When planning your marketing budget, you will probably have to answer a few questions: how can you maximise your ROI? How can you track changes in brand awareness? Is it better to reach a vast but indistinct audience or a narrow but carefully profiled one? In our experience, there is no better way of getting through to your chosen audience than by building shared memories. This is why we believe event sponsorship to be among the best and most profitable marketing investments a company can make. We recently put this theory into practice and organised the very first edition of Pleasantville Festival, a festive celebration of all things ‘50s. We offered our guests a delicious, old-style pic-nic, a vintage market, plenty of family-friendly entertainment, quality street-food and a lindy-hop dancing party. Our sponsors were fully involved at every stage and together we created a unique and memorable experience that brought together the local community for a spectacular weekend. Here’s why you should consider sponsoring an event like Pleasantville.
Why event sponsorship strikes ROI gold
1. Because you will get excellent media exposure
The idea that traditional media marketing and event sponsorship belong in separate budgets is a common misconception. Sponsoring events will actually result in increased media exposure, as your logo will be featured in the event’s official promotion. This effectively means you will be outsourcing your media campaign, ideally to someone with a wider reach than you would normally have. Pleasantville, for instance, was promoted on over 30 local media outlets and featured on two major national newspapers.
When looking for an event to sponsor, make sure it is targeted to the right audience for your brand!
2. To increase brand exposure
Event sponsorship is a way of associating your brand name to an experience. Such association will be registered by the audience and it strengthens over time, just like your brand identity. It’s not just about having your logo reproduced on posters and flyers (which is essential, but not sufficient), it is also about making your sponsorship count and getting as involved as you can. With Pleasantville, we got different sponsors to take care of different aspects, from the food to the pic-nic baskets and cloths and included their pre-existing ads into our official communication.
If you have never sponsored an event before, start by picking a local one. It will be easier to track exposure and conversions locally, particularly if you choose an event that is targeted to a specific audience.
3. To launch new products
The best way to launch a new product or service is to have it tested by members of the public, ideally for free. Of course, handing out freebies is an investment per se, and you should plan it so that it produces a revenue. The best way of maximising your ROI is to offer an exclusive preview in the context of an event you are sponsoring. This is also an excellent way of standing out among other sponsors of the same event.
Work with the event planners to find a creative way of offering your product as part of the event itself. For instance, F&B brands will benefit from offering freebies in lieu of financial support to events that serve food and drinks.
4. To generate leads
Meeting your audience face to face is the best way to generate leads. This is particularly true for high-end products and generally for expensive goods that require planning before purchasing (such as house appliances, cars and subscriptions). In order to generate leads, you will need your potential clients to share their details with you. A good way to achieve this is by organising a contest or giveaway within the main event.
Work with the event planners to create strategies that enhance and are enhanced by the main event, so that your sponsorship is not perceived as “pushy” or out of place.
5. Because it’s the best value-for-money when it comes to marketing strategies
A well-crafted marketing campaign can eat up a consistent part of your yearly budget. Not all brands can afford radio, printed-press and tv ads and even online promotion requires considerable investment, in order to yield relevant results. Unless you have access to highly specific media, there is also the question of ROI: it’s no good reaching a large crowd of the wrong people. Event sponsorship, on the other hand, is usually more affordable than you might expect, as most events offer different sponsorship tiers, and you will get a priceless opportunity to engage your audience directly.
Pick the right staff: they will be the literal face of your product, as you present it to your selected audience. Choose professionals and make sure they are able to communicate and embody your core values in a charming and engaging way, generating interest and, as a direct consequence, leads and conversions.