The Cross Promotion

"A Cross Promotion is a beautiful thing."
That quote was my rallying cry when I directed the Alternative Marketing Department at Mercury Records. I'm a big fan of cross-promotions because they are creative, memorable, and extremely cost-effective-- ideal for young bands with lots of motivation but little money. A cross promotion is a marketing event in which two or more accounts promote each other via a particular artist. These accounts could be record stores, radio stations, press, campus groups/clubs, lifestyle accounts, etc. For example, when at Mercury Records, I directed my staff to setup several of the following simple cross-promotions between a record store and a skateshop to promote the Mighty Mighty BossTones then-new record Let's Face It: Both stores were promoting a contest to win Mighty Mighty BossTones goodies (T-shirts, hats, a skateboard, etc.). In order to enter the contest one first had to go to the skateshop, where he or she was given a free, special BossTones' cassette sampler or promotional item with the address of the record store and contest instructions attached. He or she then took this free item to the record store, showed it to the store clerk, and was then allowed to fill out a contestant entry form. The record store was simultaneously distributing flyers urging customers to go to the skateshop to obtain the free item. Winners were chosen at random and announced at the record store, but picked up their prizes at the skateshop. If set up properly, such a cross promotion makes everyone happy-- the skateshop drives customers to the record store, the record store drives customers to the skateshop, and both stores promote the artist. And all at virtually no cost. The only real expense is the cost of manufacturing the marketing merchandise, which in almost all cross-promotions you, unfortunately, need to bear. Cross promotions may be a bit tricky to put together and monitor-- i.e. making sure that both outlets are doing their part-- but once set up, "a cross promotion is a beautiful thing." As much as possible, you should set up creative cross promotions. And as much as possible, tie a record retail store into such promotions to encourage CD sales.
How It Works
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