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"No" Doesn’t Mean No


When it comes to securing co-op support for your advertisers, no doesn’t always mean no.
Many manufacturers and suppliers publish co-operative advertising (co-op) programs that, at first glance, do not appear to work for you or your station. Some might even suggest they don’t support radio campaigns at all.

To secure support from these manufacturers or suppliers, you must first understand why suppliers budget for co-op funds or marketing subsidies:

1.) They have a vested interest in your client’s success.
2.) They know advertising and promotion can help sell more of their products.
3.) They want to strengthen their relationships with your advertiser.
4.) Suppliers are competing with other suppliers for shelf space, merchandising opportunities, and promotions.

Knowing these objectives, you’ll discover that most suppliers are willing to break their own co-op rules in yourfavor to further their relationship with your advertiser, their customer.

And even if suppliers don’t have a recognized co-op program, they’ll often access extraordinary marketing budgets to subsidize your promotional efforts. Many have budgets other than co-op for sampling campaigns, merchandising, contesting, promotions, and more, that they can steer your way in the interest of strengthening their customer relationships or selling more of their products. And it’s often simply a case of “Those who ask for support will get it, those who don’t, won’t.”

How to Ask

Many business owners believe their hands are tied to rigid manufacturers’ restrictions if they use manufacturers’ co-op advertising funds, but seldom is this the case. The most successful radio account executives think of suppliers’ published co-op plans as "guidelines" rather than rules.

Radio account executives who step up to the plate to help secure more vendor support for their advertisers’ campaigns can increase their sales substantially. 

1.) Tender Your Next Ad Campaign. Ask you client for permission to use their name and letterhead to present to all of their key suppliers. Outline your proposed advertising schedule and investment, along with any special displays, promotions, demonstrations, or other exposure your advertiser can give the suppliers.

2.) Think Beyond Cash. Manufacturers and suppliers have more to offer than cash, credits, or discounts. They often have branded advertising specialties or prizes they can offer for your campaign. They might also offer their vehicle presence for "truckload sales," or arrange factory demos at your client’s location.

3.) Tie in With Suppliers’ Promo Calendars. Many suppliers have promotions like travelling road shows, demos, personality appearances, and more. Ask to see their promotions calendar, and negotiate. Try to make your location a player in their events.

4.) Capture The Co-Op Due. You can be your advertiser’s valuable marketing partner by simply doing the work for them. Offer to review all of their suppliers' co-op plans and make contacts on their behalf. Offering to do the necessary paperwork and make the process as turnkey as painless as possible assures that you will be the beneficiary of the available co-op rather than some other media.

5.) Bend The Rules. Most suppliers are willing to bend the rules in their published co-op plans if it will further their relationship with their customer and help them sell more product. Often, for example, you don’t need to use the scripts they provide, and you can get approval to use your script as long as it mentions their product.

6.) Year-End Bonus Revenues. As companies near year end, ask if there are unused funds you could capture. Often, rather than seeing funds go unspent, you can persuade suppliers to re-allocate those funds to your campaign.

Wayne Ens is the president of ENS Media Inc. and producer of SoundADvice, the radio e-marketing system and advertiser seminar that is persuading local advertisers across North America to drop their print advertising in favor of a radio-Internet media mix. He can be reached at 

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