“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
– John Wanamaker (1838-1922), department-store magnate
PROBLEM: SPONSORS FAIL TO GET RECOGNISED
- Audience can’t remember them
- No association with the event
Every year brands splurge many millions of dollars into advertising and sponsorship but does it work?
In the case of Euro 2016, many of the official sponsors failed to get recognised by their target audience as being associated with the official event.
Less than 40% of a thousand British people surveyed who had interest in the Euro 2016, associate the official sponsors’ brand with the world event.
This made it a landmark failure in marketing and sent ripples of mistrust in the effectiveness of so called marketing research experts.
In fact, many unofficial brands succeeded in intercepting consumer perception and had much greater success in associating themselves with the Euro 2016 events.
So what went wrong? Essentially it came down to one main issue.
CAUSES: PR STRATEGY WAS NOT TARGETED WELL
- Campaign was not in line with the sponsorship
- Target audience could not understand the brand message
Brand campaigns that are not prepared to capture, develop and drive sales with their sponsorship efforts are simply wasting their resources.
Sponsorship kits provided by the event organisers are like a menu for all sponsors to bid for their spots. Though promised their respective ROIs, the information is highly theoretical and entirely independent from implementation.
During the event season, there were many brands placed beside each other, each fighting for attention. This meant that viewers were overwhelmed with information and had less energy and patience for brands which they did not care or know about.
Ultimately, sponsorship works if it leads to sales and sales are made by consumers who have made a choice to support the brand. This means that sponsorship should not be perceived as a shouting match but rather an exercise to win hearts and minds.
This can be accomplished using a simple principle.
SOLUTION: ENSURE THAT PR IS RELEVANT TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE
- Know what they care about
- Support things which they like
Listen to the audience to understand what they care about. The information age has provided an unprecedented access to the mind of the consumer, this will help develop a clearer understanding of their concerns.
Once a clear profile of the target consumer has been established, sponsor and support the things or the ideas
that they care about. In this way, an advertising budget changes from being an expense into an investment.
ONE STEP FURTHER: BUILD A DIRECT LINK TO THE TARGET AUDIENCE
- View target audience as communities instead of segments
- Be in as many places as your target audience is looking to create a path to your brand
Traditional market segments can be misleading as they assume that what people care about is very static. It is a very top down way of thinking which doesn’t connect with your target audience. Thinking of your target audience as a community is a more accurate perception which implies dynamic sentiments and fads.
Communities also help build rapport and makes your brand stay relevant. Working with influential stakeholders in communities such as social media influencers can help jumpstart your reputation.
Lastly, we now live in an age where the average consumer will look at many sources before making a decision. To address this behaviour it makes sense to be in as many places as your target audience is looking to create a path to your brand.
Amie is the Director of Business Development at Helios Media Design and the co-creator of Halleyplace, a one-stop influencer collaboration platform.
Company page: www.halleyplace.com