WHY IS MEDIOCRITY TO EASILY ACCEPTED IN SPONSORSHIP?
Sponsorship has for years been heralded as a highly effective tool for connecting brands emotionally to its audiences. From this its capability to enter in the hearts and minds, differentiate against its competition, prove product and service capability, to drive consideration, convert in to sales and cement brand loyalty has made sponsorship an almost unique part of a brands marketing mix. In providing central strategic marketing platforms or a tactical theme for a campaign or launches, brand affiliations can be a truly powerful asset for businesses to use to drive value, impact and growth. But when it comes to reporting its impact the majority of campaigns are simply mediocre.
I have experienced this first hand whilst running my own sponsorship programmes at FIFA World Cup’s, UEFA European Championship, Olympics, in the English Premier League at The FA and at the Tour de France with other partnering brands. I’ve also seen the lack of impact reporting for years whilst judging awards in the Uk, across Europe and in Canada and South Africa. It is truly astonishing that business custodians, namely the paymasters of companies do not demand evidence of the return of their investment.
The potential impact of brand partnerships can be huge and those that execute well such as HSBC, IBM, O2, Budweiser and Lidl all have one thing in common. They follow “The Sponsorship Process” which most importantly includes tracking performance relevant KPI’s, measuring results against clear objectives, and reporting the impact against the business goals.
Whilst these are examples brands with significant spending power, size really doesn’t matter when it comes to delivering results against objectives. I was recently party to a presentation from Allianz in Croatia who purchased a very low budget set of rights from the Croatian Paralympic Association, activated against a very targeted employee set of objectives and reported a highly impressive results.
Contrary to this are brands that lack both the discipline of following process and accountability for reporting the impact of the sponsorship on the business. This can manifest itself in some or all of the following areas:
Budgets are often allocated before the full consideration of evidencing performance impact.
Often rights are purchased before objectives are set leading to asset wastage.
Performance metrics are set against data outputs such as reach rather than behaviour change outcomes.
- Budgets are often allocated before the full consideration of evidencing performance impact.
- Often rights are purchased before objectives are set leading to asset wastage.
- Performance metrics are set against data outputs such as reach rather than behaviour change outcomes.
- Confusion exists across the roles & responsibilities of rights holders, agencies and internal departments within brands especially in the reporting of asset performance, activation measurement and ROI.
- Activation becomes the most important feature of a brand sponsorship approach – why because its seen as the “fun” stuff
- Agencies are appointed and briefed before strategies are set leading to in-efficient use of assets, and that infuriating scope creep,
- In-efficient programmes signed off Creativity is not stifled by following process, its actually a stimulant if applied correctly.
- The Sponsorship Process isn`t followed
This mediocrity is simply a waste of energy, resource, money and an enditement of against the positive attributes of the sponsorship and brand partnership industry. For years the wider marketing world has been ‘finger pointing’ accusingly and challenging the value of sponsorship.
Sponsorship ROI Exposed is a one day summit taking place in London on 26th February that will bringing together the exponents of best practice and experts with the endeavour to unite the industry around an approach that can be used as a stencil for brands, rights holders and agencies to use to raise the bar of effectiveness and performance no matter the genre, size, audience appeal and geographic location.
For further details and how to get “Early Bird” tickets to Sponsorship ROI Exposed go to www.sponsorshipcoach-events.com