Your customers are tempted to include your business in their cost-cutting efforts. Act now to offer extra value, adopting a method that wonâ€™t cost you more. In fact, it often reduces overhead. Two rival businessesÂ are using it. TheÂ Baltimore Sun and theÂ Washington Post willÂ offer their readers stories from both papers. The Sun will â€œtap the Postâ€™s federal government coverageâ€ and The Washington Post will carry the Sunâ€™s regional coverage. Consequently, the newspapers can cut overhead and â€œbenefit from each others expertise.â€Â And readers have a new reason to remain subscribers.
Evoke this Value Multiplier Effect by forging partnerships with others who serve your kind of customer. You can deepen customer loyalty and become the top-of-mind choice for more customers and media coverage.
Helpful Tips Always Trump Advertising
Keep customers by sharing content in other ways. Collectively you gain more credibility and visibility and usually reduce costs for attracting customers. The locally-owned Michigan businesses and non-profitsÂ in this story, for example, could become more well-known than their competitors by co-creating a Hot Tips sheet, perhaps called â€œHow to Live Well at Home as You Age.â€ The company that acts first in recruiting partners, ensures that it gets included: Bissell Homecare, Williams Kitchen and Bath, The Right Place and Disability Advocates.
Plus partners could invite national groups likeÂ Whirlpool, GE,Â Lowes,Â home remodelers andÂ others to share this tip sheet, thus creating a fresh news hook for more local andÂ national media,Â blogging andÂ other coverage.
How to Co-create and Distribute Popular Hot Tips
Recruit other reputable business owners that serve the same kind of customer that you serve. As in the Michigan story, include non-profits such as civic, cause or other membership groups or even government agencies. Variety in kinds of partners builds credibility and interest.
Pick a hot topic that reflects a strong interest or need or familiar situation faced by your mutual market of customers â€“ and that includes tips that highlight the benefits of all partnersâ€™ organizations. Get a professional writer to interview you to cull tips and write a draft for your collective review. Or one of the partners could write a draft that a professional editor hones for final agreement by all partners. At the end of the tips, include a very brief description (not advertisement) of each partner and contact information.
Reach more customers more often by offering the tips in more formats. Video each other and happy customers, demonstrating and discussing the tips at various locations including at your business. Post the text, audio andÂ video versions of your tips on all partnersâ€™ web sites or blogs and postÂ online. At your physical locations display and give away the print versions, show the video on a wall screen.
In this way you:
â€¢ Gain a warmed-up introduction to each otherâ€™s customers.
â€¢ May offer more value than your competitors.
â€¢ Inspire more customers to refer their friends.
â€¢ Become a top-of-mind expert for future media stories that cover your kind of work.