As a business, you might adopt a love-hate attitude towards sponsorships. Perhaps one of your favored clients approached you and you found it hard to turn down, so you begrudgingly agreed, or you are simply doing it because everyone else is doing it. While sponsorship is done by most companies, it tends to take backstage compared to other marketing initiatives like online marketing, PR, and more. However, it’s time to shine a spotlight on it, as the return on your investment could be invaluable and prove to be more affordable and effective compared to its marketing counterparts. Read on to debunk some notions about sponsoring and learn more about its benefits for you as a brand.
Why you might hate sponsoring
- It requires an exorbitant amount of budget
Wads of US hundred-dollar bills / Source
There is a perceived notion that a lot of money has to be spent on sponsorships, especially for large-scale events. However, there are many types of sponsorships, and you don’t necessarily have to overspend your budget. Some examples are service, prize, venue, and cash sponsorships.
Service sponsorships — In these sponsorships, you simply provide your company’s services for the event. In exchange, you can advertise your brand through signages, and event-goers can gain access and interact with your brand on site.
Prize sponsorships — Prize sponsorships are hassle-free such that you only need to provide a certain value of your company’s products for the event. What you get in exchange is publicity when your products are advertised as prizes for the event, and prize winners may also promote your products after a positive experience using them.
Venue sponsorships — For venue sponsorships, you will either secure a venue or provide your own venue to be used for the length of the event. Your brand or venue will naturally receive publicity along with the event through its advertising initiatives. With attendees visiting your venue, what you gain is also recognition and awareness of your brand, which may reach an even wider audience when these attendees post on social media and tag your location.
Cash sponsorships — Cash sponsorships are where money is really spent. However as mentioned earlier, you need not overspend your budget. It all depends on how much the recipient of your sponsorship requires, and the amount you are able to sponsor. Most event or non-profit organizations are likely to attach different levels of publicity based on how much you are able to contribute through sponsorship. Naturally, large-scale events will require a larger amount in exchange for significant publicity, so if you are on a budget, you may consider sponsoring small events or beneficiaries for the desired result.
- It is difficult to calculate return on investment (ROI)
If you’re spending your marketing budget on sponsorship, you’re going to need a ROI to justify that. While it can be difficult to pin down the numbers, you can take these important metrics into account — amount of media publicity, lead generation and immediate sales generated during the event. A survey on brand awareness and change in brand perceptions can also be conducted to further evaluate the investment.
- You do not wish to be involved in philanthropy
Sponsorships tend to be confused with philanthropy. However, there is a difference between the two, even in the case of sponsoring a non-profit organization. When you engage in philanthropy, you are giving without expecting any marketing opportunities and return on investment. Sponsorship, on the hand, guarantees publicity for your brand in exchange for your aid, and in the case of sponsoring a non-profit cause, you may also see an improvement in your brand image.
Why you should love sponsoring
- It helps you reach out to your target audience
As long as you choose your recipient wisely and provide sponsorship to organizations or events that align with your brand’s values or product/service offerings, sponsoring can allow you to interact directly with your niche audience – with decreased wastage. Afterall, the guests are there because the event promotes something they care about, so you are likely to find yourself with an increased number of leads.
- It increases brand awareness and brand recall
With your brand publicized as part of the event’s marketing initiatives, event goers will become familiar with your brand name and its association to the event, leading to an increase in awareness and an association of your brand to the event and what it promotes. There is no more straightforward way of letting your potential consumers know about you than placing your brand and its products/services within their reach and in their line of sight.
- It improves brand perception and increase brand loyalty
As mentioned earlier, when selecting an event or organization to sponsor, ensure that it aligns with your brand’s beliefs and offerings. For example, if you are an audio retailer sponsoring a music event, it may increase your credibility as a provider for quality audio equipment. Subsequently, existing customers may also become more committed to purchase your brand over your competitors simply because you appear more credible and support an event or cause that they believe in.
While a sponsorshop isn’t something new to brands and businesses, its effectiveness as a marketing channel has always fallen under the radar. Misunderstandings about how it works has continually misled brands, preventing them from maximizing the potential of this channel. However, some businesses are beginning to recognize and evaluate the benefits of sponsorships, and with successful results.
It is time for sponsorships to take the limelight as a legitimate marketing channel.