Due to businesses still working their way out of the recession, some businesses have used updated versions of old favorites.
Reciprocal free promotion. Some businesses have been asking other businesses in complementary fields to plug their business for free – and they will do the same in exchange. This is not a new idea but rather a version of an old idea – bartering.
The key in reciprocal free promotion is that the products are not close enough competition to take sales away, but close enough to make sense for the shopper of one business to be interested in the product of another.
Examples have been for a Home decor business to show the products of a kitchen manufacturer. Seasonal opportunities for a home decor business to promote the products of a core Christmas retailer. Most often a sample product, literature and even discount or coupon information is included. Businesses have had success in this regard.
For reciprocal free promotion to be successful, business owners must first feel comfortable with the business they are partnering with. They must also feel that the other business will follow through on their end so that it is not a one way or benefit for just one of the businesses. In order to do this, a business owner will want to first get to know the owner of the other business a bit more than just a one conversation encounter.
Nevertheless, based on the historical benefits of the barter system, reciprocal free promotion is a blueprint for success.