We're always on the look out for ways to expand our reach and promote our business, without eating too much into our marketing budget. But what are the best and most effective ways of doing this?
Welcome to our 3-minute guide to collaborative marketing - a top way to amplify your brand and hit new customers with minimal spend.
A quick guide to Collaborative Marketing
What is it?
Collaborative marketing is teaming up with businesses and brands that align to your company, and importantly, share the same target market. In the health and fitness industry, these marketing partnerships can range from healthy food brands to a flexible membership provider - whatever that will resonate with your target audience and also shares the same values and ethos. The basic concept is that you mutually promote each other to each others audiences.
As a health club you have a lot to bring to the table as you will have a database of active people who have joined you. You won't be able to share this data due to data protection and GDPR, but the lapsed members who may have switched off to your normal sales campaigns, may engage in a different promotion e.g. a competition or special offer from the other brand. And most importantly you could hit potential new customers in the database of the partnering brand/company.
Your collaborative partners could put up flyers in their stores in exchange for you offering their members a special referral rate to join... nurture these new leads into loyal members and expand your database and attendees.
By working together in a network, all companies can play to their strengths and create a presence that is greater than an individual effort.
One partnership can gain the power of hundreds of local business all working for the same target market - just take a look at what we're doing with local fitness providers. We're bringing all fitness venues together under one membership to allow customers to stay active for longer, thus still remaining active in multiple venues... work collaboratively with brands and you can cross-pollinate your reach, helping each other
Why should I do it?
- All companies/brands involved have the opportunity to reach target markets that may have been difficult to sell to in the past.
- Increase search ranking - relevantly linking to partnering websites (and visa versa) can increase SEO and make it easier for Google to bring you up higher in searches.
- The added value of a combined offer means that new customers and existing mutual customers gain, increasing conversion and retention.
Who does it in our industry?
There are 1000s of operators now involved in our Flexible Membership, plus there are also a few good examples of collaborative marketing of larger operators within the fitness industry.
Virgin Active and Tough Mudder
The two businesses have teamed up to offer Tough Mudder competitors training guides. Virgin Active also offer dedicated "Mudder Maker Class” within their clubs. Both push out emails and social media coverage, plus banners and leaflets, promoting each other in this partnership.
Pure Gym and British Miltary Fitness
Pure Gym and ‘outdoor fitness provider’ British Military Fitness partnered up over summer 2015 to offer their mutual customers a joint membership package. They were able to promote complementary services under one membership that they were not able to offer exclusively themselves due to the nature of their respective business models.
Collaborative marketing is almost always beneficial to all parties. Businesses with similar audiences don't have to be the enemy - in fact collaborative marketing can often open up new, exciting and innovative opportunities to help grow your business with zero or very little investment.
So get started making a list of local businesses that you can collaborate with and/or get in touch with the flexible membership providers operating in your area. I know our team would love to hear from you - click here to find out more!