Marketers are always on the lookout for new and innovative opportunities to raise awareness about the brands that they represent. It isn’t simply about getting the word out about a new product or service; it’s also about reminding people that you’re there, you’re always going to be there, and that you’re the best. In an era where marketers strive to stretch the value of each dollar as far as it will go, one often overlooked opportunity may generate the types of results you’re after: sponsorship.
Sponsorship and Brand Awareness: The Stats
Even if you don’t view sponsorship of charities, non-profits, or other local organizations as a valuable addition to your marketing arsenal, it’s clear that other marketers do. According to a study conducted by IEG Sponsorship Report, sponsorship was a $2 billion dollar enterprise in 2016 and is expected to increase by roughly 3.7 percent over the course of the next year.
A report generated by the Edelman Trust Barometer indicated that sponsorship even goes beyond marketing impact. Eighty percent of consumers around the world agreed that a business has a duty to play a key role in addressing modern issues.
It even plays an important role in your own company culture. Fifty-one percent of employees surveyed said that they didn’t want to work for a company that didn’t have strong societal and environmental commitments, and almost seventy-five percent said that they liked their jobs more when they were given an opportunity to make a positive impact, as with sponsorships.
Sponsorship Best Practices
If you decide to move forward with sponsorship as a new brand and marketing opportunity, keep in mind a few key things. First, do your research carefully. Always make sure that you’re aligning with an organization that meshes with your existing culture and values. Do as much digging as you can, as sponsorship creates a symbiotic relationship between two entities. A scandal at one will more than likely affect the other, so you’ll want to make sure that there are no skeletons hiding in the closet before you make a commitment.
You’ll also want to make an effort to isolate the impact of your sponsorships from the rest of your marketing activities so that you can ascertain what role it’s playing in your overall campaign. Sadly, MarketStrategies.com says that only half of marketers actually do this. Even though you’re doing something for a good cause first and recognition second, it still needs to be measured for maximum effectiveness– just like anything else.
Sponsorship is a valuable branding and marketing opportunity, particularly for companies operating in the small and medium-sized business space. Not only does it give you a chance to raise awareness in a powerful way, but it empowers you for something even more important– giving back to your community.
Shout It From the Rooftops
When you begin a sponsor/beneficiary relationship, make a big deal about it. The first and least costly method is to issue a joint press release. Email a text and a PDF version, along with high-resolution logos and photos, to local news outlets, trade press, clients, and vendors. Of course you would update your website to reflect the new relationship, either by posting the press release, or adding the statement as part of your header or footer. Set up reciprocal links to both websites. Another fast and simple action is to add the logo and a statement to the email footer of all employees: “Proud Sponsor of ABC Company.” You’ll have to decide for yourself what printed materials (letterhead, brochures, business cards, displays, etc.) should also be updated.
Give Them a “Promotion”
Whether your sponsorship commitment consists of monetary donations or free products/services, you can also make the most of the relationship by providing promotional items. As any non-profit, your beneficiary would love to receive a supply of nice pens featuring its logo; or branded apparel, etc., to give to its volunteers; or necessary print items including business cards, letterhead, note cards, etc. Plum Grove Printers + Tradeshows And Displays offer discounts for non-profits.
By the way, Plum Grove Printers + Tradeshows And Displays is a longtime sponsor of the American Marketing Association’s Chicago Chapter.