Only 2.5 months to go till the end of the year and at that time any co-op monies you have accrued vanish. POOF! Like Flex Benefits, the Use It or Lose It rules applies to coop advertising.
Cooperative advertising is when you (buyer) use the sellers name or product in advertising and in return they rebate or pay a small portion (about 5%) back to the buyer. Many if not most optical companies offer some sort of coop, ranging from website development, store fixtures, direct mail and custom signage. You may have even ordered new uniforms bearing one of your companies names..
Thousands of dollars go unused every year because you forget, don’t track or don’t know that a part of your costs can be offset by the use of coop. For instance, did that Trunk Show qualify for coop advertising? Does that that contact lens ad on your website qualify for coop? Did you do a Direct Mail piece with a vendor? Did you order any store fixtures via a Vendor Program. Companies like Fashion Optical have collabortive partnership with companies like ClearVision Optical. Perhaps you are giving away reusable bags or your gift with purchase is being offset via Coop.
What to do Now
- Gather your coop policies from each of your vendors. Try putting in a spreadsheet, so you won’t forget.
- Map out your end of year marketing plan/ advertising using said vendors.
- Think of some out the box ways you can use coop to get your name and your vendors name out to the public.
- Gather any type of marketing materials you have already done together with invoices to be ready to submit to the vendor by end of the year.
- Put a person in charge that become the Coop Pro
Good luck, there is tons of great ideas on how to use Coop. Don’t be afraid to think differently and be unique.