Small Business Marketing | Bartering and Cross Marketing with Other Businesses | MODsocket

Small Business Marketing | Bartering and Cross Marketing with Other Businesses

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Small Business Marketing | Bartering and Cross Marketing with Other Businesses

by Donovan Dillon Contributor

Posted on July 03, 2014 21:15 PM

When it comes to small business marketing, new companies and those with limited cash flow often find that it is difficult to promote their products and services. One way to achieve better results with marketing programs is through bartering and cross marketing with other businesses. By offering your company’s goods or services, you may be able to exchange advertising space with a media outlet. It is also possible to create an advertising campaign that not only benefits your company, but others in the area as well.

Bartering Tips

Bartering has been a part of small business marketing since the beginning of commerce. Almost anything can be bartered, whether it is a product or a service your company offers. For example, if you own a restaurant, you could barter with a local radio station, offering gift certificates for a meal at your restaurant in exchange for advertising on the radio. Companies have bartered website creation, content writing, graphic design and many other products or services in exchange for what they need for promoting their business. Here are a few tips to remember when entering a bartering agreement:

  • Be prepared to negotiate back and forth so that the bartering experience benefits both companies.
  • Remember that bartering rarely includes an exchange of cash, so it is important to keep the company bottom line in mind when choosing to barter rather than sell products or services.
  • Treat a barter client just as you would any other client by putting all deals in writing.
  • Include a deadline for goods or services to be delivered.
  • Clear communication is critical in a bartering relationship in order to address any issues that may arise in the process and to keep the project moving forward.
  • Remember that the fair market value of the goods and services exchanged must be declared as income for tax purposes.

Cross Marketing

Another method used in small business marketing is cross marketing with other companies. Cross marketing programs for small business involve finding goods and services offered by other companies that complement what your company offers. The process works best when the companies have the same target market yet are not in direct competition. Cross marketing benefits businesses by allowing companies to share in the advertising costs in addition to saving time since more than one marketing agency shares the workload. Cross marketing expands your customer base, helping you reach markets that you may not have been able to reach previously.

Cross Marketing Examples

There are several ways cross marketing programs for small business can be incorporated into a small business marketing campaign. One example is through joint contests. For example, a dress shop and a shoe store could develop a contest where the winner receives a merchandise certificate for a new dress and matching shoes. The contest would advertise both businesses, encouraging consumers to visit each location to enter as many times as possible. Promotions can also be held through likes, tweets or posts on social media. Furthermore, two companies could co-sponsor an event, such as a golf tournament or fashion show, as part of a cross promotion.

Cross promotion and bartering are two excellent methods for start-up businesses or those with restricted cash flow to build a successful small business marketing campaign. To learn more about how MODsocket can help take your small business marketing efforts to the next level, visit us at

About the Author

Donovan Dillon is President of Ad Giants - a Next Generation Marketing Services company specializing in software-as-a-service and creative solutions that improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Donovan has over 25 years of marketing, product management and technology planning experience. He was previously head of Marketing for Broadwing Communications, and has held senior marketing and technical positions with Level 3, XO Communications, and ATT.