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What are the top challenges in sponsorship marketing today? With the market changing so fast, it’s becoming harder to reach consumers. In financial services marketing, this is especially true—only 40 percent of consumers say their banks adequately understand their needs, according to Capgemini.
So how are sponsorship marketing leaders at Fortune 500 companies overcoming challenges in rising consumer expectations, measuring ROI from their efforts and gathering actionable data?
Check out our latest eBook: Top Challenges In Sponsorship Marketing And How 3 Fortune 500 Leaders Overcame Them and learn:
Here is a sneak peek of what leaders had to say:
Giles Morgan, Global Sports Industry Thought Leader Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, HSBC (previous)
When it comes to experiential and sponsorship marketing, what are the top challenges that you are seeing?
One of the things that has happened in the financial service industry over the last 20 or 30 years is the growth of online banking, as well as social digital media channels. And the reason that’s important in the key to understanding the banking sector is that historically, banking was always very much a one to-one interaction. You would have branches over the area of a company’s network and the role of the bank manager and the bank teller was hugely important. Society transacted with their bank through human interaction.
In the last 15-20 years that has changed. The biggest branch network is now online across all banks. There is less human interaction. The opportunity and challenge for sponsorships, partnerships, and experiential is in humanizing brands for customers. Brand consideration of brand trust comes from people. And banks need to make sure there is enough of that. This is where experiences come in, because they’re all about people.
Any form of sponsorship is really a way for banks to demonstrate they are part of the community that they serve.
There’s also the challenge around compliance, regulation and data privacy. The ability to run experiential is becoming more challenging because more and more, people want their rights protected and that requires paperwork and legalese. When you want to deliver a great experience and people have to fill in a form, it kind of takes away from it.
What are some of the things you’re seeing brands do to overcome these challenges—specifically the clunkiness of data capture and filling out forms?
People are being smart about it. Rather than having pages and pages or legalese, there are now waiver forms where you just need to tick a box. If the purpose is to try and humanize and to engage, what you don’t want to do is be bound up in red tape. But at the same time red tape exists in order to protect the customer. I’ve seen software and some agencies I used to work with become pretty adept at that.
Sara Toussaint, Vice President, Sports Sponsorships, Wells Fargo
How did you measure the success of your role and sponsorships at Wells Fargo?
You have your traditional vanity metrics, from attendance to onsite activity to impressions and views on social media. That was one way we approached it. Another way we’ve done in the past is working with our regional counterparts and bankers to try and learn how many accounts were opened around the events we participated in.
Recently those have shifted at Wells Fargo, so now we measure sentiment— specifically, customer and fan sentiment about Wells Fargo. We have an in-house analytics team that works on developing surveys to get a sense of how people feel about us. We then work with our agency partners to deliver those surveys and analyze the results.
I know a lot of brands have lead generation activities. We don’t do that, and we don’t collect customer data. We’ve chosen not to do it for a couple reasons; one, because I think customers and fans are very used to people trying to get their information, and it’s a turn off. So we decided that we weren’t going to do that and we never really did as long as I’ve been at Wells Fargo.
We also don’t do any post event communications. Some agencies say ‘you have their information, have you ever thought about sending them an email saying thanks for playing, here’s some information?’ We don’t do that because we don’t want people to feel that we’ve spammed them. So in terms of measurement, a lot of it has been qualitative not quantitative.
Paul Joliat, Assistant Vice-President, Philanthropy & Sponsorships Sun Life Financial
When it comes to activations in your industry (sponsorships, branch openings, conference, community events, etc.), what are the most effective ways to stand out and make your event memorable? How do you measure success, and what KPIs, specifically, do you focus on?
In an increasingly cluttered sports sponsorship landscape, it can be incredibly challenging to deliver an activation that stands out. In our experience, a key way to stand out is to stand for something: differentiation starts from the topdown with a thoughtful strategy that builds equity in a clear theme that is intrinsic to the brand. While this approach takes discipline, it often produces positive and sustainable results compared to activations built by artificially cobbling together existing assets (“we used it because it was there”).
Our Dunk for Diabetes program was developed based on the notion of using a tightly integrated basketball sponsorship strategy to amplify our CSR cause of type 2 diabetes awareness and prevention. In using the top-down approach, we were able to deliver a highly differentiated and memorable activation that is also turnkey and scalable…
Our ultimate measure of success is our ability to widen the purchase consideration gap over category competitors. In other words, we have succeeded if our activation or campaign increases the likelihood of a consumer purchasing our product/service over a category competitor.
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