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A budget shared is a budget halved… or quartered


Most marketing teams operate with reduced budgets currently and indications are that spends will be constrained further during 2012. After several years of cost cutting many are struggling to find areas of marketing communication that can be cut without seriously damaging brand, programme and promotion awareness.

How does cost-sharing work?

The first step is to accept that your target audience welcomes other company’s messages just as openly as yours and that busy people have a preference for concise communication of offers and information that they’ll find of interest and of use to their business.

Since 2007 the principle has been used in communicating vehicle manufacturers’ aftermarket messages to over 45,000 independent garages and bodyshops. At a time when marketing budgets were being slashed along came Original Magazine, the first multi-brand trade customer loyalty magazine which didn’t compromise client brand values

As Managing Director John Vize put it, ‘They had all been spending a fortune communicating with the same people. The challenge was to get them to view each other as cost-sharing partners. By 2011 fifteen vehicle manufacturers had participated in the magazine, presenting their trade parts proposition, programmes, promotions and pricing to virtually the entire market for “less than the price of a stamp” and Original Magazine came to be recognised and valued by the trade.

Clearly companies would be reluctant to approach others in their sector to propose cost sharing but advertising agencies, customer loyalty magazine publishers and direct marketing companies can take the initiative. It will serve them well as existing clients will certainly listen to a cost-saving proposition that delivers wider reach at a fraction of the cost of a solo publication or mailing.

Direct mail

The principle of cost-sharing in direct mail is not new; although little used in the UK business to business sector, it is widely employed in the USA.

If your clients already run direct mail campaigns to prospects, they will be well aware that the bulk of the cost is the postage. An additional barrier to effective direct mail is sourcing a robust database. Cost-sharing in direct mail can alleviate both these constraints.

Now a new company, Share2Save Mailing provides the opportunity to access almost the entire UK automotive aftermarket at a fraction of the cost of a solus mailing. 

The Wire is a monthly package containing around a dozen mailers and leaflets which is mailed to 50,000 vetted trade accounts in the UK garage and body repair sector. The Wire brand has been established with the trade through a continuous year long press advertising campaign to establish it as a welcomed service bringing relevant information and offers. Selected suppliers include parts manufacturers and distributors, workshop equipment suppliers, garage data system providers, clothing and workwear companies, trade associations and many more wishing to communicate regularly or occasionally with this market.  Independent research has indicated that 86% of recipients would prefer to receive the information in one handy package rather than a myriad of individual mailers, and 98% said that they would open it.

More information and a brief explanatory video can be found at


Share the future

For clients with nothing more to cut, big savings can still be made through cost sharing.