I’ve been thinking a lot about collaborative marketing lately, and how we can turn co-existing businesses more into partners and less about missed opportunities. I think there’s a great untapped market for someone that really wants to grab collaborative marketing and run with it.
For example – imagine you’re going on a trip. You have to fly to get there, so there are a few processes you need to go through before, during and after:
- Buying your ticket.
- Driving to the airport.
- In-flight activities.
- Hotel or accommodation when you land.
- Rental car.
These are just the basics – I’m sure there are a lot more depending on what your individual needs are.
Instead of doing this all separately, there was some form of collaborative marketing behind it to make your life easier? I don’t know about you, but I know when my own life is made easy, I’m inclined to use the same service or product again. So.
Imagine if, when you buy your ticket (online or offline), the airline has a deal with all the major car hire firms like Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, etc. So, you buy your ticket and you have an option to hire your car at the same time. The rental firm then comes out and drops your car off. Or, better still, the airliner has a deal with airport cab firms to pick you up and take you to your flight.
Now, let’s also say that when you’re buying your ticket, you have the option of logging onto the booking site via Facebook Connect. If you’ve filled out your Movies and Music preferences on Facebook, the airline sees this. They then load this information into the media options available to your flight using something like iTunes. You can then watch your type of movies (if there’s a screen on the back of the seat in front of you), or your favourite music via an iTunes console.
With regards the hotel or accommodation, if you have to look after it and your company isn’t paying for it, again the airline has a partnership with hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and more, and not just the big ones but of all sizes. You fill out a short cheat sheet when buying your ticket and the three most suitable accommodations pop up.
And the rental firm that started it all off?
They’re there (obviously) at the other end. But what they’ve done when you booked initially is ask what type of trip you’re having, and the kind of things you like to do when relaxing. So, when you pick up your car at the other side, the GPS is loaded with some destinations you might enjoy. And they’re tied in with local businesses that are part of the collaborative marketing approach of all the above.
Now, this is a pretty simple take on basic marketing 101. Yet, as an example of true collaborative marketing, it’s a start.
But it’s got to be better than a non-starter, no?
image: Ranjith Shenoy