If you can’t beat ‘em …
Well, that’s not exactly the premise of piggyback marketing.
As a smart marketer, you don’t want to obsess over “beating” the competition. That’s a waste of time and energy.
Piggyback Marketing Techniques
You want instead to focus on forming productive alliances, conserving your valuable resources, and optimizing growth – for both you and your business collaborators.
And that’s what piggyback marketing is all about.
Get A Leg Up
No, it’s not a new thing. It’s been around for a while – but with the explosion in digital resources, it’s a strategy that growing numbers of online marketers are tapping into.
Simply put, piggyback marketing is a low-cost strategy whereby two (or more) companies represent each other’s non-competing but complementary products within their respective markets.
A few examples:
- A convention center collaborates with a hotel in hosting an event planners’ package, offering break out rooms and free accommodation while sharing promotional costs
- A car repair shop advertises for a tow truck company on their social media pages, providing contact information for potential new customers
- A non-profit organization partners with a for-profit business. The non-profit raises funds, and the for-profit heightens its reputation and brand awareness by being involved in a good cause.
- A skincare brand conducting an interactive giveaway in collaboration with a leading e-commerce giant
- In the digital world, there can be a unique synergy. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer ride on Instagram's success, and tools like Bulkly, in turn, ride on Buffer's success. The company that provides a coattail for one gets a ride from another.
These partnerships allow collaborators to give each other a leg up while sharing costs and benefits. In other words: it’s a win-win.
Establish Your Presence
These cooperative interactions allow collaborators to leverage each other’s strong points while maintaining their own energy and resources.
Finding the right piggyback partner can do great things for your online presence in very cost-effective ways. When you connect your business to an established brand, your customer acquisition costs can be minimized, while your organic growth potential can be maximized.
As always, a strong and efficiently managed social media presence is critical in maintaining your business profile and building your reputation. You (should) regularly review and refine that presence, because you want it to be as widely viewed as possible.
By partnering strategically, you’re opening your digital door to customers both local and international who might otherwise have passed you by. Be prepared to do a digital reboot to add definition to your profile.
Find A Place To Perch
Your brand awareness and foot traffic can increase simply by finding the right place to perch. If you choose wisely, you and your brand can become visible to your target audience without breaking a sweat – or breaking the bank.
Some apps built for Shopify, for example, have done no marketing. They’ve simply listed – and boom, they grow their enterprise.
Piggybacking also minimizes the risk of hit-or-miss marketing.
With a partner whose market is established – users of a particular software, for example - you’ll know exactly who to target.
Be A Smooth Operator
Planning to partner means you’re planning to grow.
And that means you’ll need to have your marketing management operations humming smoothly.
Marketing management software can be an invaluable tool for optimizing your operation’s marketing capabilities.
But you’ll want to look beyond your own four walls if marketing management is your focus. Reach out to connect with users of sites like Marketo or Salesforce for potential leads and collaboration. Same ecosphere, complementary services. Works out nicely.
Thinking strategically also means calculating potential benefits you’ll get by being associated with particular brands.
Do your research to get the right fit. You’ll want to know how a specific target group can benefit your bottom line. What’s the potential value to you of having them as customers?
There are a couple of important metrics to keep in mind when you’re considering a partnering strategy: Life Time Value (LTV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
It’s pretty simple: the higher your target group’s LTV (the revenue they can bring to you as customers), and the lower your CAC (the amount you’ll need to invest in acquiring them) - the faster you can grow
Do the math – or get a software tool to do it for you. It’ll allow you to make smarter decisions about what you’re willing and able to spend to acquire new customers.
And it’ll also help you more effectively target potential customers, and identify the businesses that can connect you to them.
If you’re considering piggybacking it’s because you want to scale up and grow your business.
But in the early stages of your journey, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of identifying and connecting with a multitude of as-yet-unknown users.
There’s not really an app for that – but there are real people who will be happy to tackle the job for you.
They’re called freelancers. So outsource! Check out some of the many online freelance job boards to find a good fit for the work you need done.
Meantime, you’ll be able to concentrate on finessing your future.
Keep your eye on the horizon. What are the popular and emerging trends and tools?
Make use of resources like Chrome’s Builtwith – a profiler tool that displays all the technologies used in a website’s construction – to see what makes that website tick. Then figure out how to do it better – and what you can contribute to optimize its operations.
Anticipate: be the first to build integrations and apps for trending tools and services. That way, as they grow – so does your business.
Relationships are a two-way street. Bring something to the table.
What can your enterprise offer to another company? Draw up a list of businesses that might complement yours, and brainstorm ways the two of you could work together for mutual benefit.
Be bold. Summon your innate sales grit and make your pitch. Chances are you’ll sift through plenty of “swipe-left” candidates before you find The One. But be patient.
Do your research, keep your eye on the prize – and you’ll find a fit that works.
It could be the beginning of a beautiful symbiotic friendship.