7 Tips To Maximize Optical Co-op Advertising

Beginning of the year- you have a marketing plan and a budget, hopefully you did not forget to consider Co-op Advertising as a way to stretch your advertising dollars. Co-op is one of the most under utilized methods of advertising and marketing. Co-op Advertising is a cost-sharing arrangement between you, manufacturers or your suppliers. Whether it’s the Yellow Pages, U-Tube Video or Bus Stops- it makes fiscal sense to consider Co-op for any type of marketing programs.

Benefits of Coop to Retailer

  • Allow you to reduce your advertising and marketing costs
  • Allow you to create a larger or more colorful ads.
  • Allow you to reach markets in which you may not have considered or did not have funds for.

Benefits of Coop to the Vendors

  • Co-op ads increase overall awareness of their brand.
  • They increase their sales.
  • They increase their market share.
In the old days- Co-op was pretty straight forward. The typical co-op program was 5% of net sales up to 50% of the ad. You could not use the vendors competition in the ad. Reimbursement was at the end of the year.
As an example- Net, Net Sales (Total sales, less discount and returns) was $10,000. 5% of $10,000 is $500. Ad cost is $1000. Coop would pay for $500 of the ad. Not a bad gig. Now with the advent of designer brands, who are very picky about their image, you may or may not be able to use their name in your Co-op for advertising.

7 Tips to Maximize Coop Advertising

1.) Make up a Coop Notebook with each of your vendors and keep it in one place. Assign a person to be in charge of co-op.

  • Company Name, Rep Name, Company Co-op Contact, Percentage allowed, Ad Slicks available, Reimbursement schedule, Records needed. How you can use.

2.) Learn What is Available

  • Speak to every one of your suppliers and get their Co-op Policy. (in writing) If you are carrying branded eyewear- read closely what you can do and not do. Be sure to know the requirements before placing ad. Example- Clearvision policy

3. Meet with your media representatives..

  • Newspapers, magazines, and radio and television stations and even promo items have reps that will help you.

4. Keep good records..

  • You need to keep accurate records of how much you spent on every ad with each manufacturer, and you also need to keep copies of the ad to show your compliance with all of the rules. 

5. Get reimbursed.

  • You will need to submit your ad and a copy of the bill with a claim form within a designated date. Very important- because you can’t submit 2008 co-op in June of 2009.

6.) Stock the product-

  • It doesn’t make sense to co-op using product you are not using or buying. Remember the more you spend with the company, the more reimbursement you will receive. Plus you should have an inventory if you will be advertising it.
7.) Be Creative
  • You may not be stuck with Traditional print or media advertising. Think about Special Events, Trunk Shows, remodeling, office attire, CE education as part of the Co-op Advantage.

You can also purchase the Co-Op Advertising Programs Sourcebook 2000 “The Co-op Advertising Programs Sourcebook is the essential link between manufacturers subsidizing advertising programs, retailers who need to stretch their ad dollars, and media and sales representatives looking to sell more advertising. This industry “Bible” lists 4,000 available co-op programs in 52 different product classifications. From Agricultural Products to Toys, the range of categories is tremendous. All this valuable information is now available 24/7 online at Co-opAdvertisingPrograms.com.”