When my bride and I need a quick break we’ll sometimes dash off to Vegas.

So it was last month when we checked into Vdara, which lacks casino, smoke, and glitz.

At the Registration Desk our key cards arrived in an imprinted sleeve which went right into my pocket.

Upstairs we discovered tucked inside instructions for express checkout.

Also included were marketing materials for Vdara’s spa; 14 restaurants; the in-house market; smoothie bar; bar; Uber; and (of course) Starbucks.

All were items that I wouldn’t necessarily have sought out, but was pleased to find.

It’s called cooperative marketing, in which alliance partners sharing similar marketing goals collaborate to add value to each other’s audience.

Each marketer goes in expecting to share clientele, resources, and (hopefully) profits.

To be successful, any package offered by this strategic alliance must deliver a “win” for the participating companies AND for the customer.

This type of marketing partnership can be a smart move, as it permits corporate allies to:

  • Strengthen each brand
  • Reach new customers
  • Increase customer loyalty by offering added value
  • Reduce individual marketing costs

Vdara’s partnerships were very specific to the hotel’s guests, and included upscale restaurants, transportation, and in-house profit centers.

The usual Vegas suspects (shows, girls, and gambling) were nowhere in sight. For those we had to walk out the door…or take Uber.

Collaborative marketing relationships can be developed by any kind of business. All it takes is insight into your customer’s profile, a willingness to take risks, and some imagination.

That’s why an independent motel lacking kitchenettes invites guests to order from the local pizzeria.

It explains car dealerships who partner with area gas stations for a new car’s first 200 gallons of gasoline.

And provides writing instrument manufacturers opportunities to team up with printers.

You get the idea.

Somewhere out there is a partnership just perfect for your business. Finding it is as easy as:

  • Reviewing your customer profile
  • Determining non-competing business types interested in speaking to your customers
  • Developing a creative concept making the partnership appealing to two sets of customers (yours and your partner’s)
  • Striking the partnership
  • Implementing the program

It’s a business relationship, of course, so you’ll need agreements specifying realistic goals and commitments.

But handled properly, everyone’s bottom line should grow nicely.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.