Benefits of Sponsorships

We have all seen the signs.  A banner at Little League Park stating “Tournament sponsorship by Company X.”  A plaque on the town green stating “Flower planting sponsored by Company Y.”  A page in the senior yearbook thanking the sponsors who made the book possible.  While these seem like little items they do stay in the minds of the readers and get your name out there in a “good will” fashion.  Let’s look at the benefits and types of this marketing tool known as corporate sponsorship.

What is Sponsorship?

Sponsorship is the material, financial or volunteer support of an event, activity or organization by an unrelated partner. For example the sponsors of the local farmers market might allow use of their parking lot and supply tents and tables to the vendors. In return they get their name and location out there as a “good neighbor” and hopefully a positive mark for their company brand.  In a way, sponsorship is a form of advertising for a company looking to be associated with a certain event or group.

What are the Types of Sponsorship? 

  • Financial – A financial sponsor pays a set amount of money in exchange for benefits outlined in a sponsorship agreement. Benefits may include an opportunity to promote the company to the sponsored organization’s membership or audience; an advertisement or mention in official programs, newsletters or press releases; or signage or logos on promotional materials. (Chron)
  • In-Kind Sponsors – This type of sponsorship involves a donation of goods or services rather than just cash.  For example a web design company may donate its services to a school for design of their new sports logo.
  • Labor Sponsorship – This type of sponsorship involves donating the time, skill, and talents of your employees.  Examples of labor-sponsorship activities include providing tutoring assistance at a local school; helping conduct mock interviews at a job-training center; painting a recreation room at a senior center; or planting trees at a neighborhood park. (Chron)
  • Media Sponsors – This type of sponsorship involves paying for or arranging for media coverage of an event.  For example a Fire station construction event may be covered by local papers and media outlets as arranged by the sponsor.

Benefits of Sponsorship – Sponsorship is a growing form of marketing that gets the word out about your business all while linking it with a worthwhile cause or event.  This building of brand awareness is one of the best benefits of taking part in corporate sponsorship.  Other benefits can impact your bottom line by driving sales, heightening your company’s visibility and making connections that lead directly to maintaining loyal customers.  If you are looking to stand out from the crowd, sponsorship may be a tool your marketing team may want to invest in!

Networking Benefits

Any owner, manager, executive, politician, leader, or marketing expert knows that many times in the business world, such as in life, “it is not what you know, but rather who you know” that matters.  Success in the world of sales and marketing comes down to the connections that are built over years of dealing with employers, contractors and clients.  Many times these connections are forged via networking.  Let’s take a closer look at the numerous benefits of business networking and  how your small business can use networking to further your overall company mission.

Benefits of Networking

  • Friendship – Believe it or not the intangible benefit of friendship as a benefit of marketing is many times underrated by employers.  Once you have learned the ins and outs of networking in your field, it is comforting to know that you have friends in the same area to call upon when you have a question or an issue.  Whether it is help writing tricky code or dealing with a cranky vendor, friends you have made through networking may be able to give advise that can help you solve even the smallest problems.  Plus who doesn’t like having someone to bounce ideas off of or meeting for coffee to discuss the latest technology about to hit your field?
  • Opportunities – Obviously when you meet other like-minded business people you open up a world of opportunities for your small business.  Opportunities could be joint ventures, client leads, partnerships, referrals, or any number of possible links to other businesses merely because you have met the “right” people during a networking event.
  • Connections – Knowing the right people to handle your business needs can be as easy as a phone call or text message away.  During networking events finding the professionals that could assist in your business needs could be just one handshake or introduction away.
  • Positive Image – We all know that getting your name and brand out there is extremely important, especially when just starting a company.  Networking can help people get to know you and your brand quickly, thus spreading a positive view of you and that brand.

Customer Loyalty

Which takes less time, money, and effort?  Maintaining a loyal customer or nurturing a new one into a loyal customer?  Marketing experts the world over know the answer to this is, hands down, is that it takes less time, money and effort to maintain a loyal customer than it ever could to gain a new one!  How then should businesses be working to retain customers that they worked so hard to gain in the first place?  Let’s look at some of the methods used by marketing professionals to perpetuate a healthy, happy relationship with your current loyal customers.

  • Communication – Let your valued customers know what excellent service or product you ar providing them.  This could be via email, regular newsletters, social media or, most precious of all, a personal phone call.  These communications will let them know that you not only value their business but also want to remind them of what you are capable of doing for them.  If you provide a regularly scheduled service them a quick note or postcard to remind them that they are on your schedule is a simple and inexpensive way to make a contact prior to service.
  • Amazing Customer Service – Customer service for loyal clients should always go the extra mile.  Keeping the current clients happy should be a top priority therefore this may mean taking special care if there is an issue or a need that the customer has.  Having a specific person assigned to each client can help with continuity as well as ensure that they are handled in a timely and personal manner.
  • Reward Loyalty – Many companies have special incentives for customers who keep coming back.. This may be in the form of bulk deals, coupons, loyalty cards, discount days or special pricing for multiple orders.   Regardless of how you format the incentive, rewarding people for their loyalty and giving customers a tangible reason to return is always a good idea.
  • Follow up – Part of a pleasant experience for customers is the customer service and the value of the deal.  But another part is the follow up.  Call, write or just check in to find out what satisfied or dissatisfied the client.  Is there a way to make a wrong right or improve the service?  This will be a good way to find out.  This knowledge of the client means that your business may not only be able to fill the needs of the customer but possibly even anticipate the needs.

Writing a Great Press Release

Extra, extra, read all about it!  This week we are talking about press releases and how to make sure yours is not only read but also published in the media of your choice.  A press release, media release or press statement all refer to a short statement about an event, action or story about your business. It is sent to targeted members of the media with the ultimate goal of piquing the interest of the organization to run the story in their publication.  Let’s say your company is announcing a milestone, a new product, or celebrating a special event and you want the media to advertise your story.  What should be included in your press release and how can you make sure that your statement captures the attention of the right people to get optimal exposure?  Let’s examine these concepts.

Press Release Basics- What should be included? 

  • Contact Information – A standard press release includes contact information for the highest person in your company dealing with the event/story.  Be sure to include the name, phone number and e-mail address of the person who wrote the release.
  • Catchy Heading– This is arguably the most important part of the press release!  Catch the readers attention with four – eight words about the story they are about to read.  Keep it informative and easy to read.
  • Summary – Include a very brief summary of the statement so the person, who inevitably as busy as you, can assess the important of the release.  If it’s not intriguing, newsworthy and unique, he/she will read no further so choose your summary statement carefully.
  • The Story – Describe using as many facts and details as possible about the event or story.  Explain why this is important and why readers will want to know about this from this particular publication.  Explain any local ties to the area or community that may make the story more important to run.

Reminders about your Release

  • It should be grammatically flawless.  Read and reread to be sure your are succinctly saying what you want to get across in perfect grammar.
  • It should include pictures and access to further information when possible.
  • It should include quotes whenever possible and access to that person to confirm quote.
  • It should be no more than two pages.  One would be a better option.
  • Email or contact the right people by doing your homework about each publication you submit to.  Who is the best person who can get the release into the right hands?