• Brett Mercuri

Free Advertising Money!

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

Co-op. I’ve been surprised by the many businesses I’ve consulted who weren’t sure whether or not their manufacturers offered co-op. If they do and you don’t take advantage of it then you are losing thousands of dollars in free advertising money. Co-op plans offer anywhere from 25% to 100% reimbursement from the manufacturer as long as you follow their guidelines. Typically the funds are based off an accrual percentage of purchases from the manufacturer. It’s a great kickback to help you advertise your (and subsequently the manufacturers) product to sell more units. With proper funds built up you can spend $20,000 on an ad campaign that has 50% co-op plan and only $10,000 will come out of a business’ pocket with the other $10,000 being picked up by the manufacturer.

If you own a business, talk to the manufacturer to see if they offer co-op plans. If you are in advertising sales, ask your accounts if they have co-op available to them. It’s a great way to build a more effective campaign.

Here’s a story that actually happened.

Utilizing RAB.com a few years ago I went through the 100% co-op deals. Meaning you advertise the product the way they want – your business was reimbursed for 100% of the expenses. You know, free advertising. I utilized this info to call the only dealer in town and inform them of this availability.

Me: “I wanted to make sure you were aware that XXXX was offering 100% co-op reimbursement for advertising. Do you have time to meet this week to take advantage of it with a campaign?”

Owner: “Why are you doing looking into my business?!?!?! I don’t appreciate that at all.”

Me (very confused): “So you are telling me you aren’t interested in free advertising?”

Owner: “NO! Don’t look into my business and don’t call here again!”

In my decade plus that was the most astounding call I’ve ever made. Needless to say, that store is no longer in business.

Don’t throw away free advertising money by not utilizing your co-op. If you aren’t sure, drop what your doing and find out if co-op is available to you.

About the author: Brett Mercuri has over a decade of experience as a marketing and advertising consultant with iHeartMedia which reaches 250 million people across the US. Specialties include radio advertising, digital marketing and event sponsorship. He can be contacted at brettmercuri@iheartmedia.com or by phone at 412-919-8524.

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