Collaborative Marketing: How it works for businesses and communities

old town centerWe were forwarded some exciting numbers from LFA member Old Town Center for the Arts (OTCA) in Cottonwood, and we just had to share:

OTCA has been relentless with its marketing campaign the past 5 years to promote 'Old Town' [Cottonwood] and the region. Over 350 press releases and advertising efforts have reached millions throughout Phoenix, the Verde Valley, Sedona, and throughout AZ. Over 65,000 attendees (including patrons at the Theater, Studio B and Unity) have spent over $2,000,000 in purchases at restaurants, wine tasting rooms and vineyard visits, retail shops, galleries, hotel and lodging, transportation and other expenditures in Verde Valley / Sedona. Patrons who attend OTCA events invest in our local economy. Local attendees spend an average of $32 beyond the ticket price of a concert or event, out of town visitors spend an average of $54 beyond the ticket price (*Americans for the Arts economic impact study data - Northern AZ, Flagstaff). Co-marketing is good business for all businesses. Lets make Old Town a destination - with a diversity of attractions, culinary experiences, wine tasting, art, entertainment and cultural enrichment. It's all here in the Verde Valley.

This rings true, especially from our experience with our Small Wonders map for the Verde Valley region and other areas around the state. Our maps bring together businesses of all types and present them in a neat package to the consumer, to show what the entire region has to offer. You can say that there is an excellent coffee shop in Cottonwood, but will that entice someone from Phoenix to actively seek it out? When you package it together to say that you can visit Cottonwood and go to the best coffee shop in the region, stay at a highly rated historic hotel, and sample locally-produced wines all in one trip, then you're using collaborative marketing. When we start thinking beyond the four walls of our own business and begin to reach out regionally and cross-community, the possibilities are endless for collaborative relationships and opportunities that are mutually beneficial. 

If you have embarked on a collaborative marketing campaign, what was your experience? What successes did you have, or what challenges did you face?