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How to Find OOH Co-op Dollars

Steps To Finding and Selling Co-op

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Finding Co-op Dollars
Just Ask Vinny! 



by Vincent J. Pannutti,
General Manager, Camel City Poster Productions




Co-op Advertising….
Last year Manufactures offered over $40 Billion dollars in Co-op money a year?  That’s a lot of advertising money.  The crazy thing about it is, at the end of the year 40% of that $40 Billion goes UNUSED! That is Free Money that just goes back into the Manufactures bottom line.

Let’s break Co-op Advertising down and figure out how to utilize its full potential in Outdoor.

What is Co-op Advertising?
Co-op Advertising is an arrangement between a manufacturer/distributor and their reseller to market a product or service for the benefit of both parties. Typically, a manufacturer will give their resellers some portion of money (either a check, discounted purchase price, or some other financial arrangement) in order to market their products.                               

Co-op advertising is a vital component of a small business.  Just think about the small business owner and all of the daily challenges he or she faces.  Opening the store, sales goals, making payroll, paying rent, keeping the lights on, staff challenges, are just a few examples of all things running through their mind.  Thinking about developing a marketing campaign and trying to develop good creative for their brand is normally at the bottom of their list.

This is where you come in.  You need to show them why advertising needs to be top of mind.  Providing Co-op advertising opportunities to your clients will take that small business owner from a little pool, to a big pool where the manufactures have created the marketing campaign that they can use and that they will pay a portion of the costs.

Why is it so hard to nail down Co-op money?
This is the question that’s been plaguing media salespeople for years.  The answer, it is not hard.  It just takes a little extra time and the have to. This reminds me of a speech that Chet Steadman gave to Henry Rollengardner on the mound in classic 1993 movie Rookie of the Year.   He may not have known what he was saying, but he knew that Henry needed the have to…  Interpret that as you may, but ultimately you have to do it in order to get better, the fear of rejection is always there.  The more you do it the easier it becomes. Deal from the Have to.   https://youtu.be/zUTKpJXNx1k

Get the Money!
Obtaining Co-op dollars is just adding another step to the sale.  Whenever we add to our workload as salespeople we tend to work towards easier tasks or the easier sale.   Co-op is not the easy quick sale, but it could provide a consistent account that gives you the stable income that you are looking for year to year.

All manufactures and distributors have certain “Rules” that resellers must follow in order to comply to their Co-op fund mandates.  Some of these rules are rather simple like using specific artwork/creative templates created by the manufacture, using an approved Medium, and providing Proof of Performance.   That doesn’t sound too hard does it?  I mean you already need to get artwork done and if they provide it, great!  You know you will be sending a POP photo to your client after the board is up, so what is the issue?  Why are you not driving more co-op business to your company?

Companies that provide co-op dollars Advertise, Period.  That’s why they provide the money.  It is on you to find that money and teach the Distributor or Retailer how to turn that money into revenue to their bottom line.

Steps To Finding Co-op Money!

  1. Find out who is offering Co-op Money
  2. Most major manufactures offer some kind of co-op.
  3. Reach out to me to look for a list of Companies offering Co-op.
  4. Start with the Dealership/Retailer
  5. Discuss their most successful products
  6. Once you know what they sell a lot of then you need to tell them that you will do some research on how much Co-op they have available.

Steps to Selling Co-op

  1. Target the Co-op Opportunity
    1. Use Camel City’s Weekly Hump Day Sales Ideas to spur some of your Co-op Targets. Or just reach out to us to discuss who it using Co-op in outdoor.
  2. Set-up the Call with the opportunity
    1. Are you taking advantage of co-op advertising?
    2. Let them know that you can assist them
  3. Prepare Your Co-op packet
    1. Gather materials about that plan from Camel City Posters
    2. See if there are spec ads and place the Retailers information in the spec ads.
  4. On-Site Visit with Advertiser
    1. Present your co-op opportunity with the ad packet and a media co-op brochure. Reinforce the Four Steps in which you can assist them in building new business through co-op advertising. 1. Identify Brand Advertising Opportunities 2. Accrual Research 3. Obtain Approval on Ad Materials 4. Assist in the Claim Process
    2. Be sure to have an Authorization Letter and Request form included in your packet of info.
    3. Camel City can assist you on each step.
  1. Conduct the Co-op Research
    1. Call your Camel City Representative and find out exactly what the manufacture is offering and how much money they have available to that retailer.
  2. Refine Proposal & Verify Co-Op Requirements
    1. Once co-op accrual results are received, the next step is to verify the requirements needed in the ad to qualify for reimbursement. Tailor the ad based upon the accrual findings, as well as the manufacturer requirements.
  3. Get Manufacturer Pre-Approval
    1. Usually required, but always recommended as a safeguard to all involved. In case of delays, allow appropriate time for any changes or revisions. Email the final ad to the brand for review and approval.
  4. Provide Claim Documentation
    1. Verify that you can satisfy the claim requirements prior to running the advertisement. Assemble the claim documentation for the advertiser to submit to the manufacturer for reimbursement.



How do I find out what Co-op Opportunities are available?
This is where Camel City comes in, we work to provide you with all of the ammo you need to close this deal.  We can provide you with all of the important details associated with the client and what co-op dollars are available.  Camel City will provide everything from the corporate co-op contacts, percentages paid, paperwork, accrual info, guidelines, approval process and more! We have access to each corporation’s library of promotions and stock artwork. These services and information are available to all of our clients at NO CHARGE when you print your production with us. If we can help spur more Out of Home sales, we are doing our part to help grow our industry.

Camel City is here to help you from Design to Print!


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1 Comment
  1. Mark says

    Hi Vinnie, I love the article! Co-op dollars were used a lot back when I was in the telephone book days but it has really fallen off the radar over the years.
    I am wondering if you have any resources for co-op dollars in Canada?

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