Joint marketing has become increasingly popular over the course of the past decade. This is understandable as it is an effective and inexpensive way to reach diverse groups of customers, some of whom are not normally targeted by particular brands’ marketing campaigns. Joint marketing is somewhat similar to what sales people often call “linked sales”; if you like this product, then you will probably like this other one as well, so why not buy both.

One of the most common forms of joint marketing is sponsorship. You have probably seen these in your local supermarkets, on bottled drinks or, for instance, when you get a free CD in your Sunday newspapers. Other than reaching a bigger target market, joint marketing is also a good way to stretch your marketing budget. All the costs are naturally shared by cooperative partners. And, it is a good way to share marketing data and consumers insights.

When it comes to joint marketing, there are no hard rules about it. It is all down to your marketing goals – do you want to reach larger audiences when spreading the message, do you want to increase the sales, or do you want to align yourself with another brand or product in your consumers’ mind and share your brand equity with others?

When social media marketing is considered in this context, new ramifications arise. It is probably a cliché to claim that social media has changed the way in which companies market their products. From Facebook to Twitter and YouTube, there are entirely new platforms that companies can use to communicate with their customers and channel their creativity. So, what happens when brands combine social media and joint marketing? Sometimes interesting and innovative marketing campaigns can happen.

One recent campaign saw KFC Australia teaming up with the Madden brothers (from the band Good Charlotte) for a new campaign culminating on Australia Day. This campaign asks Australians to post pictures and stories about the good times they have had in Australia on the KFC Good Times Facebook page; the Madden brothers will read the posts and use them as inspiration for their new song. Appropriately called the Good Times campaign, this partnership is a brilliant example of how to use both social media and joint marketing in order to reach existing customers and at the same time try to reach out to new customers.

If handled smartly, creatively and innovatively, joint marketing can give great results.