Upon opening the many newspapers London provides, you will undoubtedly find at least one article announcing the loss of sponsorship funding endangering a sports team.
This has created an impression that the sponsorship industry has been dealt a severe blow by the Credit Crunch. However, while many of these multi-million pound sponsorship deals are indeed drying up, there is a surging interest in B2B sponsorship.
New partnerships are announced daily integrating brands that are not natural competitors, but nonetheless share the same target audience.
Thomas Cook has just signed up to sponsor Kiss FM’s Saturday night ‘Kissalicious’ show, their very first media spend on their Club 18-30 brand in four years.
The Co-operative is the new sponsor of the next installment of the High School Musical franchise, their second deal with a Disney-owned series.
The reason for the surge in new sponsorship deals is partly due to the marketing shift in the industry – the push/pull dynamic. Traditional push media such as TV, billboard, radio, and newspaper/magazine spreads are identified as a one way communication between the brand to the consumer.
In the past these have proven effective alone. However, at a time when people are constantly marketed to through an increasing number of channels, this is falling onto deaf ears.
Although push marketing is still a factor in spending decisions, it is now becoming increasingly crucial to engage your audience. Consumer engagement is the pull.
Pull marketing is interactive, identified as a two-way communication between the brand and the consumer. This is being made increasingly more effective and successful by the digital era, which has introduced internet marketing, social media, RSS, blogs, forums, etc.
This push/pull dynamic is easily created with a sponsorship programme as it incorporates the best of both marketing methods. Push Marketing Sponsorship ensures that the push marketing you do use has an impact.
Aligning a brand with something about which the target audience feels passionate can serve to create goodwill. It is an age old fact that people tend to favour others who like the same things as they do; this dynamic is no less true when it comes to forming a relationship between brand and audience.
Through sponsorship the target audience can be ‘primed’ to be receptive to the brand. In addition to making sure your push marketing is effective, sponsorship will inevitably create pull marketing through tangible ‘touchpoints’ for the consumer to come into contact with and interact with a brand.
However, without consumers wanting to engage with your brand, your marketing regardless of the platform will remain a one-way communication.
The receptivity gained through the initial sponsorship makes pull marketing not only possible, but also simple. Once engaged, the conversations and activities are facilitated through the valuable tools and concepts online.
New social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn allow you to engage with each of your consumers on a platform that they are comfortable with – assuming your target audience wants to be communicated to by you in this way.
The combinations of digital marketing platforms are endless and work exceptionally well within a sponsorship programme as your customers are already ‘primed’ to engage with your brand.
Although sponsorship is not the only way to facilitate this push/pull dynamic, it is certainly one of the easiest which is why we are seeing a surge in these partnerships.
If you are relying too much on push media and not achieving the results you are after, it may be time to consider sponsorship as a way to help incorporate this push/pull dynamic with your brand.
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