||Critical Thinking: What Properties Need to Do Better in the New Year
Sponsors Value Access to Untapped Audiences, ROI Measurement, Strategic Social Media Platforms and Mutual Respect.
What would sponsors like to see properties do better in 2012? Where is their room for improvement?
IEG SR put those questions to sponsorship decision-makers at four companies: Boyd Gaming Corp.; Clif Bar & Co.; KeyCorp; and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey. Below, their responses:
Kristen Downs, senior field marketing manager, Luna/Clif Kid, Clif Bar & Co.
Recap reports that document ROI. Demonstrating that many properties still fall short when it comes to offering detailed post-event fulfillment reports, Downs would like to see properties include more measurement data in the documents.
"I rarely receive detailed reports that capture ROI," she said.
That data can be as basic as impressions, she said. "While we don't spend a lot of time tracking impressions, it may become a more valuable and relevant tool for us as we continue to evaluate how to measure the effectiveness of field marketing."
More female-centric events. As the marketer of the female-centric Luna Bar, Downs would like to see marathons, triathlons and other types of properties offer more female specific experiences.
"If you are planning a women's event, make sure it caters to females from start to finish. Women are looking for event experiences that are just for them, such as champagne and chocolate at the finish line, a pampering expo and jewelry in place of a medal."
Michael Daum, senior vice president and director of marketing implementation, KeyCorp.
Fully developed social media platforms. To perhaps no surprise, Daum believes most properties have room for improvement when it comes to developing and implementing social media initiatives.
"Some properties could be further ahead on their social media strategy. The good news is they’re working on it."
Like a growing number of companies, KeyCorp is placing more focus on social media as a platform to engage consumers and build preference. The regional bank this year will activate the MLS Portland Timbers by tying into the team's Facebook, Twitter and text-message promotions.
Jonathan Pearson, director, corporate philanthropy and community affairs, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
Marketing platforms that provide access to new audiences. The ongoing rollout of health care legislation and the evolution of the industry from a wholesale to retail model has prompted the Blue Cross licensee to seek out properties that reach young adult consumers, a demographic it has not actively targeted in the past.
"The major shift to the retail market is driving the decisions in our sponsorship portfolio going forward," Pearson said.
Horizon also looks for opportunities that help reinforce its local presence, motivate consumers to lead healthier lives and provide a point of differentiation from other health insurance companies.
Dan Stark, vice president, corporate marketing, Boyd Gaming Corp.
Mutual respect. Properties and sponsors should approach sponsorship as a partnership to ensure that both sides find success.
"The most successful and long-lasting deals are when both sides feel they are getting value out of the relationship. Thus, it is the responsibility of both parties to work out an arrangement that will build brand equity for both parties and lead to a long-term relationship," said Stark.
That mutual respect also applies to how properties scout new sponsors, he added.
"Properties should never take current sponsors for granted in their enthusiasm to chase new sponsors. This is an old scenario, but is as important now than ever. If a current sponsor feels unappreciated, they probably will not renew."
(Source: Sponsorship.com, 01/09/12)
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