How to Benchmark your Sponsoring Efforts in Sports and the Arts

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2008/03/10 1 views

in a analytics taking action,d business Fortune 500

Unless your firm sees a benefit from sponsoring polo events or a corporate blog, why sponsor anything or spend time on producing a good webpage with great content?

If you intend to sponsor a women’s volleyball team or decide to produce great content for the corporate website, finding the correct answer to two questions seems paramount, namely:

    A) What is the purpose of your blog (or sponsoring a sports event or team)? This pre-sets the choice and type of success measures that you must use. So is it just for pleasure, to push your own business and/or help your employer, because you enjoy watching the home games in the VIP box, or maybe all of these?
    The more purposes a blog or sport/cultural event sponsoring must satisfy, the more challenging it will be to reach performance targets.B) What are you trying to sell? Blogging about your public relations consultancy is one thing. Very different is the situation, where a real estate professional (solar engineer) uses a blog to promote and grow her business.
For an explanation why we address these issues see here: framework for measuring blogging success (graphic). In previous posts we addressed the following challenges:
1st set of critical questions 1-4 First set of steps on the way to build brand while blogging like a pro

2nd set of critical questions 5-8

Second set of steps – getting your corporate blog noticed – pretending not to care

Similarly, deciding to sponsor the 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow that took place from 24 to 27 January 2008 in St. Moritz is an important decision. Most important is that one has some metrics that help in demonstrating, how sponsoring this event makes sense when looking at the corporation’s bottom line.

In social marketing or public relations as in sales, everybody is trying to find specific, measurable, achievable, results orientated and time bound (SMART for short) key performance indicators (KPIs).

Defining SMART KPIs for measuring blogging success or having money well spent sponsoring a sport or a team is an important exercise. Unfortunately, we tend to do a somewhat sloppy job on this.

Business CASE

Imagine an organization providing investment services to very wealthy corporate and private clients – sometimes called private banking services. Writing a blog that is interesting to clients is a big challenge and first step on the road to success. In addition, no, as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad discovered, preparing quality content requires more than 15 minutes a week. Getting your clients or potential ones to subscribe to the e-mailed posts, RSS feeds or a newsletter is a big and critical second step.

It will take some efforts and quality blogging for some time to get these people to read your content.

What is the desirable outcome from reading such material or visiting the VIP lounge?

Will the influenced recipient of your blog post or brochure change her attitude? Is it important that she feels you are doing a good job throughout the year? How can this all help in improving customer relationship management?

Often the blog may just offer you a good way to stay in touch with your clients and provide them with such quality information they die for and want to share with their friends (for a great example see Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders). Hence, as Warren Buffett knew all along, communicating via the web will not necessarily sell product. Nevertheless, it will allow you to keep your shareholders, financial analysts and clients informed about the things you consider important.

Bottom Line

Most metrics are meaningless in your line of business. In all businesses, there is one metric that counts for you and all of us, and that is SALES.

However, as the Warren Buffett case illustrates, a blog is not a direct sales instrument. It may influence current clients by reducing the likelihood of them switching suppliers. But providing proof is a challenge.

These happy clients may also share with their rich peers some of the stuff you write about or publish online, thereby increasing your reputation in these circles of being a well informed person.

Same with The 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow that took place from 24 to 27 January 2008 in St. Moritz (image enlarged compared to the one on the left). We can agree that sponsors will have a hard time to attribute direct sales to the 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow. Nonetheless, getting enough sponsors for the annual event is never a problem for the organizers. Hence, some sponsors must believe it is worth the money spent for sponsoring such an event.

The Polo World Cup on Snow or a well-written blog for clients may help with THREE things:

    1 reducing the likelihood of a client leaving the firm during the year,2 giving corporate representatives the chance to mingle with current clients at the event (or stay in touch with clients via blog posts), and3 possibly meeting new clients at the event (or having them read blog posts).

Nevertheless, it may remain a challenge to show exactly how sponsoring the 24th Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow brings in additional revenues.

Fact is that if your clients are not likely to attend Polo World Cup events, why sponsor such kind of event? Same goes for your blog, if people who purchase your product do not care about your blog, what benefit does it provide for the corporation?

Your challenge as a sponsor or blogger is to make sure that current clients attend the event, read your blog posts and white papers published on the website. If current clients pass on your white papers or blog posts to their friends – your potential clients – that much better for you => icing on the cake. If they neither read your material nor talk to others about it – drop it. But before you do, measure and compare inputs with outputs from such work.

If this post was helpful to you, please consider stumbling it or Digg this ComMetrics post from CyTRAP Labs.
Also of interest from around the Web:
getting your corporate blog noticed – pretending not to care Why Blog Post Frequency Does Not Matter Anymore
Signs of a Healthy Blog: Resonation
Influence vs. Authority vs. Engagement vs. Impact

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