Hail the sponsorship managers! They have an opportunity; they are already managing an investment that has a solid business case in conventional marketing ROI terms, but the prospect of using the assets they have invested to increase their ROI is doubly appealing to them and us.
Not only do they already have the assets, but they also tend to be very knowledgeable about the sponsorship, event, team, project or importantly, the ambassadors. They are usually committed and enthusiastic. At ISM, when we meet the sponsorship guys, we find it very easy to get inspired by them for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. Because there is a program in place, both parties can go straight to proposing how to increase the ROI on their sponsorship, significantly increasing exposure and reach to exactly the right audience they want to target.
If the sponsorship guys have a PR background, we often have to have an air-clearing vigorous discussion about the importance of the press. Followed by a discussion about the distinction between the press and their direct competition: the social influencers, brand ambassadors and subject authorities. It’s always a fun conversation and always different in the next organisation where the balance of power is never quite the same.
At ISM, we’ve activated some very interesting sponsorships to build some really engaged and sizeable communities. For instance, we’ve worked on London Fashion Week, reached out and connected with the very biggest of digital fashion audiences. We work with mountain bikers, surfers and snowboarders to build very significant followings for their sponsors. We’ve recently devised maximum exposure plans for arts, music and design festivals as well as golf, equestrian and a wide variety of motor sport events. All these events can go ahead without us being involved, but the ones that go ahead with our exposure plans, carefully project managed, will see their content reach the maximum exposure to their target audience online, BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER the events.
There is content purposing and re-purposing, there is audience mapping, there is user journey online/offline. These three key planks of our modus operandi bring enormous impact on your ROI, but what is most critical, is a fun, working relationship with the sponsored individuals, the teams, the artists, whoever they may be, that the general public find interesting. These people have ‘on or offline’ followings, in marketing speak, they come with ready-made audiences typically with defined demographics and propensity or not, to buy an advertiser’s product or service.
If we can work closely with these people on behalf of our client advertiser, then we will typically achieve a superior on-going reach and exposure to similar sized investments in advertising in conventional niche media. Hence, this article’s title; celebrities are the new publishers. It only has to be a celebrity in the target audience you are talking to, not the kind you see in Grazia or on the red carpet. If they have the on or offline following, then we will take our clients straight to them in their networks, or other people’s networks.
Written by Jonathan Brech