Everyone knows that advertising is essential to growing a business. One problem that small business owners have always faced is high cost of marketing. Most, however don't realize that there is an effective way to reduce cost of your advertising while - at same time - increasing its reach.
Advertising co-ops are nothing new. Usually they are a "perk" offered by major manufacturers to encourage retailers to promote their products. Because retailer has direct access to customers that would want to buy certain products, it only makes sense that they should do joint advertising. You've seen it - McDonalds mentioning Coke in their commercials, Dell stating that you get a free Epson printer with purchase and so on.
The retailer doesn't make product manufacturer is providing, but it IS a great match with what they DO offer. Nobody would want to eat a Big Mac without something to drink, and a computer wouldn't do a lot of good without a printer.
Now you can use this same strategy to create your own advertising co-op to increase reach of your ads and drastically reduce cost, too.
--->> How It Works
Generally speaking, cost of any advertisements (bulk emailings, ezine ads, banners, newspaper, etc.) would be split equally between all participants. If you and two associates decide to purchase a solo ad, you would each receive equal mentions in ad and you would each pay equal portions of cost.
So if solo ad were going to a list of 200,000 and cost $150, each of three would pay $50. You get to reach 200,000 people for 1/3 cost you would have normally paid. And, because this ad relates you to other types of businesses, you actually expand your advertising reach.
--->> Getting Started
So who would be qualified to enter into an ad co-op with you? It depends on nature of your business. Think of others that reach your same target customer and make a list. If you design Web sites, you might approach hosting companies, graphic artists, copywriters or programmers. If your business is landscaping, you could invite yard maintenance companies to join you.