Mar 11, 2011

Delivering value through co-marketing

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, many people, organizations and companies donated their products and services to help the victims. Tide, a laundry detergent by Proctor & Gamble, sent a truck with washing machines, clean water and Tide detergent to the disaster area to provide clean clothes for victims.  Now there’s no argument that clean clothes are not as critical as food, medicine or shelter, but having clean clothes makes people feel better. And dirty water carries disease so cleanliness is a health benefit. This excerpt from the Tide website summarizes how the program has expanded.

Critics say, why wash clothes rather than give the victims new clothes or clothes with “Tide” emblazoned on all sides? Because that isn’t interesting anymore. Cynics bray, “It’s a crass advertisement!” Of course it is! But it does no harm and delivers value. It is not manipulative to demonstrate how your products or services help users.

One goal of marketing communications is to inform audiences of the value of your products and services in a likeable way that is easily understood and will motivate people to take action.

I suspect Tide struck co-marketing deals with the trucking company and the washing machine maker to create goodwill for the companies.

The Tide "Loads of Hope" truck was built right after Hurricane Katrina, and Tide laundry detergent instantly sent it, outfitted with 32 Affinity washers and dryers provided by Frigidaire, down to New Orleans…

Such advertisements do not hamper others from donating their products or services. Most high technology consumer products are made by a group of vendors ranging from pure intellectual property, to chips, to software. The “Intel Inside” campaign is an example of a formerly no-visibility component manufacturer co-marketing with its systems partners to gain brand awareness.

The biggest challenge in co-marketing is to assemble partners that each bring a clearly differentiable value so that the combined messages from all partners reinforce each other, for example, how Tide and the washing machines work together, how Intel processors and computers work together.