Article and Photos Provided By: Jean-Marc Claes
Did Coca-Cola invent Christmas?
Are all Marlboro smokers cowboys?
Of course not! But why do we connect images so much with some of the
Because images create feelings, and feelings make us remember better, make us make decisions and buy things and is ultimately what those companies are after, to make us clients to their products.
In scuba diving, we have several significant disadvantages in marketing: our sport is below the surface, so not visible to the standard public ‘walking’ about on our planet.
Scuba divers don’t walk the streets; scuba divers are not visible in daily life, and people don’t go to bars and restaurants dressed in scuba outfits.
We have to start by bringing the scuba diving image to the surface, capture it in some usable format and show it to the public (more on that subject will be coming later in the ScubaBiz magazine when we talk about how to produce a nice promotional video and how to use underwater photography in your business).
In this article, we focus on cross marketing and let me explain that in depth. Cross marketing is all about joining marketing between two completely different companies, where both should benefit!
First, you need to research that your client base (age, activity level, financial position) is somewhat the same as those of the company you want to partner with: if you are looking to promote scuba diving, you want to look for a partner company that also has things to offer like outdoor sports, adrenaline, young people, etc.
Youngsters can be found in other places, like the skate hall, indoor skiing, or even gaming.
You can combine many possibilities so let me give you an example:
When running my own scuba business in Belgium for the last 30+years, we did several successful cross marketing programs.
We contacted a local car dealer who mainly sold 4×4 cars and SUVs.
We proposed to nicely create a scuba corner in his showroom displaying scuba diving. Still, we also ‘stored’ two complete sets of scuba gear in one of his cars in the showroom, showing visitors how spacious the vehicle on display was (as you know, scuba gear takes a lot of space in a car).
(Soon after, a local horse-trailer company contacted him as well to do the same as many people with horses, but they needed a larger 4×4 or SUV to tow a horse-trailer, so they had a similar client base).
But we did not stop there; everyone who bought a car with this dealer got a family voucher for a complimentary session of Try Scuba (minimum participation of four).
So, no, we would not take them by just one or two people; they had to come with a minimum of four as we figured out that the invested energy and time was the same to us and the chance for them continuing to a complete course in scuba would be more significant if they came with more people within the same family (aiming for a family scuba rather then individual scuba).
At least we know in advance these people would have the financial possibilities to take on a scuba course as buying a 4×4/SUV is a more significant investment. We made another proposal for a smaller business partner: we both had 1000 (recycled) shopping bags made with our logos on the bag.
These bags would be used in the other shop, so each time a customer buys something in the other shop, they would get ‘our’ bag with the products and visa versa. The clients were always surprised to see the ‘other shops’ logo on the bag and started a conversation about who, why, what, etc.
A perfect way for publicity!
Cross marketing is a way to gain on many levels by expanding your business profile, expanding your clients’ base, and creating awareness of your business, possibilities and services.
Don’t forget, every business wants more attention, more sales, and more clients!
One last thing: create visibility and think ‘outside’ of the box!
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