not come along for a visit. Just contact me for details.
Chris McGrail, Alan Hodge Solicitors http://www.alanhodge.co.uk
Fiona Bolt, Vivid Financial Services http://www.vividfs.co.uk