Why Sponsorship Measurement Matters
Without that data, finding sponsors falls back on who you know, not what you know; many decisions still come down to whether a senior stakeholder likes the sport, not whether it can do something for their brand. But that is changing as sponsorship measurement data becomes more readily accessible and brands become more rigorous in wanting to understand what they get for their money.
I spent almost 15 years helping PR professionals measure and demonstrate the value of their work using data and measurement. During that time, I chaired the International Association for the Measurement of the Effectiveness of PR and communications (AMEC). We agreed that Advertising Value Equivalence (AVE) was not a valid measure of effectiveness in isolation, if at all, and we developed an objective-led framework with metrics which was designed to connect the dots between activity and outcome.
That led to a marked increase in the number of PRs measuring effectiveness and I would like to think contributed, in small part, to PR and communications being taken more seriously in the boardroom as both a guardian and driver of corporate value. Two years on, I find myself in a new, albeit adjacent, industry, and it feels like I have stepped back in time – sports marketing spend globally is potentially double that of PR and communications and yet anecdotally, somewhere between 20% and 40% of that $45bn annual spend is measured for effectiveness.
I co-founded caytoo in part to address that challenge by taking what I had learned and developed in PR and communications and deploy it in sports marketing. I partnered with former Deloitte and Nielsen executives to create a framework and methodology which would address this core issue. Here are our five top tips for building long term commercial partnerships:
1. Use data to evidence value
It’s never been more important to be able to prove why your partnership proposal is worth a brand’s attention, time and investment. Caytoo aggregates a range of data points including traditional and social media reach, audience engagement and logo placement and uses them to deliver insightful reporting clearly demonstrating impact. With these in your toolkit, you can confidently prove your commercial value. That makes the hard job of selling and renewing that little bit easier.
2. Think of it from the brand‘s point of view
Why should brands invest? How do you stand out from the stack of proposals they are sent every week? Someone must believe in what you are proposing and then sell it internally. Get their attention by giving them the evidence in the form of data demonstrating what previous partnerships have done for other brands. Make their job easy for them.
3. Know your audience
The key thing to demonstrate to brands is audience fit. Demographic and behavioural insights will help you prospect suitable partners who want to reach the audience that you attract. Put that front and centre of your proposal and then report on how successful their activations are at hitting that audience. They can then correlate that with outcome to better understand what value they have got for their money.
4. Be brave about failure
Reporting on what hasn’t worked can be every bit as valuable as what has. It is only by understanding the failure that you can plan for future success. Don’t be afraid to measure ROI at the risk that you actually demonstrate that a partnership isn’t working. If that is the case, they will work it out eventually anyway. Best get out ahead of the problem and plan changes to the way the partnership works to make it successful in future.
5. Use measurement to sell and renew
Return on investment is the lens through which brands asses ‘value for money’. Sponsorship measurement can not only keep existing partners happy but be the leverage you need to push new deals across the line. It will ultimately prove that a partnership with you will deliver a mutually positive commercial outcome and that you are committed to delivering that.
Learn how your organisation could use measurement to boost your commercial success by contacting Jeremy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.