5 questions to ask before buying sponsorships

Happy people at a conference

The value of sponsorship marketing is often diminished by spirited discussions around the size of the booth and giveaways to attract people.  In fact, most of the value is in the decisions made even before you get to that point. 

Think of it in another way: a sponsorship is a collaboration that creates value for your target audience. In other words, a strategic partnership between two entities, where one party provides support to the other in exchange for certain benefits.  Most of the time these partnerships are effective because there is a shared audience between the two entities.  Therefore, combining forces creates efficiency and a win-win situation. 

Ready to give it a go?  Here are five questions to ask when considering sponsorships. 

1. Why am I doing this? 

Being clear on what you want to get out of this engagement will point you in the right direction for how to engage. 

For example, some companies engage in sponsorship to raise brand awareness; others do it for lead generation; and a segment may do it to engage current customers.  The most effective sponsors have clear goals and point all their efforts towards those goals.  

Bottom line - understanding where in the funnel you want to focus  - i.e., your why - will help you focus your time and efforts.   

2. Who is my target audience? 

One of the biggest challenges in sponsorship marketing is figuring out what events or activities to sponsor. 

There are literally thousands of organizations that offer sponsorship.  Many are not-for-profit but consider also tradeshows, online forums, clubs, community organizations, and sports teams. 

Start with figuring out whom you want to reach and where do they go.  Finding "nests" where your ideal customer/client/target goes to hang out, collaborate, discuss, and learn is key. 

3. What tactics and budget should I set?

It's not just about the booth or the giveaway at the event.  Many organizations offer basic logo placement on newsletters or websites.   Or mailers to their constituents.  Or a presentation. 

There are infinite options for tactics - to keep it simple, figure out what you want to do and how much you want to spend, and ask organizations for options that would fall in your scope.

Most of the time, prospectuses are flexible and organizers are more than happy to collaborate to have a situation that works for you.    

4. How can I measure what works? 

Conventional wisdom states that you cannot measure the ROI on events or sponsorships - it's just a show.

However, modern digital tools have changed that.  Using QR codes, custom links, badge scans, and personalized follow-ups do allow marketers to measure ROI.  Test and learn is an effective and agile way to lean in and be efficient with your spend.

So, then measure and refine based on the data you collect. 

5.  What options exist besides national events and tradeshows? 

It's super easy to find the big shows.  And super easy to blow your budget on them.  So what else can you do?

  • If you're testing a new strategy or looking to connect quickly, local organization events are cost effective.  
  • If you're looking to consistently communicate to your target audience, try sponsoring newsletters, emails or banner ads.  
  • If you're looking to meet folks in person, sponsored meals, webinars, or local events are a great way to get some "quick wins" under your belt.

Interested in learning more?  SponsorMotion's proprietary technology can help you identify organizations, events, and sponsorships that fit your criteria.  So that you can select the opportunities that work for you in a quick and easy way.  Sign up to stay in touch!

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