I can’t figure this one out. On a fairly regular basis, I hear about properties denying access to their events and venues to market researchers who are there to conduct on-site surveys on behalf of the property’s sponsors. The latest call I received happened around a major event last week.
What possible reason would a property have for blocking representatives of one of its partners from coming on site to conduct research that would provide information critical to the sponsor, and thus to the property as well? No good one, I can tell you that.
My guess is that one of two things is happening in these incidents. The first would be that someone at the property has, with the best of intentions, decided that talking with market researchers will distract from the audience’s experience and has banned on-site surveys. Although a fan-first attitude is admirable, this expression of it is not a good idea. Yes, we want to keep the audience experience paramount, but some concessions must be made to the sponsors. Signage and other marketing messaging is one. The ability to interact with the audience is another.
This week it seems survey findings abound. From info about the most engaged brands in the social media space (Starbucks took tops) to what customers want from customer service (it’s to be made to feel special) there sure is a lot for us sponsorship pros to take in and chew on.
In particular the customer service findings – while damn near as straight forward and common sense as it comes – were a great reminder that what we expect as paying customers (research says it’s to wait no longer than 90 seconds or else we deem the service a total breakdown and failure) is really no different from how a paying sponsor feels with the properties they are backing. So, I think a quick sponsorship-focused translation of the top four things customers are looking for is in order:
After reading Bill Chipps’ recent blog on post-event fulfillment reports, I realized that I had a lot of opinions on what a post-event fulfillment/sponsorship recap report should and shouldn’t be.
I have to be upfront, as a Senior Valuation Analyst, I don’t write fulfillment reports and I don’t typically give a lot of advice on them (I leave that to our expert consulting staff), but as someone who reviews and sorts through boxes and binders of sponsorship information for both properties and sponsors, I have some pretty clear ideas of what types of information I like and what information makes my job easier. Additionally, as an objective third-party, I often hear sponsors’ gripes about their partnerships, which can include complaints about lackluster fulfillment reports. Frankly, sometimes I feel like a sponsorship therapist. Finally, I’ve seen quite a few fulfillment reports, some good and some not so great.
We all focus a lot on the next big thing, the newest, the most unique, the thing with the most buzz. Sometimes the next big thing doesn’t pan out or live up to the hype, or it gets lost with the introduction of something bigger and better. I have to admit that I am always on the look out for what is new and hot on both a personal and professional level. However, the danger of keeping up with the next big thing is that we can lose focus on the basics.
As a Valuation Analyst, I am privy to thousands of sponsorships. I’ve valued sponsorships at all levels and I guess you could say I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of sponsorship. So what do I mean by “the basics”? By basics, I mean “standard practices” that are part of a healthy sponsor partnership, such as comprehensive fulfillment reports or sponsors that leverage their partnership. The basics aren’t glamorous and I doubt a sponsor decides to partner with a property because they have a great PR report, but the combination of the basics can be really powerful.
A marketer calls up the rep from a concert series he’s sponsoring and says he has a great opportunity for her. His company is launching a new product, and he’d like to distribute a FREE sample to all attendees for the next concert. However, this “generous” sponsor doesn’t have sampling rights built into his contract. What should the rep do?
A marketer calls up the rep from a nonprofit her company both sponsors and donates to and says she’d like to hold a one-day volunteer event for 200 employees. The nonprofit usually accepts only volunteers who make a six-month commitment to volunteering, due to the training involved. The nonprofit rep wants to provide a quality volunteer experience—including breakfast, lunch and a volunteer T-shirt—but isn’t sure she wants to deploy the dollars and additional staff if most of those volunteers won’t be returning. What should the rep do?
I have some thoughts, but would be interested to hear from you first. more