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Spice Up your Cross-Marketing

Cross-marketing is one of those goals nearly every professional services business has but few can honestly say they do well. It is, admittedly, an extremely difficult task because it requires a careful strategy. So, what in the world does a humorous Old Spice commercial have to do with this? Well, first watch the video:

This is a pretty ridiculous video for sure. Some people will find it humorous; some will find it jarring. I thought it was an innovative spot. It was also a bit of cross-marketing. Proctor & Gamble owns both Charmin and Old Spice, and both are in the same category – personal care. The commercial is selling two products to consumers in one ad. (Although, it is clear that the focus is on the Old Spice.) According to a New York Times write-up on the ad, this is the first time that a real product has had its ad crashed by another real product made by the same company.

In the professional services realm, no one would suggest that one practice group leader “crash” a client lunch date hosted by a different practice group leader in such dramatic fashion. However, this silly ad reinforces the fact that organizations offering different products and services are well advised to be conscious of opportunities to introduce complementary offerings. Just as Proctor & Gamble wants to own the personal care portion of your life, an accounting or law firm (assuming multiple, synergistic practice areas) should actively aim to own every segment of its clients’ needs.

So, again, how does it all tie together? Communications, from the routine to the specialized, need to effectively underscore just what an organization offers. Write to anticipate and target what your consumer’s total needs are. Focus on solving problems, and design each piece of communication and every marketing initiative as a strategic tool.

While I am not saying you should go out and launch a media blitz (or hire a heavily muscled pitchman for that matter), you can take strategic steps to break down barriers between practice areas by being strategic and tailoring your communications for maximum impact.

–  Michael Bond

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