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Why sponsorship is the new way for professional associations

Why sponsorship is the new way for professional associations

Insight from Slingshot.

Sponsorship revenue for professional associations in the UK is a booming business. With marketing budgets being scruitinised, value for membership in professional associations is fierce. Professional associations have had no other option, but to start thinking outside the box through mergers, partnerships, and shared expenses.

However, one emerging trend is the value and integration of sponsorship departments being led internally or outsourced by specialist agencies.

As sponsorship takes on many different forms, it requires professional associations to think more about integration and relationships for their members rather than monetary expectations, which have been the ways of the past. By maximising their current assets through sponsorship, professional associations have the ability to create value for their members, their bottom line, and prospective members who attend the events.

In this type of relationship – sponsorship is exceedingly successful. A great example is the Direct Marketing Association UK. With over 50 current sponsors, the DMA has been able to successful help its members get in front of a niche audience of marketing professionals. Some companies have also taken advantage of larger packages which encompass the sponsorship of the DMA’s entire activities in a specific sector.

One such company is consumer credit and business information specialist, Equifax, which provides a range of services to support companies marketing to consumers and businesses. Reflecting its influence and authority in the marketing data arena, Equifax has become the DMA’s Overall Data Sponsor which includes sponsorship of DataSeal, the DMA Awards, regional activity, and the Data Tracking Study.

Laura Marlow, Marketing Manager for Equifax Marketing Services, says that becoming the DMA’s overall data sponsor was the perfect way for promoting Equifax as The Heart of Data Intelligence: “Marketers have faced some real challenges this year, making it more important than ever that they have access to properly targeted, good quality data.

"Our role as overall data sponsor of the DMA has put us in an excellent position to make marketers aware of the services we offer, enhancing our brand and reputation in this important sector. We look forward to continuing to work with the DMA and its members to maximise the full potential of marketing data to create the most impactful and cost-effective campaigns."

Chris Combemale, the DMA’s executive director, states that sponsorship is crucial to the mission of the DMA: “Through the additional revenue of sponsorship, we can expand the number of professional services we provide, as well the number of insight and networking events we offer.

"These activities are integral to our purpose of promoting the business interests of our members and driving the growth of the direct marketing industry. Of course, through pairing our sponsor partners with suitably themed platforms we ensure maximum relevance and mutual benefit to their target market.”

Sponsorship agencies have an integral part to play in helping professional associations harness this revenue and creating successful partnerships. By creating a sustainable revenue stream to supplement event and membership fees, sponsorship can help your organisation continue creating value for the industry.

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