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How To Dominate Your Co-Op Marketing Program With the Help of SOCi


Distributor brands often need help gaining local visibility due to heavy competition, varying consumer preferences, and no localized marketing strategy. 


You’re missing out on local consumers if your brand doesn’t appear in organic searches or has minimal social media presence. Even worse, you’re potentially losing them to competitors.


To gain local customers, distributor brands must start leveraging a localized marketing strategy, as well as a co-op program. This entails partnering with local dealers that sell your products or services and creating a mutually beneficial partnership.  


By combining these approaches, your brand can establish a powerful local presence, optimize localized content and campaigns, and ultimately drive sales in targeted markets.


Keep reading to learn how…


What Is Localized Marketing?


Before we get any further, let’s define both localized marketing and co-op marketing programs. Localized marketing focuses on creating an online presence within specific local markets, leading to improved brand awareness and increased sales for your distributor brand and local dealers.


The three pillars of localized marketing are local search, local social, and online reputation management. 


Your job as a distributor brand is to work with local dealers to define local markets and then use localized marketing tactics to improve sales and brand recognition for the local dealers within your geographic areas.


Read our blog post on localized marketing for distributor brands for a very in-depth guide on localized marketing.


What Is a Co-Op Marketing Program?


Once your brand and local dealers have defined your local markets and areas, it’s time to implement the three pillars of localized marketing into each area to support your dealers better. 


To implement your localized marketing strategies, you’ll need a co-op marketing program, or a co-op program for short.


A co-op program is a collaborative initiative where the brand and its authorized local dealers contribute resources to create and execute marketing campaigns.


Together, your distributor brand and its authorized local dealers will focus on promoting your brand’s products or services to your defined local markets. 


How to Make Your Co-Op Programs Successful


Co-op programs are a symbiotic relationship between your brand and local dealers. Therefore, both parties must ensure they get the most out of the co-op program and partnership. The following tactics will help establish a successful partnership.


1. Ensure Dealers Reap the Benefits


Local dealers need to feel like they’re getting something in return for their partnership beyond increased sales of your products or services.


You can ensure your co-op programs run successfully by doing the following for your partnered dealers:

  • Have brand guidelines to help maintain brand standards and integrity 
  • Shift to digital to better define and measure desired marketing outcomes
  • Give dealers exposure as well by including their special promotions and programs in marketing campaigns
  • Make the co-op program as “turn-key” as possible, where you’re doing the majority of the lift early on


With a co-op program, your partnered dealers are receiving more revenue when your products sell. They’re also boosting their own local digital visibility and getting more online traffic.


2. Define Local Markets Together


Your distributor brand and its local dealers might have differing definitions of local markets. 


For instance, a large distributor brand will likely have numerous local areas they’re focusing on — from state-wide regions to individual cities or a single zip code. In contrast, local dealers will focus on only a few zip codes they serve — sometimes just one.


Local dealers must play a role and help define their local markets. As a distributor brand, you can share your local marketing data with dealers to help influence or outline these targeted areas. 


Defining local markets together helps ensure your brand is reaching the right audiences, which allows your local dealers to win more customers. 


3. Be Flexible With Budgets


It’s also essential to give local dealers different rates depending on how much support they need and their knowledge of localized marketing. To get the most out of your marketing campaigns, provide dealers with budget options.


For instance, in year one, you might do a 75-25 split where you’re paying for most of the co-op program and making more marketing decisions. While in year two, the co-op program is off the ground. Then, it might make more sense for an even 50-50 split. 


In return, local dealers get more exposure with their branded content or logos and have more influence on marketing campaigns and promotions. 


What’s most important about a co-op program is ensuring your local dealers feel valued and both partners get a worthwhile ROI.


4. Provide Dealers With Digital Assets


Part of a co-op program is having a digital asset management (DAM) program. A DAM is a centralized system to organize, store, and distribute digital marketing assets, such as images, videos, and documents.


DAMs help you take the marketing lift off your dealers by supplying them with valuable digital marketing content. They also ensure consistent and efficient brand representation across you and your local dealers’ marketing channels.


Through your DAM system, you can deliver the following branded content to dealers:


White bullet-point list of items and content to use in your DAM system with a green heading on a dark blue background.


Using Scalable Solutions


Local dealers are often extremely busy and want the co-op program to make their digital marketing easier, not more difficult. The less lift for your dealers, the better. 


Therefore, you need a solution and partner who understands and can deliver your localized marketing needs. That’s where SOCi comes in!


Local Social


Our social media management solution uses automation and dynamic text to help you and dealers deploy content at each location. SOCi can fulfill your DAM needs by allowing you to share libraries, archive posted content, and score and sort top campaigns or posts.


For more regulated industries, SOCi Social has compliance capabilities, keyword filtering, and automated notifications for content editing or removal.



There’s also SOCi Ads PLUS that uses localized dynamic text and images to help you create and deploy 100s or 1,000s of local ads to pre-set targeted audiences.


Download The Localized Social Content Guide for Distributor Brands for more local social media tactics.


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Local Search


To help your distributor brand and local dealers with local search, we offer SOCi Locator and Local Pages services. With many of our distributor brands, we create a locator and local pages specific to your brand. Therefore, customers only see your branded products when they’re on these locators or local pages.


For instance, we did this for ECHO-USA, and they experienced a 152 percent increase in page views in two months and a 271 percent growth in page sessions YoY.

Example of Echo’s dealer locator that shows multiple dealer locations on a map in Cleveland, OH, along with a list of dealers and retailers and their business information

If you’re working with local dealers, we can also help optimize their locators and local landing pages as part of your co-op program.


Partnering With Agencies


We also partner with leading home-service marketing agencies like Mediagistic. Mediagistic uses SOCi to help clients — many of whom work with local dealers — scale social media and organic search across multiple platforms. One Mediagistic account that also uses SOCi has an average of 12,774 monthly social media engagements.


Watch our webinar recording to learn how Mediagistic and SOCi work together to maximize co-op and localized marketing efforts!


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Ready to get started? Request a demo today to gain a deeper understanding of how SOCi can assist your distributor brand in harnessing the potential of localized marketing and help you better support your co-op programs and customers.


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Chi Whitley

Chi Whitley is a content marketer who specializes in local SEO. He’s passionate about helping multi-location businesses grow their brands and online presence in the ever-changing world of localized marketing.

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