In my last article, I looked at Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter’s comments regarding the NFL’s lack of leadership on the protests as the cause for their companies dwindling sales. After some analysis of the accuracy of this statement, it’s possible Schnatter was either looking for an easy scapegoat to cool down investors, or is truly ignorant of how viewership is changing for the NFL.
Regardless, Schnatter’s comments have real implications for his business and represent an interesting case-study in cross-promotion. Below are some tips to follow to avoid Schnatter’s kerfuffle and establish mutually-beneficial partnerships with other businesses.
KNOW YOUR NEEDS
Just like any good romantic relationship, it’s good to assess your own business’ needs before jumping into bed with another. Most importantly, where are sales slumping or could improve, and who is needed to attract those sales.
This of course relates back to audience; a Papa John’s and NFL alliance makes a lot of sense when one considers that football-watchers are going to be craving delicious pizza. Spotify and, well, basically everyone (The New York Times and Hulu come to mind) makes sense because of the demographics these companies aim to please (ie. millennials and they’re slightly less tech savvy parents).
In restaurants and bars, cross-promotions can bring in customers that would otherwise not have a special reason to get out and patronize your establishment. For bars, having a sports allegiance can serve this purpose; if you’re the only Kansas State bar in town, then those fans will flock to you. If you’re a restaurant looking to attract a younger crowd, book an up-and-coming local band or feature an emerging microbrewery.
KNOW YOUR PARTNER
Now that you’ve assessed your own business, take a look at the other that you’re looking to promote — particularly any pitfalls. There are some businesses that are inherently evergreen. Partnering with charities, for example, will always draw a crowd because donating a small portion of sales makes us all get into the giving spirit. But in the case of certain sporting events, patrons may diminish when they aren’t as interested in experiencing the games.
It’s also essential to understand the product and values of this other institution. Make sure you have similar goals in mind when teaming up and that you really understand their product and want it associated with your own. Communication is key.
DON’T LEAVE PEOPLE GUESSING
In other words, advertise this partnership as much as you can, and make sure the other business does too! This is where social media comes in. Through a Facebook page or Instagram, you can get the word out there that you’re offering up a special deal conjoined with another business they might be interested in. Emails or a newsletter can also be extremely helpful, and you can convey more information through this form.