How can you use marketing contra deals for your business

In a competitive business environment it can be hard for start up businesses to earn their fair share of the marketplace. With smaller budgets and less access to other resources it can be a very volatile environment for a business in its infancy.  

To help optimise marketing spend for better reach and coverage, start-up business owners are having to be more creative in the strategies that they use to connect with their audience. A good example of a contra deal from a marketing perspective could be offering IT support in exchange for printed paper bags; this particular deal could potentially be between an IT specialist and a paper bag supplier. 


What is a marketing contra deal?


A marketing contra deal is a partnership between two organisations to mutually benefit both parties. Using contra deals as a marketing strategy can help a start up business to keep hold of cash but use other less liquid assets in return for something they need. A marketing contra deal can be successful across a variety of online and offline platforms and usually ideas will evolve and expand after an initial discussion between two businesses. 


Mutually Beneficial 


The whole purpose of any contra deal, whether it be for marketing or any other purpose is that it is mutually beneficial for both businesses involved. Any offering and exchange offer should be of equal value to each business. For example one business may really need some training in order to upskill its staff which it can receive in return for some local sponsorship from another. 


Start-up marketing ideas for a contra deal




Events are a great way to connect with other businesses and business owners. However they could also be a great idea to promote your startup brand or business. Find out if there are goodie bags being handed out to attendees, do you have something you could add to them as a way of promoting your business? This way, you are helping to fill out the goodie bags which will be appreciated by the other business as it will add value for their event attendees yet you are getting your business name in front of some potential customers. It is good to spend time researching the potential event attendees to make sure they are in your target market . 


Guest post opportunities 


A guest post involves writing an article relevant to another site which is then posted on their blog. It is important to build a natural relationship with another business before asking to write a guest post for their site and make sure you are in similar industries or have similar target markets. If they agree to the guest post going live on their site, you can promote it on your own site and social media generating awareness of the other business. If you also include a link to your site in the guest post this will help to improve your site’s SEO . 


Social Media Competitions 


Partnering with another business for a social media competition can really help to drive awareness and increase online following for both businesses. The prizes can be more valuable as one business is not solely taking responsibility for the bill. It can then be posted on both socials with the terms and conditions requiring participants to follow both accounts. 


If you are a start up struggling with your marketing budget, contra deals can be a great way to improve visibility of your business without eating into cash.