Blueprint of a First Year

Q & A: Co-Marketing with Other Businesses

by NAILS Magazine | March 15, 2011

I just wanted to know how you set up appointments with other businesses to market yours. I have put in paper specials, coupons, and fliers for my salon. Thank you.

Hi Dotty,

When I come across a business that I think would be a great co-market opportunity I contact the owner/manager to schedule a date and time to sit down and discuss the possibilities. We will meet either in my salon or in their place of business — whichever is more convenient. When I meet with them I go in prepared with a few possible ideas for co-marketing. This may be something as simple as exchanging coupons to give to existing clients to something as elaborate as a co-sponsored "Open House" or Spa Day. I'm very careful not to just walk in and expect to talk to the owner or manager on the spot; it's important to be respectful of their time and schedule an appointment with them. I block that time out in my book at the salon so that I do not double book with clients during the same time as my meeting with the other business. But in most cases these are not "cold calls," as I've had opportunity to meet the business owner through another networking event (such as the many networking meetings I attend each month) or through other mutual acquaintances.
Here's an example of some co-marketing that I'll be doing with a local dance studio: The owner will be encouraging her students to utilize my salon services by passing out my marketing materials (fliers, business cards, and service vouchers) that I provide to her. I will also be providing free polish change vouchers to her students for their upcoming recital as well as a discounted coupon/voucher for their parents. This co-marketing allows me the opportunity to reach a client base within my target market I may not otherwise have had the opportunity to reach. Once this marketing material is in the hands of the other business' clients it is up to the potential new clients to book their appointments directly with my salon.
As far as what you are offering (fliers, specials, coupons, door prize gift, etc), that will be dependent upon what you agree to with the other business. There are many ways to co-market so you need to select methods that will work for both your business and the others you are co-marketing with.

— Melodie, Tickled Pink Salon & Nail Spa, Clayton, N.C.

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