Cross-promotion is more effective than regular marketing because it offers social proof. Both companies essentially vouch for each other. In the example of the house party, you’ll make friends more easily when your neighbor has talked you up. Cross-promoted audiences transfer the loyalty they feel for one brand onto the other.
There are, of course, potential risks. If companies don’t choose their partners carefully, they may harm their own brand, as high-end fashion retailer Neiman Marcus learned when it partnered with Target. Critics accused Target of high prices and Neiman Marcus of low quality.
Brands that don’t properly label their cross-promotion as such can also run afoul of the FCC. In 2016 the FCC released guidelines requiring online influencers to disclose their relationship to the brands when they’ve been compensated. If you’re cross-promoting with another brand and money is involved, make that clear. It helps you stay compliant and it’s far better to be transparent than risk breaking your audience’s trust.
Seven examples of cross promotion
Cross-promotion is exceedingly common. Examples range from big enterprises pushing each other’s products to authors promoting their books at a bookstore. The definition grows hazy when money is involved and cross-promotion strays into sponsorship. But any time there is a transfer of brand affinity – that is, when tying the two brands together adds value to each – it’s considered cross-promotion.
Here are some examples:
1. Out-of-brand cross-promotion
Uber and Spotify teamed up to make Spotify playlists available in Uber rides. While waiting for the Uber to arrive, users were prompted to create their own music playlists. This helped Uber make waiting for a car less frustrating and gave Spotify access to Uber’s audience.