10 Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales


The opportunity with co-op is huge. LSA often talks about the $35 billion in co-op ad dollars that go unused each year. Actually utilizing these funds, however, remains a challenge for many.

The first ever LSA Co-op Conference was created to demystify the often misunderstood and widely underutilized world of co-op advertising. Today in Chicago, the half-day event brought together sellers, practitioners and brands to provide a comprehensive look into the co-op advertising tactics and opportunities that are driving meaningful revenue growth for media sellers.

In addition to a number of practical takeaways provided by speakers at the event, attendees also received an advance copy of an LSA paper titled, “Breaking through the Co-op Clutter: Best Practices for Improved Co-op Advertising Sales.” The paper will be available more broadly in coming weeks.

After highlighting the co-op opportunity, the paper provides 10 best practices seen in the market. They are:

1. Make Co-op an Integrated Part of the Sales Process: “Co-op performance would improve if sales organizations baked co-op into all of their sales processes.”

2. Have a Local Champion: “Several of the co-op experts interviewed for this report cited a strong relationship between having a co-op champion/subject matter expert in the local sales office and greater success with co-op.”

3. Hold Sales Leaders Accountable for Co-op Results: “You need someone local who has a vested interest in co-op who is in a position to talk to the reps.”

4. Track Performance: “Organizations that measure co-op performance in real time are in a better position to drive co-op performance.”

5. Eliminate Complexity: “Innovations that limit the steps required of local businesses and media sellers, that make information more accessible and easier to understand and streamline the approval and reimbursement processes, will gradually transform the co-op opportunity.”

6. Develop a List of Target Accounts: “Focusing on a limited number of high-opportunity accounts for co-op can yield better results than requiring co-op in every conversation or needs analysis.”

7. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate: “Keep your teams informed of new co-op programs and the brands that are offering these programs.”

8. Provide Ongoing, Online Training: “On-site co-op training is great, but new hires and refreshers via online training can help prevent co-op numbers from sagging.”

9. Contests and Promotions: “Contest are by their nature not sustainable, so they should be seen as a supplement to more fundamental, long-term changes like integrating co-op into the sales process.”

10. Arm Your Reps with Research: “Supporting all reps with co-op prep will produce more consistent and better conversations about co-op on sales calls.”

View more at the LSA Insider.

Online Ads

LSA Creative Outlet has plenty of ads for print use, but there are also plenty of ad templates for online ads, too!

Print ads typically do not transfer easily, let alone well, to the Internet. Luckily, LSA has plenty of online advertisements to take your pick from on Creative Outlet.

#14 Online Ads

These ads are tailor-made for the Internet, and they come in many sizes to fit your needs.

CityLivingOnlineAdC1606_X_th_CSkyscraper Ads: These are ads you typically see on the side of a website. They are tall and skinny, like a skyscraper.

Banner Ads: Banner ads are usually found at the top of the webpage. They are long and short.

Rectangular: These ads are exactly what they sound like. They are a block-shaped ad that can be found in the middle of a page, or possibly on the side, too.


Head over to LSA’s Creative Outlet and click on the “Online Ads” section under “Ad-Builder.” Or more simply, search for online ads in the search bar!

Keep It Simple

Keep it Simple

The key to selling advertising related to manufacturer co-op plans is to help the local dealer with aspects of the process they’re not comfortable with or need some level of assistance. Your sales process remains the same as it would be for any prospect; you’re selling the value of your audience as potential customers of their business. With co-op however, any material they run generally needs to be reviewed and approved by folks with the manufacturer brand, since they will be reimbursing the dealer a portion of the ad cost. When all is said and done, the local dealer is paying your ad invoice and submitting a co-op claim based on that spending, along with any proof-of-performance documentation (tearsheet, screenshot, notarized script, etc.)

Thousands of manufacturers provide advertising dollars to the dealers of their product lines, but you can never assume that those dealers are entirely aware of how to make use of it. Increase chances for co-op success by using these four simple steps:

  1. ManRetroComputerC1410_X_th_CProvide Co-op Advertising
    Find promotion opportunities with manufacturer brand partners from a co-op plan database or ask the dealers what they know about the brand’s marketing assistance. Most major brands offer some level of local advertising support to their dealer base, so find what you can and ask the local store how you might be able to help them run this with you.
  2. Present Brand Advertising Opportunities…Manufacturers run sales promotions all the time; special financing, gift with purchase and new product introduction offers hit the market regularly. The manufacturer is promoting these through the major networks and other national media, and usually trying to “incentivize” their dealer base to run local promotions as well. Do the stores know how to target your audience with these?
  3. Offer Co-op Advertising Approval Service…Simplify the co-op process for local businesses by offering to have their finished ad reviewed by their manufacturer contact. Helping them manage the approval process will ensure approved dealer promotions and co-op reimbursement.
  4. Supply Co-op Claim Documentation…Ease the process of claim reimbursement for your local dealers by compiling any necessary proof-of-performance under the plan guidelines. Simply commit to delivering a duplicate copy of their invoice and tearsheet/screenshot/script/etc. for each co-op schedule that they run with you.

Stick to the easy stuff…you’ll have far more luck in co-op advertising with the major brands. With your local accounts, look for the big-name product lines that normally have well-established programs and materials. The bigger manufacturers are much easier to work with since the parameters are already established for dealer promotion, and there are online portals for ad material access. All brands will have some semblance of dealer marketing support but in most cases, bigger is better.

Take advantage of current manufacturer promotions…For example, April opens up Spring business north of the Mason-Dixon line and manufacturer brands offer sales promotions to build consumer business. Among the hot categories/brands with consumer promotions this month:

Auto Aftermarket: Castrol, Pennzoil, Valvoline, Bridgestone

Motorsports: BRP CAN-AM, Suzuki, Yamaha

Outdoor Equipment: John Deere, Snapper, Simplicity, Toro

Paint: Ace Hardware, True Value, Benjamin Moore

Certain local dealers will need some level of assistance with the co-op process in order to make sure they get reimbursed for the effort. The only way to know for sure is to ask.

This information is provided by LSA Recas to help take the mystery out of co-op advertising. For more information on how Recas can help expand your brand advertising potential, please visit www.recas.com. Email Tim at tbrennan@recas.com. 

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