Sponsorship asset valuations are on the rise and this used to mean extra dollar signs for rights holders, now? Not so much.
In an increasingly fragmented media landscape and period of unprecedented ability to capture data, brands now strive to create highly personalised and engaging experiences for consumers. In what follows, this blog examines the changing sponsorship landscape and the direction Australian rights holders need to take to compete for valuable partnership investment.
Experiences: The Battlefield for Brands
To elaborate, in a corporate world of high intensity competition, the idea of ‘sustainable competitive advantage’ is a unicorn. The Great White Whale. For the modern brand, competitive imitation isn’t just easy, it happens almost overnight.
This has placed huge importance on the ability to strategically create and innovate the customer experience based on primary, consumer insights developed through both quantitative and qualitative research.
The customer experience is the end-to-end construction of every single touch point the consumer has with an organisation or brand and is designed to drive the consumer through a journey of:
This has become the battlefield for brands. When you create a consumer experience that engineers every single consumer touch point, and is based on internally developed insights, competitive imitation becomes significantly harder.
Developing Strategic and Meaningful Partnership
This approach by brands is now influencing the sponsorship and partnership landscape. Rights holders are increasingly being asked to act as a touch point within the brand’s consumer experience.
Traditionally, rights holders in Australia have relied on an asset-focused approach, with the majority of proposals focusing on selling the most visible spot left for branding. This has been supported and justified primarily by use of media valuations, and broadcast and attendance numbers.
However, we can see the shift in the sponsorship market through the savvier brands now demanding to see real and tangible results in the form of Return On Investment (ROI) or Return On Objectives (ROO).
More to the point, how well have you, as a rights holder, played your role in their consumer experience? And can you prove it?
Fighting on a New Front
The simple model to competing for sponsorship dollars in this changing environment, is three fold:
1. Be Armed with Consumer Insights.
As a rights holder, acquiring consumer insights into your target audience on specific categories is vital. Having genuine insights, and not just statistics, on your participant’s or fan’s consumer habits and being able to evidence this to potential partners makes you a far more attractive property.
2. Understand Your Partner's Objectives and Your Role in Their Experience.
Once you’ve entered into talks with a potential partner, try to collaboratively establish what their overall business objectives are, and the role you play in delivering their customer experience. This means working toward establishing, clear, actionable and measurable objectives for a potential partnership.
3. Develop a Strategy. Don't Allocate Assets.
Finally, the most competitive rights holders go to a potential partner with a solution. An end-to-end strategy that makes the assets work together to achieve the set out objectives makes for a far easier investment decision than giving them an asset list with a price tag.
Marketing departments are busier than ever. Rights holders need to make investment by brands an easy decision, by having a ready-made solution that can be easily tailored to play a positive role in the experience the brand is trying to create for the consumer.
(Feature Image via Theiapolis)