How to Use Co-Op Dollars to Maximize Your Marketing Budget

First, let’s start with what is Cooperative (co-op) Advertising? It’s when a manufacturer of a brand or product pays for a portion or all of an advertisement that includes both the vendor brand and your practice’s brand. Co-op advertising can range from tv ads, magazines, billboards, pay-per-click, websites, social media and anything else the vendor is willing to pay for. We have helped facilitate everything from vehicle wraps to radio and even celebrity endorsements.

There are several advantages to using co-op advertising in your marketing plan to help your practice maximize their advertising dollars. Using co-op advertising cuts down not only on your marketing costs but can also reduce your ad production and creative expenses. Many aesthetic laser companies and other industry vendors offer co-op programs that can really help reduce your overall marketing budgets and gain market share.  Co-op advertising is a cost-effective way to minimize media costs, ad production, and creative expenses while also increasing Return On Investment (ROI)  by reaching more of your target audience.

The co-op programs can be cumbersome and if you do not have the experience, we know it can be difficult to understand the individual program, since different manufacturers have more restrictions than others. Different tiers, hidden compliance issues, large amounts of money at risk – these are just a few hurdles to overcome when using co-op advertising dollars. Many practices are not taking advantage of these FREE advertising dollars because they do not have the resources or experience to work with both the brand or product vendor and a marketing vendor to be compliant throughout the entire process from pre-appeal to submission to reimbursement.

We know many practice managers lack the high-level support they need to help facilitate some of the many duties that every practice manager has. The manager, if you even have one, is already responsible for the day-to-day activities, they also need to oversee how they would get more patients and how they would get reimbursed from their co-op.  Some vendors like Coolsculpting do provide resources like CoolNet, which are full of resources and guides but the information can be overwhelming.

MD Internet Marketing has successfully competed in co-op programs with Allergan, Coolsculpting, MiraDry, Emsculpt, Ulthera, and many more. Many of these programs offer 100% reimbursement or 50% reimbursement, one example from CoolSculpting at this time is to spend $15,000 in Q3 & Q4 of 2021 and receive $7,500 in cash reimbursement.

Here are 5 ways to maximize your co-op advertising dollars for your aesthetic practice:

1. Create a plan based on their timeframe.

Planning is key when it comes to success. Some co-op programs are quarterly, semi-annually, or based on the specific time frame after the purchase of the equipment. Make sure you are aware of their requirements, which vary from vendor to vendor.

2. Understand the compliance rules.

Many vendors provide a co-op guide that can help your team understand what language, logo, color(s) and other advertising guidelines are allowed for that specific company. They often provide best practices, including, staff training, ad copy, images and even verified vendors.

Here is an example of CoolSculpting’s Compliance Guide:

We work with these guides like this all of the time to ensure brand compliance during the entire co-op marketing campaign.

3. Always get your ads pre-approved.

This is often a requirement but that is not always the case but by doing this step you ensure your ad is in compliance via documentation, usually email or via the vendor portal. There are a lot of meticulous steps to follow that can be tedious if you don’t know what you are doing. We can make sure all your marketing activities are pre-approved and eligible for reimbursement. Always double-check, even triple-check your ad. Look for misspelling, don’t set unrealistic expectations for the treatment you are advertising, and do not promote off-label treatments that you may use at your practice.

4. Reduce the number of marketing channels.

The process can be complicated, so if you have 5K, we would spend it on 1-2 channels in order to maximize our impression, reach, and conversions. Quality over quantity is key when it comes to maximizing your co-op marketing opportunities. As your co-op budgets increase, so should your co-op marketing endeavors but to get started, just run the best ads to run on channels we know work, like Google and Social Media. Our team has created many successful ad campaigns by choosing a few places to run ads we have customized for that specific channel. When it comes to digital marketing the landscape is always changing. Vendors like CoolSculpting, offer guides that are helpful and can make an impactful change to give you an advantage over other practices. Knowing the platform you advertise on can increase awareness and help drive consumer conversion.

5. Set your expectations accordingly.

A large portion of the funds will be used for branding of the vendor’s product. Remember to put the branding of the vendor, and it’s important to only include the specific treatment you are advertising. For example, if you are wanting to get Co-op dollars for CoolSculpting you cannot have any other treatment or brand even other Allergan Aesthetic brands in the ad. Also, include your practice name inside the pre-approved ads. If the vendor is running Direct To Consumer (DTC) ads, any ads your practice runs will see at least a 5X increase. With this you can ride the waves they create.

If your practice is having a hard time taking advantage of your co-op programs in any way, MD Internet Marketing can help. We have established long-term relationships with each vendor and have proven to deliver both marketing results and 100% reimbursements. Have a full focus on your patients and treatments while we take care of marketing and handle the co-op processes. When you get co-op dollars you should spend all of it. You are getting more reach for less money. If you’re interested in discussing how MD Internet Marketing can help you navigate the co-op landscape and your ongoing marketing efforts, please reach out to schedule a free one-hour consultation about your digital marketing goals.


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