Last Minute Co-​op Opportunity Leads to $10,000 Sale

BY Adam Ambro
Featured image for “Last Minute Co-​op Opportunity Leads to $10,000 Sale”

Challenge: Advertise an existing business’s newest acquisition

When you find something that works, you stick with it. But what if your business is attempting to expand in an all-​new direction? A hardware store owner just outside of Burlington, Iowa learned that a new venture requires a new game plan when it comes to advertising.

[He] is more into traditional advertising and doesn't understand a lot about digital,” Laura Zurmuehlen, marketing representative of The Hawk Eye newspaper, said of the store owner.

What may have worked in the past would no longer cut it, though, after the owner recently acquired an appliance store to incorporate into his existing business.

A few years ago, [he] bought another business and moved them into his store,” said Zurmuehlen. “The challenge for them is they only use traditional media (paper and radio). They are missing a large area of people who have no clue they sell appliances, TVs and cabinets. Most people think of them as a hardware store. Because of the location, you will not just drive by, so you need to give people a reason to stop out.”

Solution: Reduce digital advertising risk by using co-​op dollars

Zurmuehlen’s presentation to the hardware store included a pitch to use digital co-​op funds. In this way, the owner could explore the world of digital advertising with less risk and without having to reallocate anything from his regular marketing budget.

I found the Whirlpool co-​op information as I was using AdMall for prospecting,” said Zurmuehlen. “[He] had no idea he had co-​op or how to use it. I then went back to AdMall for all the details on whom to contact. We found out he had $5,363 to use within a week before it expired." 

Result: The appliance division gets an assist

We did banner ads with the money because we had such a short turnaround time,” said Zurmuehlen. “We now plan to do SEM more evenly though the year. He has agreed to do the digital because of Whirlpool’s 100% reimbursement co-op.” 

In the end, the hardware/​appliance/​TV/​cabinet store got some much-​needed buzz. And Zurmuehlen? She scored a 12-​month deal worth $9,800.