During a conversation with a colleague recently, she brought up a point that I hadn’t heard considered before. That sponsors mostly don’t think of themselves as a “sponsor”. Their goal isn’t to sponsor something. Their goal is to find new customers, promote or sell their products, educate prospects and existing customers, create a buzz and many other objectives.
As a result, their frame of mind and very likely their job doesn’t have sponsorship in the title. They are sales leaders, marketing executives, business owners, event producers, and a variety of specialties from each of those categories. So, when they think about your event or property their goal of frame of reference isn’t with the objective to be a sponsor, it’s to achieve and objective and ROI that relates to their responsibilities.
In order to meet their needs, you should consider reframing your point of view to better understand theirs. You can turn this into a better and more aligned value proposition and focus on the aspect of your offering that will get them where they want to go. You will want to use that insight to customize your outreach and your proposals so that they appeal to the way the prospect thinks.
If your outreach assumes that there is such a thing as a sponsor persona, your messaging is going to be off target a significant percentage of the time. Here are some job titles I have covered in a previous blog as prospects that don’t have sponsorship in their job title and how you may want to frame your outreach:
- Field Marketing | This team is likely to be directly engaged with events and properties. Their job is to find the best event for their product or services. Focus on how well your event aligns for them.
- Event or Events | Managers and marketers with Event or Events in their titles are often the ones who are looking for you. Many businesses invest in events as a marketing channel. They will be looking for a predetermined event profile.
- Brand Manager| 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. Your objective is to create a wow moment where the realize you can raise their profile at scale and create buzz and viral social engagement.
- Sales | You must nail down exactly how they can convert your attendees into customers.
- 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.
- 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. Promote how you do this better and at scale.
- 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. This prospect is only interested in who is attending and how they will connect with them. You should call out companies and high-profile attendees that they want.
If you only do one thing to revise your approach, be sure it is to talk about them not you. Most events make the mistake of creating a ton of info that isn’t relevant including details like who the president of your company is and how great you are. Your prospects only care about what helps them meet their objectives. Prove that you are better positioned that the competition to give them what they want and need.
Photo by Brad Helmink on Unsplash
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About Larry Weil:
Sponsorship engagement strategist and customer acquisition specialist for some of the nation’s most recognized brands Larry has over $200MM in sponsorship transactions to his credit. He has a database of over 4,000 brand and industry contacts. Larry is an expert seller, negotiator, presenter, and strategist. He has successfully represented properties and sponsors in numerous categories including Conferences, Trade Shows, Convention, and Visitors Bureaus, Entertainment and Sports Properties, and Tech.