The Sponsorship Guy’s Pro Tips for Finding Leads
You are on LinkedIn. You are trying to find new prospects. When I enter “Sponsorship” into the search field, I get 13,805,662 results. Not helpful. By further filtering to just the United States and to the Marketing and Advertising Industry we are down to 429, 938. Still, not even close.
Using your filters won’t help much unless you know the job title of the prospect. It’s also tricky to filter out people with Sponsorship in their job title but aren’t prospects because they are in sales or operations. Let’s skip people with Sponsorship in their title and look at some other prospects.
I find it works best to look in the industry you want and then by job title. Here are the job titles I often use when searching for prospects on LinkedIn:
Experiential Marketing | It is expensive for companies to create and operate their own experiential. You can offer to white label or create an experience with their brand. Offer something that matches their brand marketing.
Integrated Marketing | This is a big marketing bucket where different tactics get combined. Very often sponsorship is part of their responsibility. See what else they are doing that pairs nicely.
Marketing Communications | Marcom is in the middle of everything. A good event is a tool in their box. These folks know the brand message, align with it.
Consumer Engagement | If activation is a strong suit of your property, this is a good place to start. Every company wants more customers, show them your audience contains their ideal consumers.
Market Manager | Local or regional business leader who may be very interested in how your event or property can help them meet their objectives. If you are an established property in their market, they are more likely to know you.
Marketing and Activation | Think lead generation and conversion. If your event has an audience that matches the prospect’s needs, they may want to influence, educate and sell them.
Promotions | Sampling, engagement and awareness of well aligned audiences needs a place to happen.
Business Development | If your property or event can help open an important channel, this is a great connection to make especially for conferences that align.
Field Marketing | This team is likely to be directly engaged with events and properties.
Event or Events | Managers and marketers with Event or Events in their titles are often the ones who are looking for you. Look for people working for companies in your target segment, so you don’t get wedding planners and such.
Brand Managers | The brand is their baby. The right event can raise the profile, target their known consumers or align brand values. They also know where the money is for the brand.
Product Placement | It’s not just for TV and the Oscars. Being the official provider of a product or service to your event or property can establish legitimacy and affinity for consumers.
Sales | They probably aren’t your ultimate buyer, but they care about what the company is doing to promote its business and likely sympathize with how hard it is to sell. If asked right, they will sometimes give you an email or phone number you need.
Communications and PR | These jobs are tangentially involved in covering sponsorship activities that produce media coverage and sometimes have a direct link to the sponsorship team.
Use the ones that make sense to you. In my experience, anyone with Sponsorship in their job title is probably getting flooded with all kinds of offers and have put up a firewall to protect their sanity. Unless you know the CMO or CEO, you probably won’t get to them either. I think you will find that even if they aren’t the decision maker, you may get the insights you need to have the right offer to the right person.