Monday, August 24, 2009

Reciprocal Marketing

If I have understood this right, I can do the manager of The Montreal Deli a favor by printing off a set of Gift Certificates that offer business people $250 off any of my training courses.

The Montreal Deli is a popular local diner that attracts local business people for breakfast and lunch on weekdays, traveling business people for supper on weekdays, and families and friends for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the week.

In this recession, business is dropping, although the regulars, like me, still use it as a convenient, cheap and quality place to meet. (And to mete out our dwindling cash reserves).

Armed with a set of Gift Certificates, which cost him nothing, the manager can present the bill to regular business clients with "We value your repeat business and we would like you to accept this certificate to the value of $250 with our compliments and thanks".

Santa Claus!

Total cost to me, cost of cards, ink, time to print them off on my laser printer.

If someone takes me up on the offer, they get me in front of a room full of staff for $750 instead of $1,000. Nice to save money in tough times.

And perhaps I'll get some new business.

Now suppose The Montreal Deli runs off a similar set of Gift certificates, for a five $20-off-your-next-meal at either of The Montreal Deli's two locations, and suppose I include one of those gift certificates with each invoice I mail out.

Total cost to The Montreal Deli , cost of cards, ink, time to print them off on my laser printer.

For each of us, no extra distribution costs; the manager is going to hand out the bill anyway; I'm going to use a postage stamp to mail out the invoiced anyway.

What's to lose?

Our markets are the same , and we are non-competing.

We both want to attract and retain the small and mid-size businesses that bring us in cash on a regular basis.

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