In my last blog, I discussed the reasons why we need to have intelligent conversations with prospects in order to understand where their “pain” lies and how we can help them solve their business challenges through our sponsorship program. As an example, below are “real life” needs identified by sponsor prospects in recent conversations with these companies:
• “We (insurance broker) make roughly 10% on every new insurance policy”, so the sponsorship needs to drive xx number of new policies for it to work for us”;
• “I (sports retailer) need to significantly increase traffic to my new store”;
• “We (developer) want to reach pregnant mothers”;
• We (physiotherapy firm) need to be in front of our target audience when they are feeling pain from their stiff joints”;
• “We (car dealership) aren’t getting people to our car lot even though they only live 5-minutes away”;
• “We (media company) need to re-position our business to remain relevant to our audience”;
• “Our (fast food franchise) biggest issue is finding and keeping employees”;
• “We’re (retailer) not sure what to do besides advertise, and we’re not even sure that’s working”.
As you can see, the range of challenges that companies deal with are dramatically different, depending on their specific environment. You can also see why a generic sponsorship package with traditional “signs, logos and banners” just doesn’t cut it when sponsor prospects are trying to address real challenges. Therefore, our likelihood of being relevant to a potential sponsor lies in our ability to see the world through their eyes and respond with a sponsorship marketing solution that addresses their real “pain”.
It has also become obvious to me that many businesses don’t have a real grasp of marketing themselves, often confusing marketing with “promotional advertising”. In particular, we see a tendency for companies to resort to advertising because it’s the only thing they know. In this regard, we need to stop assuming that businesses automatically “get-it” and start educating our prospects about the more strategic elements of marketing and where our sponsorship solution fits in the value chain.