Definition: Co-marketing is a joint marketing effort between two or more companies to simultaneously promote both businesses. The marketing can take many forms from logos and links on websites to full-fledged website overhauls and special packaging.

Is co-marketing the same as co-branding?

Co-branding takes place in the product development stage to promote a single product; co-marketing is when two companies leverage their visibility to promote individual products. Co-marketed products belong to each entity individually, whereas co-branded products belong equally to both companies.

How can comarketing be beneficial for online retailers?

  • Extending current market reach - The web is a very big place and only the largest brands can fully saturate their markets. Co-marketing with a partner in the same market provides access to consumers that each company may have not yet reached, or gives additional legitimacy to the company with existing consumers.
  • Expanding into new markets - Co-marketing campaigns with partners in different markets opens up a whole new consumer base. Each company in the relationship has the opportunity to reach outside their usual market to attract new consumers. Although a company may be new to the market, it is granted credibility by its relationship with its partner.
  • Stretching the advertising budget - Co-marketing requires advertising effort from both parties so the cost is shared. By combining forces, each company spends less than they would otherwise on their own.

Extremely successful instances of co-marketing

  • Intel Inside - In 1991, computer manufacturers teamed with Intel and placed "Intel Inside" logos on their products. This campaign gave Intel a larger presence and extra legitimacy which helped it to become the most recognizable computer processor manufacturer.
  • Zynga and the World Food Program - In 2011, Zynga joined forces with the World Food Programme (WFP). Players were able to buy in-game items with the WFP logo. Proceeds from those purchases were sent to the WFP. The WFP website listed Zynga which gave them exposure to supporters of the charity.
  • Disney Interactive and YouTube - In Nov 2011, Disney Interactive and YouTube joined together to create original content on Disney.com that would be served by YouTube. Disney Interactive got increased awareness for them with YouTube users. YouTube benefited from the high profile relationship and greater exposure to the family/child demographic.


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