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Relationships – The Third “R” In Driving Sponsorship Performance And Value   White Paper September 2012
 

Relationships – The Third “R” In Driving Sponsorship Performance And Value White Paper September 2012

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At a glance:...

At a glance:
This paper explores five observations about major sponsors and their relationship with their key properties:
 Global and major brands have clearly defined marketing objectives and strategies designed to reach, communicate to and with, touch, involve, engage and persuade their target market. Sponsorship is now one, but important, element in the marketing mix to reach these objectives.

 Sponsors expect more of properties and rights holders than in the past. In today’s World they do not want properties to simply act as just a “supplier” and sell them their stock, off-the-shelf product that they offer to all potential sponsors. They are not interested in just standard logo and signage type assets that only provide visibility, but instead seek innovative methods of touch and engagement that will enhance the experience and “stickiness” of their sponsorship.

 Sponsors are looking for sustainable partnerships where properties become “strategic partners” and work with them in the same way as their other marcomms agencies and professional services partners – advertising, PR etc. - helping to contribute to the success of the brand through a deep understanding of the sponsor’s specific business needs.

 Research indicates that not only is there a lack of open communication between sponsors and rights holders, but that many in their organisations do not understand the benefits of sponsorship.

 Whilst there is a wealth of quantitative information to evaluate the effectiveness, impact and return on investment of sponsorships, there appear to be serious gaps:
o The qualitative research and stakeholder feedback areas are the most important, but least undertaken.
o Evaluation of the relationship and partnership, with agreed KPIs and performance reviews, is rarely undertaken
o There is a need for a “whole-of-sponsorship” evaluation tool that pulls together both the quantitative and qualitative measures for ROI and ROO, as the basis for mid-season or annual review meetings.

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    Relationships – The Third “R” In Driving Sponsorship Performance And Value   White Paper September 2012 Relationships – The Third “R” In Driving Sponsorship Performance And Value White Paper September 2012 Document Transcript

    • Relationships – the third “R” in driving sponsorship performance and value: The journey to a sustainable “strategic partnership”, using performance management techniques and on-line tools for “Whole-of-Sponsorship” reviews that include evaluation of ROI, ROO and the relationship. By Ron Latham, Managing Director, Latham Consulting Daniel Rowlands, Partner, PerformwareAt a glance:This paper explores five observations about major sponsors and their relationship with their key properties:  Global and major brands have clearly defined marketing objectives and strategies designed to reach, communicate to and with, touch, involve, engage and persuade their target market. Sponsorship is now one, but important, element in the marketing mix to reach these objectives.  Sponsors expect more of properties and rights holders than in the past. In today’s World they do not want properties to simply act as just a “supplier” and sell them their stock, off-the-shelf product that they offer to all potential sponsors. They are not interested in just standard logo and signage type assets that only provide visibility, but instead seek innovative methods of touch and engagement that will enhance the experience and “stickiness” of their sponsorship.  Sponsors are looking for sustainable partnerships where properties become “strategic partners” and work with them in the same way as their other marcomms agencies and professional services partners – advertising, PR etc. - helping to contribute to the success of the brand through a deep understanding of the sponsor’s specific business needs.  Research indicates that not only is there a lack of open communication between sponsors and rights holders, but that many in their organisations do not understand the benefits of sponsorship.  Whilst there is a wealth of quantitative information to evaluate the effectiveness, impact and return on investment of sponsorships, there appear to be serious gaps: o The qualitative research and stakeholder feedback areas are the most important, but least undertaken. o Evaluation of the relationship and partnership, with agreed KPIs and performance reviews, is rarely undertaken o There is a need for a “whole-of-sponsorship” evaluation tool that pulls together both the quantitative and qualitative measures for ROI and ROO, as the basis for mid-season or annual review meetings.
    • Relationships – the third “R” in driving Now, sponsors are looking for sustainable partnershipssponsorship performance and value: The where properties become “business partners”. In keepingjourney to a “strategic partnership” with their professional dealings with other media mix suppliers, the relationship between key sponsors andGone are the days when sponsorship decisions were made properties has developed from a “Seller-Buyer” one to thatfor emotional attachment and friendship-based reasons, of a partnership, with agreed KPIs and performancewithout any real assessment and thought about brand “fit”. evaluation reviews, helping to contribute to the success of the brand through a deep understanding of the sponsor’sWith the evolution of sponsorship and the addition of specific business needs.support promotional activities designed to leverage andmaximise the sponsorship investment, effective control has From “Supplier” to “Strategic Partner”moved from the boardroom and “C” suite, to the The evolution in sponsor/property relationships fromprofessionals in marketing and sponsorship departments. being just a “Supplier” to “Sponsorship Partner”, to that of a “Key Sponsorship Partner”, then to a “StrategicToday, with the advent of major Global and National Partner” is beginning to take hold as more propertiessponsors with large and specifically targeted sponsorship and their sponsors embrace the twin pillars of Returnportfolios, many sponsors want their properties not to just on Objectives (ROO) and Sponsorship Performancesell them standard assets and activation packages, but to Management (SPM).become a “Strategic Partner” and “business builder, helpingto optimise their revenue through an understanding of their Sponsorship evaluations and stakeholder feedbackspecific business needs and delivery on their Return on surveys, with “whole-of-sponsorship” KPIs and 360⁰Investment and Return on Objectives needs. feedback, can measure and capture both quantitative and qualitative ratings and, using the two-dimensionalSponsorship in the marketing mix matrix below, can map the position and journey of eachGlobal and major brands have clearly defined marketing sponsorship.objectives and strategies designed to reach, communicateto and with, touch, involve, and persuade their targetmarket. Sponsorship is now one, but important, element inthe marketing mix to reach these objectives.As sponsorship has moved out of the Boardroom (awayfrom the Chairman and his wife) and into its own area withintoday’s professional marketing department, it has becomefar more than just writing a cheque to the property.Marketers and their sponsorship team now see thesponsorship as a “Product” and an extension of their brand,with the core asset being the property and what it can offerin terms of a ‘fit” with their target market, wrapped up in allthe activation and promotional leverage opportunities usedto maximise its exposure, reach and engagement.Sponsorship is a critical part of the marketing mix thatprovides a “rifle shot” to reach their target market, asagainst the “shotgun” effect of mass media like TV, printand radio advertising. But sponsorships also compete for a The partner journey from Supplier, to Sponsorship to Keyshare of the sponsor’s advertising and promotional budget Sponsorship, then a “Strategic Partner” is a Win: Win forthat is both fragmenting, with the emergence of new digital both sponsors and properties with a focus on workingand Internet-based channels, and shrinking under pressure together to fulfil their joint objectives.in these challenging economic times. (Total 2011 Ad spendwas down 1.4% on 2010). It can be tracked through four stages, dependent on how their performance is rated by their key sponsors:Partner relationships  Early: “Red Zone”; Low performance ratings; NewProperties understand that to sponsors they are simply a sponsorship; Low involvement and activation; Logosupplier of one of many media options available to reach only; Strictly transactional, occasional relationship;their target audience and consumers.  Efficient: “Orange Zone”; Below average ratings; Moderate importance to sponsor; Some activation;Sponsors, particularly major sponsors, expect more of Regular contact (one point); Proficient in productproperties and rights holders than in the past. In today’s capability and relationship; Delivers results;World they do not want properties to simply act as just a  Effective: Average/above ratings; Proven product“supplier” and sell them their stock standard, off-the shelf capability - flexible, innovative; Growing importanceproduct that they offer to all potential sponsors. to sponsor; Key account rep main contact, frequent contact; Strong results, added value.They seek sponsor innovation, with specific benefits and  Excellence: “Green Zone”; High ratings; Proactive,assets that will add value to their sponsorship and provide a understands their business; Critical to marketing mix;real competitive advantage and a unique positioning, to help Strong relationship, multiple touch points; Worksthem stand out in a cluttered marketplace. closely with sponsor to achieve objectives.
    • Is the journey really necessary? Sponsor Engagement and CommunicationFor sponsors, the answer is absolutely “Yes” - to enable Research indicates that not only is there a lack of openthem to build competitive advantage and drive value. communication between sponsors and rights holders, but that many do not understand the benefits of sponsorship.For properties, the Pareto principle will be a deciding factor:they will need to make the journey with their major sponsors(the 20% that account for 80% of their revenue) and thelessons learned will benefit and help retain other sponsors.“Strategic Partners”With the evolution of the sponsorship relationship andjourney to that of a “Strategic Partner”, what newcapabilities will sponsors demand of their properties andrights holders? How will the dynamics of accountmanagement need to change?Rights holders will need to focus on two key areas toenhance sponsorship performance and improve theirrelationship with sponsors: Customer focus: They must adopt a customer focus  85% of sponsors and 77% of rights holders agree culture with a more agile, responsive organisation that “There is a need for more open communication responds to specific sponsor needs. Some may require between sponsors and rights holders” a dramatic paradigm shift in how they select, manage and sustain their account management teams. It is important that properties and rights holders be proactive with communication and engagement Many must change their culture, people, relationships strategies with their key sponsors, whilst sponsors need and processes to elevate customer focus to the level of to reciprocate and keep their partners informed of other importance demanded by the sponsor organisation brand activities that might impact on, or complement the (particularly marketing and brand management) to drive sponsorship. and maintain mutually beneficial relationships.  46% of sponsors and 38% of rights holders agree with Broadening skills and capabilities: Key account the statement “the benefits are not well understood in managers may lack the client management and my organisation”, indicating there is a need to analytical skills required to build and maintain the communicate and share success by both parties. relationship and need to become more broad-based in their business capability. Both issues gain in importance during challenging economic times and may put the sponsorship at risk.To improve performance in this area, account managersand teams must better understand the sponsor’s businessand shift from a focus on “selling sponsorship” to a focus on The Economy“addressing their requirements”. They will need to develop The continued tough economic outlook for the next fewnew skills which will enable them to meet shifting needs with years presents properties and sponsors with bothgreater agility and impact. At the same time, however, significant challenges and opportunities.traditional relationship-building and sales skills will still beimportant. The key will be to develop business management For properties, their key challenge is to retain their majorskills, while maintaining strong sales ability, to benefit the sponsors, through driving their partnership even harder torights holder in the long run. deliver on a sponsor’s objectives.Managing complex sponsor relationships The objective for maintaining a sponsorship investmentSponsor relationships have evolved from “one point-of- over time is to build an association between the sponsorcontact” between the rights holder and sponsor to “multiple and the property in the minds of consumers.points-of-contact”, often coordinated by a key sponsoraccount manager who orchestrates the activities of the Sponsors wish to retain their competitive advantage andrights holders’ team. build on the brand equity and association gained through the sponsorship. History shows that smart brand marketersThe sponsor account manager will often work across the who can maintain their advertising and promotional spendorganisational matrix. To help them perform this role more during a downturn actually increase their share of voice,effectively, rights holders will need to seek ways to provide visibility and top-of-mind awareness, whilst those who cuttheir account managers with a holistic view of all A&P budgets suffer declines which make it difficult to catchsponsorship activities, including access to information. up when the economy improves and budgets return to normal levels.It is vital to establish personal relationships with all levelsand touch points within a sponsor’s organisation, so that The challenge for sponsors, in assessing whether toeven if key people leave the organisation, relationships continue their commitment, is to demonstrate that thecontinue at other levels and can be used to leverage and sponsorship achieves their objectives and that this is wellbuild relationships with new people. understood within their organisation
    • Sponsorship Evaluation – The business caseRights holders, event owners and sports organisations, are Their research also shows that key stakeholder feedbackbusinesses and need to regard their sponsors as strategic is seen as the most important evaluation measure (99%),partners and treat them as if they are key account but that only 43% of rights holders undertake sponsorcustomers and they are suppliers. They need to build feedback surveys.relationships and provide added value so that sponsors maybuild on the sponsorship with support activities that link andextend the visibility of the association and their brands.In order to build the strategic partner relationship and retainsponsors, they need to work with their sponsors toundertake regular evaluation of the sponsors’ satisfactionwith the sponsorship and whether it meets their objectives.For rights holders there are important benefits fromsponsorship evaluation, i.e. to:  Better understand the needs and expectations of sponsors in order to work with them to meet their objectives  Ensure their relationships are strong and the benefits well understood at all levels in the sponsor’s organisation Sponsorship Evaluation – The gap  Demonstrate they deliver ROI for brands, with There are many market, media and specialist sports success stories to attract and retain sponsors research companies that provide a wealth of quantitative information to evaluate the effectiveness, impact andFor sponsors, sponsorship evaluation is about performance return on investment of sponsorships, including: TV & radiomanagement of their investment in order to measure ROI ratings, advertising expenditure; Media exposure (TV,and support the business case for its continuity. Print, Radio, Internet); Consumers: consumer attitudes, interest, attendance, passion, sponsorship awareness etc,In their sponsorship evaluation process, sponsors should and many have become the benchmark used by rightsundertake a formal evaluation at the end of the contract holders and sponsors alike.period and, where the activity covers a season, a mid-season review so that any issues may be identified and There appear to be two gaps in sponsorship evaluation:discussed, with improvement plans agreed and actioned  A tool to pull together all the various evaluation KPIs to “For knowing afar of the evils that are brewing, they are create a “Whole-of-sponsorship” view. easily cured. But when they are allowed to grow until  A process to measure the critical partnership KPIs of everyone can recognise them, there is no longer any the relationship, including feedback from the key remedy to be found.” Machiavelli sponsor stakeholders. Sponsorship Evaluation – SummarySponsorship Evaluation – Importance Research has identified three critical areas of concern for2010 research by Repucom, in the Sponsorship Outlook sponsors as they seek to evaluate the value of aSurvey, shows that Key stakeholder feedback is seen as the sponsorship and to justify its retention in this uncertainmost important performance measure, with 99% seeing it as economic climate:either “Extremely, Very or Quite important.  Communication: 85% of sponsors agree with theSeven of the eight other measures that rated highly in statement that “There is a need for more openimportance are quantitative measures related to the brand, communication between sponsors and rightsi.e. awareness/attitudes, participation in promotional activity, holders”.sales figures etc., or audience reach and participation andmedia exposure metrics.  Benefits: 46% of sponsors agree with the statement that “The benefits of sponsorship are not Importance of Performance Measures well understood in my organisation”. Key stakeholder feedback 27% 39% 33%  Evaluation: Key stakeholder feedback is the most 33% 58% 6% Brand research /tracking important evaluation measure (99%), but only 43% Media exposure analysis 24% 46% 24% of rights holders undertake sponsor feedback Attendance figures 27% 36% 27% surveys. Media reach (TV audience) 27% 36% 24%  There is a need for a “whole-of-sponsorship” 15% 55% 18% Promotional participation review process to bring together all the Independent research 21% 36% 21% sponsorship evaluation surveys and research. Rightsholder health trends 6% 46% 21% Unless sponsors and properties adopt strategies to Sales figures 9% 21% 27% address these concerns they risk a reduction in revenue, 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% as scarce A&P funds are reallocated to other media that Extremely important Very important Quite important Source: Repucom sponsorship outlook 2010 can demonstrate a better return on investment.
    • Sponsorship Performance ManagementFor sponsors, their sponsorship property partners should be Managing supplier relationships today has gone fromregarded as key suppliers of a product that helps to identifying and buying goods and services based ondifferentiate their brand and supports their marketing negotiated pricing to the strategic ability of recognisingstrategies and investment. "win-win" opportunities for both buyer and supplier through enhanced supplier management activities.Viewed in this light, like any other key supplier, sponsorsneed to consider adopting the same rigorous PerformanceManagement tools, techniques and processes usedelsewhere in their organisations to drive performance andrelationship improvements, e.g. Procurement: Supplier performance management, HR: People performance management Marketing: Agency performance and relationship managementMany organisations have either already adopted, or plan toimplement Supplier Performance Management (SPM)programs to encourage their supplier partners to strive forexcellence in delivery of supply, quality and price, partner Considering supplier management challenges faced byrelationships and service and support. organizations in the modern global economy, it is no wonder that almost half the respondents from theirThe methodology used for SPM varies. All use KPIs and Perspectives on Supplier Management in 2011 surveyscorecards and also involve other functional managers, but placed a high value on supplier management.some are still using paper-based methods or spread sheetsto rate suppliers and collate results. While supplier management has always been a critical aspect in doing business, the tools used by organisationsBut all this is starting to change. In today’s tough market to monitor and manage supplier relationships have evolvedand competitive environment more organisations are tremendously over the past decade. Fuelled by outsiderealising that SPM programs also need to be about factors such as the need for transparency of suppliers forcommunication of performance expectations and regular both direct and indirect supply chains, and increasedformal reviews, often two-way, to provide feedback on how demands for measuring suppliers against specific KPIs,suppliers are performing against those expectations. supplier management functions have moved from the "back-office" to the "boardroom."Similarly, the advent of on-line scorecards and multi-perspective assessment tools, coupled with traditional HRperformance management techniques are making theassessment, reporting and action planning to addressweaknesses an easy task to manage and drive supplierperformance improvement. “When you measure and communicate supplier performance regularly, suppliers improve their cost, quality and responsiveness. Done in an automated, systematic way, performance improves dramatically, in some cases by over 50%.” (Source: Aberdeen Group) To illustrate the current adoption of supplier management,SPM – The business case the results of their research also shows that mostResearch by the authoritative Boston-based research organisations have either taken on some formal suppliercompany, the Aberdeen Group, confirms the intuitively management initiative over the past few years (38%), orobvious conclusion that using SPM programs and plan to implement (53%) in the next few years.managing supplier performance will produce higher valuesupplies and drive continuous improvement in supply value. Their summary of the Perspectives on SupplierThey found that companies with SPM programs achieved Management in 2011 survey states: “Supplierperformance improvement in every category that was management is an area that has evolved over the paststudied - an average supplier performance improvement of decade. And organisations will increasingly need to focusmore than 20% across four main KPIs - compared with on supplier relationship management and the functionsthose that had no SPM program. that are described within it. Their conclusion: “Organisations that have not embarked on a supplier management strategy are missing opportunities for driving performance improvement, more importantly, ignoring opportunities for benefiting from the intangible benefits such as positive brand equity and relationship improvement”.
    • SPM - Learning’s from HR. Sponsorship Evaluation – Our approachPerformance management is a discipline that has been Sponsorship evaluation and key stakeholder feedbackused by Human Resources professionals for more than programs should be part of a process of continuousforty years for managing behaviour and results. improvement of formal feedback, review of results and agreed improvement plans.Four key lessons learned over that time, which haveworked in driving performance improvement for employees Four core philosophies underpin our approach:and have application in SPM include: Evaluating performance is important because:  Performance improvement is a “Journey” to improve o What gets measured gets done sponsor satisfaction, engagement and partner o If you don’t measure results, you can’t tell success relationships, with the end game being sponsorship from failure retention, through ROI. o If you can’t see success, you can’t reward it o If you can’t reward success, you’re probably  The process must ensure high property participation rewarding failure through prior engagement, agreement to KPIs o If you can’t see success, you can’t learn from it communication of results and evident change. o If you can’t recognise failure, you can’t correct it o If you can demonstrate results, you can win  Our measurement criteria are based on Global best support” practice, using hard business drivers as well as Engagement is critical. traditional sponsorship and relationship KPIs that provide a “whole-of-sponsorship” basis for mid-season o Specific objectives and KPIs and their ratings and annual review meetings. criteria must be agreed to by both parties o Post review meetings with sharing of detailed reports and results and to discuss and agree  We are content agnostic in our assessment tools - we performance and any improvement actions are don’t insist on standard questions, just to preserve essential. benchmarking. Our on-line software is simply a platform for clients to use their own design, content, KPIs, rating 360° Feedback: Is a multi-dimensional assessment scales and descriptors tool used by HR to assess the competency and behaviours of their key managers and to get ratings KPIs need to be sponsorship specific, with realistic and and comments from various stakeholder groups, e.g. appropriate rating scales and descriptors that align with peers, direct reports, customers etc. objectives and achievable expectations. Many SPM assessments also utilise this type of “Whole-of-sponsorship” KPIs focus on two key areas: feedback to gain the opinions of all stakeholders within  Product and Capability: ROI and ROO (Return on their organisation, so they can understand user Objectives) KPIs around the brand and activation/ perspectives at either a geographic or business unit support activities and the partner relationship. level to complement that of the procurement manager  Business Contribution: KPIs that measure how the and also compare it with any self-assessment. sponsorship engages key stakeholders and how it adds value to the business. Two-way reviews: Many organisations also ask their employees to provide feedback on their manager’s performance, separately from a 360° feedback review. This technique is used in SPM for high-touch, high- value strategic partner relationships where the supplier is particularly dependent on the timely performance of the client, without which their performance will be impacted – particularly in the area of advertising and marcomms agency performance reviews. In many instances, these SPM assessments are also combined with a 360° feedback to gain the perspective of all parties and stakeholders.SPM – Application to sponsorshipsMany of the lessons learned from procurement, HR andmarketing areas about the application of performancemanagement tools, techniques and processes are directlytransferable to sponsorship performance management. A well-designed “whole-of-sponsorship” evaluation,Three critical benefits from this knowledge transfer will be: including regular performance reviews and 360⁰the ability to assess all KPIs in a “Whole-of-sponsorship” stakeholder feedback, will assist sponsors and propertiesrigorous evaluation, with feedback from all stakeholders; a to assess performance objectively and drive improvement.focus on achieving best practice standards and driving Thus ensuring the sustainability of the partnership forperformance and relationship improvement to that of a mutual benefit.“strategic partner”.
    • SPM – the on-line toolsThe advent of web-based, multi-user software makes the  Reports – each sponsorship:implementation of SPM easy and encourages a o Individual reports on resultscollaborative approach to continuous performance o Overall reports with performance comparisons;improvement in what are complex business relationships,often with multiple touch-points in both organisations,  Review - Meet with sponsors to identify strengths andsometimes spread over many geographic locations. prepare action plans to address any areas of perceived underperformance.The Performware™ platform of proven on-line toolsincorporates and builds on traditional Performance ReportsManagement techniques. They allow organisations to Feedback to properties on how sponsors rated performancereview their business partners, agree on action plans to is critical and forms the basis of review meetings and actionimprove performance and to better manage the relationship plans. The software provides on-line generated reports for- for mutual benefit. both the individual sponsorship and for comparison acrossThe software is designed to objectively measure high their portfolio of sponsorships.value, high touch relationships and raises the bar for moreeffective supplier reviews. It is non-prescriptive, fully Detailed, automated, on-line reports mean that analysis andcustomisable and allows users to determine all content. We feedback can be timely, with a menu of reports in dashboardcan easily replicate any current sponsorship review format, and graphics formats covering:scoring criteria and process and the tool is intuitive, with  Sponsorship portfolio reports for sponsors – By KPI,user-friendly features that makes efficient use of time for rankings, ratings, trends;users. Results are presented on-line in a dashboard and  Individual sponsorship reports – Ratings and comments,graphics format. with analysis by department or stakeholder level.There are three on-line assessment tools, designed fordifferent uses, each with a KPI importance weighting optionand the ability to collect supporting comments, tocompliment and explain ratings and make the feedbackmore actionable for suppliers: Performance Manager: For assessments by category or sponsorship managers. The supplier self- assessment option provides the opportunity for increased engagement and allows them to compare their self-ratings, as the basis for discussion on the differences in perception, expectations and any improvements required. Both supplier portfolio and individual supplier reports are available to users on- line. 360 Feedback Manager: For multi dimension assessments by key stakeholders, where there are How we work with you multiple touch points within the sponsor Company. As When we work directly with sponsors and properties, we well as sponsorship managers assessing provide: performance, the 360° feedback tool enables  Website (your branding) set up, our generic “whole-of- functional managers and “front-line” users to be sponsorship” or your customized KPIs and questions involved in the assessment process – e.g. Operations,  Review and participant set up, survey/review Marketing, Finance etc., all with section specific KPIs. administration (automated emails etc.), progress  Relationship Optimizer: With two-way assessments, reports and 360 feedback capability, this tool is generally used  Full reports: Individual sponsor and Property reports, where there are high touch, high value relationships aggregated portfolio reports, special analysis “drill- with multiple stakeholders and dependent down” reports, personal presentation of results. relationships. Often used for a “drill-down” review to further investigate poor performance identified by one When we work with sponsorship consultants, we provide: of the other tools.  Website (your branding), KPIs, survey set-up  Survey administration, progress reportsThe critical steps in a successful sponsorship evaluation  Administrator training, if you wish to produce your ownprogram process are: reports  Full back-up service and support  Define KPIs and metrics. And agree with properties: “If you want to have early warnings about possible problems o Sponsorship specific objectives, e.g. merchandise in a relationship and a way to surface issues and to address sales budgets, audience targets. them collaboratively, you have to have a mechanism to take o Core KPIs, common to all sponsorships the temperature of the relationship, comparing its o Relationship KPIs effectiveness up against some agreed metrics, and then talking about the results.”  Evaluate sponsorships: (Source: Vantage Partners) o Key stakeholders rate performance o Properties can rate their own performance
    • Summary Marketing Mix: Today, Global and major brands have They will need to develop new skills which will enable clearly defined marketing objectives and strategies them to meet shifting needs with greater agility and designed to reach, communicate to and with, touch, impact. At the same time, however, traditional involve, engage and persuade their target market. relationship-building and sales skills will still be important. Sponsorship is now one, but important, element in the marketing mix to reach these objectives. Marketers and  Research has identified three critical areas of concern their sponsorship team now see the sponsorship as a for sponsors as they seek to evaluate the value of a key communication vehicle. It is an extension of their sponsorship and to justify its retention in this uncertain brand, with the core asset being the property and what it economic climate: can offer in terms of a ‘fit” with their target market, o Communication: 85% of sponsors agree with the wrapped up in all the activation and promotional statement “There is a need for more open leverage opportunities used to maximise its exposure, communication between sponsors and rights reach and engagement. holders”. o Benefits: 46% of sponsors agree with the statement Innovation: Sponsors expect more of properties and that “The benefits of sponsorship are not well rights holders than in the past. In today’s World they do understood in my organisation”. not want properties to simply act as just a “supplier” and o Evaluation: Key stakeholder feedback is the most sell them their stock, off-the shelf product that they offer important evaluation measure (99%), but only 43% to all potential sponsors. They are not interested in just of rights holders undertake sponsor feedback standard logo and signage type assets that only provide surveys. visibility – they already have brand awareness - but instead they seek innovative methods of touch and  Evaluation Gap: Whilst there is a wealth of quantitative engagement that will enhance the experience and information to evaluate the effectiveness, impact and “stickiness” of their sponsorship. return on investment of sponsorships, there appear to be serious gaps: Strategic Partners: Sponsors are looking for o Qualitative research and stakeholder feedback are sustainable partnerships where properties become the most important, but least undertaken. “strategic partners” and work with them in the same way o Evaluation of the relationship and partnership, with as other marcomms agencies and professional services agreed KPIs and performance reviews, is rarely partners. Helping to contribute to the success of the undertaken brand through a deep understanding of the sponsor’s specific business needs and delivery of Return on  Whole-of-sponsorship” evaluation: There is a need Investment and Return on Objectives. for a “whole-of-sponsorship” evaluation tool that pulls together both the quantitative and relationship The journey to that of a strategic partner is not easy, but measures for ROI and ROO, as the basis for mid- is worth the effort. It requires paradigm shifts by both season or annual review meetings. parties, particularly in attitudes, requiring openness, trust and information sharing. Sponsors expect their “Whole-of-sponsorship” KPIs focus on three areas: properties to communicate and engage with them at all  Sponsorship specific objectives: e.g. merchandise levels and to be proactive in suggesting ways to further sales budgets, audience targets. leverage and support the sponsorship.  Product and Capability: ROI and ROO (Return on Objectives) KPIs around the brand and activation/ Customer focus: Properties must adopt a customer support activities and the partner relationship. focus culture with a more agile, responsive organisation  Business Contribution: KPIs that measure how the that responds to specific sponsor needs. Some may sponsorship engages key stakeholders and how it require a dramatic paradigm shift in how they select, adds value to the business. manage and sustain their account management teams.  Performance Management: For sponsors, their Many must change their culture, people, relationships sponsorship property partners should be regarded as and processes to elevate customer focus to the level of key suppliers. Viewed in this light, like any other key importance demanded by the sponsor organisation supplier, sponsors need to consider adopting the same (particularly marketing and brand management) to drive rigorous Performance Management tools, techniques and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. and processes used elsewhere in their organisations to drive performance and relationship improvements. Broadening skills and capabilities: Property sponsor account managers may lack the client management and Many of the lessons learned from procurement, HR and analytical skills required to build and maintain the marketing areas about the application of performance relationship and need to become more broad-based in management tools are directly transferable to their business capability. To improve performance, sponsorship performance management – particularly account managers must better understand the sponsor’s engagement, reviews and constructive feedback as the business and shift from a focus on “selling sponsorship” basis for any improvement plans. to one of “addressing their requirements”.To access an example assessment, or to have your sponsorshipevaluation survey converted to the Performware on-line assessmenttool, contact Ron.Latham@performware.com.au ph +61 2 9959 3815