Firstly, it is not a new thing. It’s actually the cheapest sort of marketing and if you manage to match your company with the right partner it can really be beneficial to your brand.
Cross-marketing or cross promotion is a collaboration between two or more companies that promote each other (both online and offline). For example, if you own a clothes shop you might also be looking for a shoe shop. Clothes and shoes are complementary products. Your client might buy a nice dress in your shop and you could easily direct them to your partner’s shoe shop and vice versa.
Obviously, you need to consider the size of your company and your partner´s company volume since this kind of marketing usually requires a match in numbers so that both companies can get similar benefits.
An implementation of the example we just gave would be an exchange of flyers. When clients go to any of those shops they would be given a flyer about the other company. Also, product placement is another good option. You can place a pair of shoes from your partner´s shop next to a dress. Your customers might like the combination of both and you might end up selling both. In this example, the cross promotion agreement can include a commission if one partner sells the other partner’s products.
If you want to see what a cross promotion looks like on TV adverts, have a look at this advert from Sony and Best Buy.