What is Piggyback Marketing? Piggyback Marketing Definition, Benefits, and Examples

Cost minimization is a fundamental aspect of any business’s goals. This includes reducing manufacturing expenses, factory overheads, and marketing expenditures. Modern-day businesses constantly seek cost-effective approaches because traditional marketing tactics can be financially demanding.

However, there are numerous cost-efficient marketing strategies available that enable companies to communicate their message affordably. One such strategy is piggyback marketing.

Piggyback marketing can help reduce overall business costs and ensure better access to a target audience. So, what is piggyback marketing, and how does it benefit businesses in their marketing journey? Let’s find out!

What is Piggyback Marketing? Piggyback Marketing Definition

The term piggyback means “on or as if on the back of another

Piggyback marketing is a collaborative marketing strategy in which two businesses or companies showcase each other’s complementary products within the same market instead of competing directly.

Piggyback advertising is cost-effective since both partners promote each other to their respective audiences. While piggyback marketing is not a new concept, its popularity has grown recently due to the increased use of social media and the internet.

It is essential to understand that piggyback advertising is most effective when the collaborating companies offer complementary rather than competing products.

Piggyback Advertising Example for Basic Understanding

Let’s consider the example of a car manufacturer that purchases tires and batteries from other companies. Tires and cars complement each other rather than being in direct competition.

In this scenario, the car company can endorse its partner tire manufacturer in relevant markets. Many companies act as carriers, promoting their partners’ products (the riders).

Furthermore, piggyback marketing extends beyond sales; companies often share each other’s digital content across various platforms to reach a broader audience. We will discuss piggyback marketing examples in detail later.

Who Can Use Piggyback Advertising? Uses of Piggybacking

Piggyback marketing is useful for following.

  • Local businesses seeking to broaden their presence in either local or international markets but face constraints in budget or specialized knowledge for expansion
  • Startups or small businesses lacking sufficient financial backing for impactful marketing strategies
  • Companies that sell complementary products
  • Startups that need visibility in the market and reach a customer base
  • International or multinational companies aiming to penetrate new markets with limited insights into their target demographics

Nowadays, online piggyback marketing is becoming trendier in the business world. Companies involved in piggyback advertising share each other’s content to boost their brand visibility and generate more website traffic.

What are the Rules for Piggyback Marketing?

Here are some important rules to consider when making a piggyback marketing strategy for your brand.

  • It is important to select a reputable brand that shares similarities with your own and targets a similar audience.
  • Always seek permission before using an established brand’s name or image in your marketing materials.
  • Avoid making untrue statements or exaggerating your association with an established brand in your marketing strategies. Instead, prioritize honesty and transparency.
  • When communicating, adjust your message and tone to match the established brand and its audience. It is a symbol of respect for the other brand.
  • Make sure that your personal brand stands out and is easily distinguishable from the existing brand.
  • For effective piggyback marketing, ensure timely execution that aligns with the ongoing promotions or events of the established brand to maximize impact.

Things to Remember When Making a Piggyback Marketing Strategy

Piggyback marketing strategies require you to consider multiple factors depending on your industry or region. However, considering the following elements is necessary when you are building a piggyback marketing campaign.

a)     Identifying Your Audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial when considering marketing channels like piggybacking. It is essential to collaborate with a company that can connect you with potential buyers. Partnering with a company outside your industry won’t yield favorable results.

For instance, if you sell laptops, aligning with a desktop or tablet seller makes sense since their audience overlaps with yours. However, partnering with a refrigerator seller would be ineffective as their target market differs significantly.

b)     Geographic Focus

Expanding your business requires strategic consideration of the target region. Your partner may operate at regional, national, or international levels. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the extent of your expansion and your capacity to meet increased customer demand.

Meeting consumer expectations is vital for both you and your partner. Failing to do so can harm both companies’ reputations and credibility. Strengthening distribution channels is also crucial; increased production without reliable distribution risks damaging market reputation.

c)      Timing of Collaboration

The effectiveness of piggyback marketing depends on choosing the right partner at the right time. Collaborate with a company experiencing high commercial activity for quick market penetration.

 However, partnering with a company that is losing market position due to new competitors or other reasons can harm your reputation. Timing your collaboration is critical to maximizing benefits and avoiding risks in piggyback marketing campaigns.

Piggyback Marketing Advantages

Using piggyback marketing offers several benefits for your business. Here are some notable advantages of piggyback marketing.

1)     Expanded International Market Reach

Businesses often seek access to international markets once they have established themselves locally or nationally. However, penetrating international markets can be challenging. Piggybacking with international or multinational corporations enables businesses to build brand recognition globally and establish their presence.

2)     Knowledge Transfer from “Carriers” to “Riders”

Through piggyback marketing, where one company (the carrier) supports another (the rider), the rider gains not only access to a new market but also an opportunity to learn from the carrier’s expertise. Collaborating on marketing initiatives with a reputable industry player provides valuable insights and learning experiences.

3)     Increased Sales Opportunities

The collaborative nature of piggyback marketing contributes to increased sales volumes and revenue generation. Accessing new markets ultimately leads to more sales opportunities and business growth.

4)     Targeted Audience Access

Piggyback marketing is effective when partnering with a relevant industry peer. This alignment ensures both partners share the same target audience, which simplifies audience engagement and outreach efforts.

5)     Cost Efficiency

Implementing a piggyback marketing strategy can lead to cost savings for a business. In fact, it can reduce your marketing budget by 90%. Partnering with an industry leader facilitates entry into new markets without the substantial expenses typically associated with independent marketing campaigns. Reduced advertising expenditures contribute to overall cost reduction.

Disadvantages of Piggyback Marketing                                     

Following are some piggyback marketing disadvantages.

1.      Dependency on Partner Company

One of the primary drawbacks of piggyback marketing is the reliance on another company. This dependency can pose challenges as both parties may have divergent interests and goals. Consequently, there is a risk that they may not allocate sufficient resources to promote your products or services effectively.

2.      Limited Autonomy

Entering into a partnership with another company can result in a diminished level of control. You may find yourself with limited oversight over business operations and promotional strategies. You may have limited control over your product’s marketing, which can potentially lead to unforeseen complications.

3.      Reputation Linked to Partner Company

Another downside of piggyback marketing is that your brand’s reputation becomes connected with that of the partner company. If they fail to meet expectations, it could negatively affect your brand image and drive away customers. Additionally, partnering with a controversial or disreputable company can also negatively affect your brand’s reputation.

4.      Challenges in Addressing Increased Customer Demand

Implementing a piggyback marketing approach can sometimes lead to outcomes that may exceed initial expectations. However, this success may also bring about challenges in meeting the growing customer demand.

Businesses may find themselves lacking in terms of resources, necessitating the installation of new production facilities and the hiring of additional staff.

In a nutshell, failing to meet consumer demand can have negative effects on both partnering companies’ reputations.

How to Grow Online Business with Piggyback Marketing Techniques

Applying the below-mentioned techniques can significantly boost the chances of your piggyback marketing campaigns.

1.      Build Your Online Presence

Collaborative efforts like these in piggyback marketing enable partners to capitalize on each other’s strengths while preserving their own resources and energy.

Identifying the right collaborative partner can significantly improve your online visibility at a reasonable cost. Aligning your business with an established brand can reduce customer acquisition expenses and it also boosts your potential for organic growth.

Maintaining a robust and well-managed presence on social media remains crucial for upholding your business’s image and building your reputation. It is essential to regularly assess and optimize this presence to ensure maximum visibility.

Through these strategic partnerships, you can attract customers from both local and global markets who may have otherwise overlooked your business. You can also consider a digital revamp to refine your profile and gain more attention.

2.      Build an Advantage

As mentioned earlier, piggyback marketing has gained popularity with a massive increase in digital media usage. More and more marketers have started considering piggyback marketing as a reliable and effective marketing source.

In piggyback marketing, two different brands join hands to promote each other’s products or services to their respective target market. This method is highly cost-effective and can be a competitive advantage as well. Here are some examples of how different brands can collaborate.

  • A partnership between a convention center and a hotel offering event planners a package with breakout rooms and free accommodation, sharing promotional costs.
  • A car repair workshop may feature a tow truck company on its social media profiles and help connect potential customers by providing contact information.
  • A collaboration between a charity or nonprofit organization and a commercial business, where the nonprofit does fundraising while the business enhances NPO’s reputation through social responsibility.
  • A skincare company organizes a giveaway with a prominent e-commerce platform.

3.      Operate Smoothly Through Business Tools

When considering collaboration, you are basically looking for expansion. This expansion requires efficient marketing management operations.

Using marketing management software can significantly enhance your marketing capabilities. However, for a comprehensive approach to marketing management, it is highly beneficial to engage with users of platforms such as Marketo or Salesforce.

This outreach can lead to potential leads and collaborative opportunities within the same ecosystem, offering complementary services and building a mutually beneficial relationship.

4.      Choose a Perfect Place to Position Yourself

Discovering the perfect spot to position yourself can significantly boost your brand’s recognition and attract more customers. By strategically selecting your location, you can effortlessly capture the attention of your desired audience without exhausting resources or overspending.

Consider certain Shopify-compatible applications that have experienced substantial growth without extensive marketing efforts. Even just listing your brand on these platforms can lead to remarkable expansion.

Collaborating with established partners also reduces the uncertainty associated with unpredictable marketing strategies. When you team up with businesses that cater to a similar customer base, such as users of specific software, you can precisely target your marketing efforts toward the right audience.

5.      Reach Out

If you are thinking about piggybacking, it is because you want to grow your business. However, at the start, you might feel overwhelmed trying to find and connect with new users.

Also, there is no app for that, but you can hire professional freelancers to help. They’re people who will happily handle the job for you. Look at online freelance job boards to find the right person to get the job done for you.

6.      Understand the Math Behind Business Strategies

Being strategic involves considering the potential advantages of aligning with specific brands. Therefore, conduct thorough research to find the best match.

It is crucial to assess how a particular target demographic can impact your financial outcomes. What value could they bring to your business as customers?

Two key metrics should guide your partnership strategy

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Life Time Value (LTV)

The concept is straightforward:

  • The higher the LTV of your target audience (the revenue they generate as customers) and
  • The lower your CAC (the investment needed to acquire them), the quicker your business can expand.

Take the time to analyze the numbers yourself or use software tools for assistance. This approach will help you in two ways

  • It will enable you to make informed decisions regarding your customer acquisition budget.
  • It will enhance your ability to pinpoint potential customers effectively and identify businesses that can facilitate connections with them.

7.      Provide Value to Get Value

Relationships work both ways. You also need to contribute something valuable. Think about what your business can bring to the table for another company. Create a list of businesses that could work well with yours, and brainstorm ways you could collaborate for mutual gain.

Don’t be afraid to be proactive. Use your natural sales skills and present your ideas confidently. You may encounter many potential partners that do not match your criteria before finding the right one. Stay persistent.

Take the time to research, stay focused on your goals, and you will eventually find a partnership that fits.

8.      Build Better

Focus on improving your future while keeping an eye on upcoming trends and tools. Use resources like Chrome’s Builtwith to understand how websites are built and find ways to improve them.

Try to create new integrations and apps for popular tools and services before others do. This can help your business grow along with these trends.

Piggyback Marketing Examples

Let’s understand more about piggyback marketing through real-world examples.

1.      Avengers and Coca-Cola


Coca-Cola collaborated with Marvel Studios to promote The Avengers series. The beverage company launched a dedicated mini-site and redesigned its packaging to align with the movie’s theme. This marketing initiative resonated well, particularly among younger consumers who felt a strong connection to their beloved superheroes.

2.      Le Boat – Follow in Rick Stein’s Wake

This piggyback marketing example involves a collaboration between Le Boat, a renowned boat rental company, and Rick Stein, the celebrated British Chef, restaurateur, and television personality.

Rick Stein went on a cruise along the rivers and canals of southern France while filming the series “French Odyssey.” During his journey, he showcased local cuisine from various cities and towns along the way.

Le Boat organized a competition through a magazine, offering readers a chance to win a copy of Rick Stein’s “French Odyssey” recipe book.

This initiative not only increased entries for the competition but also provided Le Boat with valuable data on potential customers. Subsequently, Le Boat has consistently featured Rick Stein in its promotional efforts, resulting in significant success for the company.

The collaboration with Rick Stein has proven beneficial for Le Boat. The company used Rick’s reputation and influence to enhance their marketing campaigns and reach a broader audience.

3.      Nike—back to the future

Nike’s self-lacing shoe with illuminated features that were famously showcased in the 1985 film ‘Back to the Future,’ was designed by Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s principal designer.

Initially designed for the 1988 sequel, Hatfield secured a design patent for its innovative structure. In 2015, Nike revisited this iconic design by producing replica sneakers from the film’s archives.

They launched a promotional video starring comedian Bill Hader, basketball star Kevin Durant, and Christopher Lloyd, known for his role as Doc Brown in the movie.

4.      Andrew Chen—Brian Balfour—Reforge

Reforge gained recognition as one of the top growth courses due to endorsements from industry thought leader Andrew Chen and the compelling founder story of Brian Balfour.

They attract top-tier operators and use their expertise to enhance their own authority. Operators willingly collaborate with Reforge because it boosts their industry reputation and contributes to their personal brand development.

5.      ASDA – Jahmene Douglas

Jahmene received significant support from his former employer, ASDA, during his time on the X Factor stage. ASDA even dedicated a special section to Douglas on their website that resulted in a major PR win for the company. Jahmene maintained his position as the bookies’ favorite throughout the show.

Given Jahmene’s past association with ASDA, his success on the show naturally reflected positively on the company at a national level.

With over 13 million UK viewers tuning in, ASDA’s presence on the show translated into substantial marketing success.

Many of Jahmene’s devoted fans chose to shop at ASDA instead of Morrisons or Tesco, further bolstering the company’s market share.

You can read more highly informative content about marketing, advertising, and finance on our blog.

ShaharYar Ahmad

ShaharYar Ahmad is a business graduate and a professional SEO content writer who has been working since December 2019. Currently, he is a Top-Rated Freelance Content Writer at Upwork (The biggest freelancing platform in the world). He mainly writes about marketing, finance, business, law, advertising, Saas, M&As, corporate governance, real estate, and Fintech. He has worked with International Saas and Fintech/Payment processing companies (as a freelance content contributor and ghostwrites blog posts). ShaharYar has been creating content for Marketing Tutor since January 1, 2021 and Orchid Homes Real Estate since January 2023.

Recent Posts