Five ways to ensure sponsorships deliver a return
Most insurance brokers get involved in some kind of sponsorship activity. Whether it is the local footy team, an industry association or a national charity there are a number of fundamental things companies should do to get a better return for their business.
1. Set goals
For all sizes of sponsorship, set goals detailing the benefit you expect from the arrangement. Basic ones like sales and quoting opportunities can be supplemented by goals such as social media engagement and client involvement. Even if a sponsorship has been established over a number of years, putting in place and measuring new goals every year makes a big difference.
2. Money doesn't buy you love
Simply giving money to an organisation and expecting a solid return does not work. You need to get involved in the sponsorship, work closely with the organisation and give it some love. The people involved with the organisation you are sponsoring always do more to help companies who are genuinely interested in their own goals and activities.
3. Avoid splendid isolation
Sponsorship should be just one of the integrated parts of your marketing and business development strategy. The sponsorship should help other parts of the business and vice versa. For example, every organisation you sponsor should be giving you a reference to help portray your credibility to prospects. Check whether the industry organisation you sponsor has close links to another that you can prospect.
4. Invest additional resources
All successful sponsorships invest additional resources. For example, by paying for employees to attend the organisation's meetings and functions, direct marketing campaigns or advertising the arrangement to a wider audience. A rule of thumb is to invest at least one dollar for every dollar you spend on a sponsorship. Successful sponsoring organisations, like Emirates, spend as much as three dollars for every dollar they invest in a sponsorship deal.
5. Get social
Sponsorships are fantastic ways to increase the reach of your social media activities. Most businesses, especially those in unsexy industries like insurance, struggle to find good content for their social media. For those not regularly active on social channels, ramping up activity around sponsored events and tagging key people will include you as part of the conversation even if you have few followers. Continually looking to reinvigorate a sponsorship and following the approaches above, will deliver increased return. However, do not be afraid to cut a sponsorship that is not providing sustained benefit. If you have had a close dialogue with the organisation they will understand, and maybe you can get added kudos by helping them find a new partner who can make the sponsorship work. Nick Hill is the Director of Hillster Marketing with 20 years' experience of marketing within the insurance industry around the world. Hillster Marketing is a Partner Service Provider for Steadfast and works with companies from all areas of the insurance industry. He can be contacted on 0419 371 018 or email firstname.lastname@example.org