I was contacted by one of our Medicare insurance specialty companies who wanted me to send out a notice they were looking for sponsors for some of their events. First thing I did was to let them know I could not forward their information because I would have to do the same thing for all our approximately 325-members. However, that should not stop anyone from reaching out to any member, or members, in the organization they feel would be a good referral partner. Being a good referral partner would also make them a good marketing partner.
For example, who would be a good marketing partner for a company primarily dealing with older clients? Well, here are just some of the categories I would target: financial services, residential insurance, estate planning attorneys, chiropractors, etc.
We have a lot of those kind of companies and they love to promote, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Let them know you are a member and have an interest in doing joint marketing. Joint marketing is another way of saying, sharing the cost of marketing.
Here is an example one of our mortgage people gave me. He contacts local pizzerias and offers to pay for printing their menus if he can print them with his mortgage advertising on them. The menus are distributed through the neighborhood attached to the pizza boxes. What are good referral sources for mortgage brokers, well, residential insurance and Realtors. It would make sense for him to align himself with an insurance agent and a Realtor from his group. Working together in a marketing partnership is one way of forging a solid relationship.
I started the SNG when I was in the financial services business and here is one joint marketing plan I developed. It started with my setting up some seminar dinners for the VFW members and I split the cost with an estate planning attorney. That is where I learned the expression, “Plate lickers.” When I asked a couple why they were dining and dashing on me before the speaker started, they informed me that they did this regularly as a night out. Hence my dislike for old people.
I had to answer the question on how to get them to stick around long enough for me to interact favorably with them, and I came up with a solution. We had a member who was a local entertainer with a Vegas type show. His show was so good, I eventually helped connect him with the Scintas in Vegas, and he has his own show in Vegas now. I asked him if he would do his show for the veterans and he told me he would do a two-hour show for half price, $350.
I set up the evening for the attendees to start eating at 6pm and the show ran 7-9pm. I had pita sandwiches from one of our members, chips from Costco, with a cash bar, and I had a cleanup and reasonable bartender charge. I had tables set up against the wall and found table sponsors who were anxious to pay $150 each to participate. The veterans hung out listening to the music, dancing, and talking to the sponsors all night long. Besides the table displays, each sponsor got to talk on the microphone about his products or services for a couple minutes each during the entertainment.
My sponsors were an estate planning attorney, a jeweler, a chiropractor, a residential insurance person, and a home healthcare member. This was back in 2009, and the chiropractor told me the other day, he still has at least five people still seeing him from that night, eleven years later. Not a bad return on a $150 investment.
Our SNG members love working with other SNG members on promotional events, we are a good source of sponsors, and finding members to do joint advertising. You have a real source of marketing partners with the SNG, and you are not limited to just one group. For instance, if you have a good marketing idea for a financial planner, we have one in each of our 20-groups. If I were still in the financial service business, I would do as much joint marketing with members as I could.
Copyright Wayne A. Curto 2020