Cost minimization is one core ingredient in any business’s objectives. Whether it is manufacturing cost, factory overheads, or marketing costs, businesses always look for cost-effective methods. Yes, traditional marketing strategies can consume big budgets, but there are many other inexpensive marketing strategies, such as piggyback marketing, that can help companies to convey their message cheaply.
But what is piggyback marketing, and how does it help businesses with their marketing campaigns? Let’s find out.
What Is Piggyback Marketing?
Piggyback marketing is a marketing strategy where two firms collaborate and represent each other’s complementary products in a competitive market rather than competing with each other. Piggyback is a cost-effective strategy as both partners represent each other in their respective markets. Although piggyback marketing is not a new term, it has gained more prominence in recent years due to a surge in social media and internet usage.
It is important to note that piggyback marketing works when partnering companies are selling complementary products. What does that mean? Let’s take an example of a car company. Generally, a car manufacturing company buys tires or batteries from other companies. Tires and cars are complementary products rather than competing products.
In the example above, a car company can promote its partner (tire manufacturer) company in relevant markets. In fact, many companies (the carriers) agree to sell the product of their partners (the riders). Moreover, piggyback marketing is not limited to just selling. A lot of companies share each other’s digital content on different platforms to reach a greater target audience.
Who Uses Piggyback Marketing?
Piggyback marketing is greatly helpful for these entities:
- Any local business entity that wishes to expand its operations in new markets (local or foreign) but does not have enough budget or relevant expertise.
- A new or small enterprise that doesn’t have enough financial resources to launch effective marketing campaigns.
- Any international/multinational corporation looking to hit new markets but doesn’t have enough data about its target audience. So, a multinational firm will collaborate with relevant local industry players to enter the new market.
Things to Consider Before Starting A Piggyback Marketing Campaign
If you are going to add piggyback marketing to your overall marketing strategy, here are some important factors you must consider:
Your target audience is the most important factor you should consider before going for this marketing channel. You need to partner with a company that can give you access to your potential buyers. Partnering with a company from a different industry won’t do you any good.
For instance, if you are selling laptops, then you need to associate with a company that sells desktops or tablets. There would be no point in joining hands with a company that sells refrigerators. The target audience for laptops, desktops, or tablets is almost the same.
The area where you want to expand your business is vital. Your associate company may be serving in regional, national, or even internal markets. Therefore, you need to assess how much do you want to expand your operations and whether you will be able to meet the increasing customer demand or not.
Meeting consumer demands become very important for you as well as the company you are tied-up with. If a company introduces you to a new market and you fail to meet the consumer demand and expectations, it will have a negative effect on both companies because your partnering company may lose its credibility too.
Moreover, you will have to strengthen your distribution channels as well. If you have increased your production but don’t have a strong and reliable distribution channel, you are endangering the market reputation of the other company.
Time of Collaboration
Piggyback marketing strategy works better when you choose a partner at the right time. That said, you need to integrate your brand with a firm that is having an increased commercial activity, i.e., a good run in the market. This will get you in quick market penetration. However, if you are working with someone who is or may lose their position in the market due to the emergence of a new competitor or any other reason, then you are jeopardizing your own reputation as well.
Advantages of Piggyback Marketing
Piggyback marketing can help your business in many ways, such as:
Easy Access to International Market
Mostly, businesses go for international market access when they are doing good in their local or national markets. However, getting access to the international market is pretty difficult. Therefore, businesses turn to international/multinational corporations. This allows those businesses to create brand awareness in the international market and make names for themselves.
“Rider” Can Learn From “Carrier”
When a company (carrier) helps another company (rider) through piggyback marketing strategy, it not only gives the rider access to a new market, it provides the rider a window to learn from the experience of the carrier. When you integrate your marketing campaigns with a well-known industry player, you can learn a lot from them.
Piggyback marketing strategy can help a business reduce its overall costs. When a business joins hand with an industry player, it can get access to the new markets quite easily. In another scenario, the same business would have to spend a lot on its marketing campaigns to reach its target audience. When you spend less amount on advertising, you can reduce the overall costs.
Easy Access to The Target Audience
As mentioned earlier, piggyback marketing works when you partner with a company from a relevant industry. This means you and your partner have the same target audience, and you can reach your audience with greater ease.
Piggyback marketing definitely generates more sales and thus more revenue. It is no secret when you get access to new markets, your sales volume increases.
Disadvantages of Piggyback Marketing
Less Control on Your Product’s Marketing
When you get help from another company to promote your brand, you may risk your control on your product or service’s marketing. That is because the carrier company will advertise your product in its own way.
Your Reputation Depends On Your Partner Company
There is another bad thing about piggyback marketing, and that is the “joint-reputation” of both companies. A bad word about one company can ruin the reputation of the other as well.
Difficult to Impress A Highly-Reputed Company
As mentioned above, new or small businesses try to get help from established brands. But the thing is, these industry players don’t partner with small businesses unless they are really impressive.
It seems logical from those established brands’ perspective because technically, if an industry player pairs-up with a small business, it actually vows for that small business. Besides, nobody wants to lose a hard-earned reputation.
Difficult to Meet Growing Customer Demand
Sometimes, a piggyback marketing strategy yield results beyond your expectations. That said, you may run short of resources to meet the increasing customer demand. This may force a business to install new production units and hire more workforce. On the other hand, if they fail to meet the consumer demand, it will leave a bad impact on both companies.
Examples of Piggyback Marketing
Piggyback marketing has helped companies in generating huge revenues; here are the two worth mentioning practical examples of piggyback marketing:
Le Boat – Follow in Rick Stein’s Wake
This piggyback marketing campaign involves Le Boat, a famous boat rental company, and Rick Stein, the iconic British Chef, restaurateur and, television presenter. Rick Stein cruised along the rivers and canals of the south of France while filming a series, “French Odyssey.” While cruising, he cooked many local dishes of various cities or towns in his path.
Le Boat held a competition through a magazine where readers were given a chance to win a copy of the recipe book of Rick Stein’s French Odyssey. Since then, Le Boat regularly features Rick Stein in its promotional campaigns, and it has been a huge success for the company.
Technically, those entries for the competition helped Le Boat to get data of many potential customers. Besides, Rick Stein is a name that has helped Le Boat with their marketing campaigns.
ASDA – Jahmene Douglas
Jahmene got huge support from its ex-employer, ASDA, when he took to the X Factor stage. In fact, ASDA made a special section for Douglas on their website. This was a huge PR success for ASDA. Jahmene remained bookies’ favorite for a long time in that show.
As Jahmene was the ex-employee at ASDA, his success was an automatic recognition of ASDA at the national level. More than 13 million people from the UK watched that show, and as ASDA was featured in the show, it brought huge success for the company in terms of marketing. A lot of Jahmene’s hardcore fans turned to ASDA rather than using Morrisons or Tesco.