If your small business buys inventory, products or equipment that you resell or use in providing your products and/or services, you may be able to save up to 50% on your advertising costs by using available co-op advertising funds.
Co-op advertising is a cost sharing program between a manufacturer, supplier, wholesaler, distributor or vendor and your business where they pay a portion of your advertising costs. Every year hundreds of thousands of co-op advertising funds go unclaimed because small business owners do not file claims.
It is not totally free money. While your vendor may pay for a position of your advertising campaign costs, they will certainly want to determine how their products are presented in your ads.
You see co-op advertising dollars at work everyday. Stores that send out or insert weekly circulars in your Sunday paper get a payment from the vendors whose products are featured. These costs are broken down by the space allocated to the vendors products. Direct mail pieces from a tire company feature a certain brand of tire, a pet groomer may feature a product they use
There will be rules that you must follow. The supplier must approve the products. First you need to check with your vendors to get their program details. These programs may allow you to reduce the cost of your current advertising and usually these funds may be used for many types of advertising (direct mail, circulars, flyers, newsprint, etc.)
Your vendors are always anxious to advertise their products and to help you grow your business and your purchases of their products. It is a plus for both parties.
Start by contacting your suppliers to see if they have a co-op advertising program and review the details. Make sure you know what is required to file your claim. Next contact your advertising source and see how you can create an advertising campaign within the parameters of your vendors program. Often your advertising firm can do the leg work for you in researching your vendors co-op advertising programs.
Make sure to track all of your costs and keep copies of your ads to put together your claim after you run your campaign. These days all small businesses need to advertising as much as possible and getting some cash back is a nice bonus.
Keep your name out there, and Good Selling!