It’s a Matter of Trust

According to the Edelman 2015 Trust Barometer there has been a global decline in trust in business over the last year, and the number of countries with trusted institutions has fallen to an all-time low among the informed public. This is based on an online survey that was conducted in late 2014, sampling 27,000 general population respondents, aged 25-64 across 27 markets.

In the last year, trust has declined for three of the four institutions measured. NGOs continue to be the most trusted institution, but trust in NGOs declined from 66 to 63 percent. Sixty percent of countries now distrust media. Trust in government increased slightly, but is still distrusted in 19 of the 27 markets surveyed. And trust in business is below 50 percent in half of those markets

Most trusted are friends and family at 72%, followed by academic experts at 70%. Less than 50% trust business. Businesses in Sweden, Canada, Germany and Switzerland are the most trusted.

According to the survey:

  • 80% of Consumers will buy products from a company it trusts
  • 63% said they refused to purchase a product or service because they distrusted a particular company
  • 68% will recommend a company they trust to a friend or colleague
  • 54% will pay more for products from a company they trust
  • 48% will share positive opinions online
  • 40% will defend businesses they trust.

Engagement and integrity are viewed as priorities for building trust. Building trust is essential to successfully bringing new products and services to market, and building trust in new business innovations requires that companies demonstrate clear personal and societal benefits, behave with integrity and engage with customers and stakeholders throughout the process.

All this brings me to my point. A properly executed sponsorship can have a major impact on how consumers view (trust) a particular company. By providing opportunities for companies to align their brand with your property, creating positive audience experiences around your integrated brands and establishing opportunities for these sponsors to engage with your audiences through various forms of activation, you can have a major impact on that company’s positioning in the marketplace, and ultimately their business. Most importantly, your audiences are more likely to purchase a company’s products and pass on their positive opinions about that company to their family and friends.

As sponsorship professionals, we must do a better job at:

  • Building our brand (sponsorship property) to ensure it is one that companies want to be associated with;
  • Providing opportunities for companies to leverage their association with your brand through effective communications; and,
  • Encouraging sponsors to engage audiences and contribute to the overall experience of audiences participating in your programs, events or other activities.

We need to move beyond just providing awareness building activities for our sponsors to a more meaningful level of involvement where our audiences develop a higher level of trust in our sponsors through association, engagement and activation. When all these elements come together, your customers will appreciate sponsor involvement, look more favourably on companies that support your activities and tell their friends about it; and in today’s marketing environment, it doesn’t get any better.

Later, BC

Take the Re-Think Quiz

Further to my last post ‘It’s Probably Time to Re-Vamp Your Sponsorship Program’ why don’t you take a short quiz and see where you stand?

7 Signs You Need to Re-Think Your Sponsorship Program

You may want to re-vamp your sponsorship program if:

[  ] The biggest innovation you’ve made is the introduction of the Platinum level to your generic Gold, Silver and Bronze packages;

[  ] You have difficulty explaining to a prospect how your sponsorship offering is going to help them achieve their business objectives;

[  ] You aren’t sure how to respond when a sponsor or prospect tells you they’ll be allocating most of their money to social media marketing;

[  ] You are not leveraging social media to engage your audiences and build sponsor visibility;

[  ] You’re struggling with how to identify new prospects or how to expand your sponsorship program;

[  ] You’re not really sure what it means to “activate” a sponsorship;

[  ] Your revenue is decreasing each year and your best excuse is “the economy”.

If you’ve checked at least two, you’d derive some benefit from attending one of my workshops: Designing Your Sponsorship Program and/or Selling Your Sponsorship Program being held in Toronto and Ottawa this fall.  These workshops are designed to bring you up to speed with the latest trends in sponsorship marketing and provide you with the strategies and tools to grow your sponsorship revenue, even in these challenging economic times. Take either workshop to refine your skills in a specific area, or take both workshops to learn a whole new approach to designing and implementing a successful sponsorship program!

Register NOW


It’s Probably Time To Re-Vamp Your Sponsorship Program

If you haven’t conducted a thorough review of your sponsorship program in the past two years, you’re probably out-of-date with a lot of trends in sponsorship and likely not in line with the current economic environment.  Here are a few key trends that will help you determine if your sponsorship program is in line with today’s reality:

Everyone thinking that “Social Media is the answer to everything” There is no doubt that social media is an extremely powerful marketing tool, but it still needs to be considered as only one part of the marketing mix. Unfortunately, many people are beginning to think that social media is the answer to all of their marketing problems. Both current sponsors and prospects need to be educated on the role of sponsorships in relation to social media and other marketing tactics as well as how all of the elements need to be integrated to achieve maximum results. Therefore, in order to effectively sell your sponsorship program, you need to be able to articulate the value that your sponsorship solution brings to the marketing mix and in particular, how it can be integrated with a company’s social media efforts.

Inclusion of Social Media in Sponsorship Benefits Packages Further to the above, most companies are looking for some level of social media engagement as part of their sponsorship packages and if you are not addressing this need, you are probably missing the mark from a value perspective.

It’s a Sponsorship “Buyer’s” Market The economic downturn has created an environment where there are significantly more organizations seeking sponsorship dollars than companies with money to spend on sponsorship marketing.  Simply stated, companies with money to spend have the “pick of the crop”, so the question you have to ask yourself is “does my sponsorship program have what it takes to be seriously considered among the hundreds of proposals that some companies receive each week”?

Shift from Interruptive Messaging to Relevant Communications The Internet has created a whole new culture where permission-based communications is becoming the norm and where intrusive messaging is no longer being accepted, often creating  a long-term, negative impact for a company. There is a growing reality that messages need to be timely and relevant to the audience’s needs in order for these messages to be well received and even welcomed.

Focus on Customer “Value-Add” Further to the above, there is a growing realization that if the customer experience is enhanced through a sponsorship, the customer will likely look more favourably on that company (and ultimately purchase their products).  As a result, sponsorship activation is becoming increasingly important as a means of demonstrating a brand’s attributes in a way that’s relevant to the audience and contributes to their overall experience.  In the new game, the audience needs to benefit from the sponsorship as much as the sponsee and  sponsor.

Shift from Generic Partnerships to Targeted Sponsorships More and more, we are seeing companies shift their sponsorship resources from generic properties and benefits to more targeted activities aimed at achieving specific corporate objectives.  As a result, many organizations are witnessing a significant drop in revenue from their traditional “strongholds”.  To counter this shift, organizations need to revamp their current benefits programs to build in more tangible marketing opportunities or build additional inventory in their other activities (i.e. events) to allow for the cross-pollination of benefits packages.

These are just a few of the issues I will be addressing in my upcoming Designing and Selling Your Sponsorship Program workshops in Toronto and Ottawa this fall. For more information, click on the Upcoming Workshops bar at the top of the page.

Later,                                                                                                                                                        BC