At a time when every publisher is scrambling for the chance to grow their revenues, why are less than 50% of all co-op program dollars still not being used??
You read that right – less than 50% of the available co-op advertising dollars are going unused. Talk about money being left on the table by publishers, but also by business owners who could be realizing the benefit of more/bigger ad programs if they only knew the money was available. And for you in sales – that also means unearned commissions.
First a quick primer – exactly what is “Co-op” advertising? Co-op advertising is when a manufacturer or distributor helps promote the sales of their products/services by sharing the cost of advertising with local dealers or retailers in exchange for placing their logo and/or product illustration in that dealers/retails local ads.
You have all seen examples – a heating/air conditioning repair service that works on Trane systems. A local garage door repair service with a LiftMaster logo in their ads. A car repair shop with the BMW logo in their ad. These are all examples of ad where that local business gets some reimbursement for the cost of the ad directly from the supplier/manufacturer.
The Yellow Page industry provides a significant opportunity for national manufacturers and distributors to partner with local dealers where an estimated $1.5+ billion dollars is available in Co-Op every year. Val Onyski who coordinates the Co-op program for YPA indicated that over 1900 brands are currently involved in the program. YPA members can also enjoy the benefits of a service bureau provided by the Association to help make the whole process smoother and less complex for the sales reps.
With manufactures wanting to reward their best distributors, there has been an increase in the number of informal co-op plans. These programs are similar to the traditional program except that no formal guidelines are provided. Instead, the program is handled on a case-by-case basis between the advertiser and the distributor/manufacturer.
Sure, at the root of this program it’s all about making more money. But don’t forget that by combining the image, the brand name, and even the creative presentation of a recognized national brand with the personalization of local dealers, Co-Op advertising is a really cost-effective way to create greater awareness and interest in those local businesses.
For more information and background on Co-op, you can visit the YPA website here, or contact Val Onyski directly at 248 244-0731.