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Note: While Jerrilyn focuses on marketing to women, this insight could apply to men also.

Ladies, as the chief of our households, we decide which brands to buy at the grocery stores. We search online (newspapers too) for coupons to save on them to stretch our budget.  We don’t stop buying milk, eggs, bread, butter, etc., for our families just because our budgets are tight.  They are the staples in our households.

Advertising and marketing are the staples for our businesses.  Just because money is tight, we can’t stop doing them.  We just have to find a more affordable way to do them.  Burger King, McDonalds, Nike, LA Fitness, Sears, and more can teach us a lesson when it comes to marketing in a slow economy.

They changed their pricing, created less expensive products and services without bells and whistles, quadrupled their marketing and advertising, combined physical space to reduce their overhead, and much more to ensure they keep their market share.  You are probably saying to yourself that you can’t afford to spend any more money than you already are on your marketing and advertising.

Guess what?  Yes, you can and it won’t hurt.  🙂  You can even find a way to actually reduce your costs by 20% or more.  If you’ve been reading any of my posts, you know that I’m referring to cross marketing and promotion.

Let’s start with your business cards.  Team up with two or more complementary companies to create joint business cards.  It will make you look bigger and smarter by offering your clients and prospects access to products and services that complement yours.  This is perfect for PR, marketing, and advertising specialties consultants who are networking mavericks.  They can promote each other at all of the numerous monthly events they attend.

Next, let’s give your blog a cross marketing makeover.  If you are currently paying to have someone maintain your blog, host it and or in the process of having one designed, you can team up with 5 or more complementary companies to develop an industry specific blog that makes you look like a genius.  You will save money every month while boosting your credibility.  I recommend Promembershipservices.com if you need a blog designer.

Now, let’s give your products and services a makeover.  Come up with a product or service that can be provided in a group setting.  Coaches have perfected group coaching sessions and membership web sites.  Come up with your own unique concept for a business club or membership site.  It will benefit your current clients who’ve slowed down spending money with your company.  Get them excited about your company again.  You will also attract new clients.

Finally, make your Facebook page bring in sales.  Team up with 5 or more of your business associates to create a joint Facebook page that sends traffic and sales to your individual sites as well as your Facebook pages too.  Big companies give away items on a daily basis to engage with their followers.  You and your associates can take a page from their marketing book.  Purchase Facebook advertising together to get premium traffic.  You can take it one step further and purchase LinkedIn advertising to drive traffic to the page.

These are only a few ways you can utilize cross marketing and promotion this summer. Whatever the time or cost investment required to market and advertise your company, you can reduce it to make it more feasible in this rocky economy.  Make a list of what it takes to successfully market and advertise your company to boost its sales.  Then plug in your business associates.

Georgia businesswoman Jerrilynn B. Thomas is the founder of Marketing 2 Women International.  Jerrilynn’s specialty is facilitating cross marketing partnerships between complementary business and professional women to help them increase their female client base while saving time and money on their marketing.  Her services are very exclusive.  She works with women in select business 2 business fields and limits the number per state and international areas.  Visit Womenpartner.com to see if your business is a fit for her expertise.You can follow her on Twitter @WomenPartner, Linkedin.com, and on Facebook.