Monday, December 03, 2007

marketing it together

Is Co-Marketing the next big marketing wave to hit India? Two different companies coming together to join hands in creating a new product which is then marketed jointly. A win-win situation for both. Co-Marketing is not to be confused with co-promotion or co-branding. Nor is it a bundling offer. However, marketers in India are skeptical. They are more concerned about their bottom-line and shelf space. They for sure will site issues on profit sharing and budget control etc. As a Poor_Planner I can't stop thinking about the golden opportunities in-front of us. But no one is really taking that leap in India. Of course it pisses me off. Well, with all due respect to the managers of India Inc. I think it makes perfect sense to gear up to this new found opportunity. The key to Co-Marketing is finding the perfect partner for a long-lasting marriage. That's all. It's all about two different companies/brands coming together to create an unique product/brand which makes life easy, simpler, exciting and interesting for consumers. Rest will be history. Believe me. Anyways.

The concept of co-marketing is nothing new. In the past several brands have come together to create a product and then gone marketing it with a big bang. Intel and IBM. F1 is a good case in point. Bridgestone, Shell and Ferrari doing research together to make faster race cars. Nike Plus (Nike and iPod) is a brilliant recent example. Blackberry and Hutch/ Airtel. iPhone and Cingular. Imagine how much Surf Excel-matic can gain by creating an unique detergent that compliments Samsung's Silver Nano technology?

So here are few examples, which according to me can change the way we look at traditional marketing in India:
  • Kingfisher Airlines and Hertz Car Rental - Every Kingfisher First member can opt for this special service. Pick up and drop
  • Bajaj Pro-Biking and Castrol Bike Zone - Buy a Bajaj Bike and become a member of Castrol Bike Zone for all the after sales service requirements. Re-new the contract after a year and keep riding peacefully.
  • Kellogg's Cereals and Nestle Slim Milk - Well, Nestle has already launched Cerevita. But still, think of the potential that a special single consumption ready-to-eat pack has where the cereal comes with milk. Call it the Breakfast Pack. Unheard off in the category. Isn't it?
  • Modern Bread and Amul Butter - Now HUL is planning to sell the Modern Bread business once again (have they sold it already?). Isn't it a win-win situation for both? Modern Bread comes with Amul Butter in special packaging. Modern Bread gets a rub off from Amul Butter and they both can exist happily.
  • Taj Mahal Dessert Tea and Britannia Pure Magic - Guilt free indulgence. What say? Yeah yeah, Tata Tea Gold is giving a packet, oops I mean a Britannia Treat pack, but thats co-promotion not co-marketing. Britannia Pure Magic tastes great with Taj Mahal Dessert Tea or vice versa - now that co-marketing.
  • Adidas and Fitness One - Everything is possible.
  • Sugar Free and Cipla Diabetes Control Kit - Life is sweet.
  • Rohit Bal and DTC - They are already doing it. So why not Manish Malhotra and Titan Designer watches?
Well, now that you've read all this, do let me know what you think. Also give me two more examples (make it up, I know you can) of brands that you think make the perfect partner for a co-marketing exercise. How they complement each other and why does it make sense in the long run? Go ahead, enlighten me.


Cynical Rob said...

I really, really, really like this post.

There has been quite a few examples of it already ... LG and Prada ... Samung and B&O ... NASA and Aerospace ... Hummer and iPod to name a few.

I could even include the SONY Ericsson 'Walkman' range of phones because while they're from the same holding company, they are totally different divisions with different bottom lines, so it is an example of co-creation.

The issue is that in many cases, these alliances tend to be 'one-offs' or 'lessons in minimising financial over-exposure' rather than a desire to develop an entirely new brand.

From my perspective, the biggest hindrance to this evolvement of marketing is corporate ego ...

What I mean is that while it all makes sense in theory - in practice, one company tends to be [or believe] they are more 'dominant' in brand value - so they end up ruining the opportunity because they place excessive pressure on the joint venture in an attempt to achieve a greater 'advantage' in the alliance.

It doesn't always happen ... but more often than not, it seems to.

Hell, even with our own JV, we've had situations where our partners have wanted to exploit a situation because it could of been more advantageous to them than that of all the other parties.

It's like 'strategy' ... clients all talk about its importance but if they see a way to make short-term massive financial gains, more often than not, the strategy goes out the window and they just do what suits them, ha!

Saying all that, it can work ... it just requires people to go into it with open eyes and a specific reason for doing it.

Great post ...

pooR_Planner said...

Some great examples there Rob. I simply overlooked them. Completely agree with you when you say - the biggest hindrance is corporate ego. The whole point is create together for the greater benefit of consumers. It's the same consumer both the brands talk too. So why not do it together. Yes, it looks good in 'theory' but I strongly believe that time has come to shed those inhibitions and embrace a new way of working together. Now instead of fighting isn't it better to compliment each other?

Wish we had more people in the marketing world with open eyes.