Partnership Marketing

I work with a lot of organizations that participate in “sponsorships.” It is a big part of our industry. But many companies don’t get much ROI from their sponsorships, and most on the other side are always 100% focused on “getting more money.” I think the mental focus is wrong. I prefer to think of this as “Partnership Marketing.” How can we use our respective resources to help achieve goals on both sides? For the long term?

I think both sides need to be proactive at identifying opportunities, and having meetings that don’t just focus on negotiating the dollar amount, but what the end goal is. Yes, the company wants to sell things. But do they want to do that via a retail store on site at the event? Via coupons? Promo codes on their website? How will they link their sponsorship to their brand? Have both sides provided logos, press releases, blurbs? Does each side promote the other in their online and print media?

I think both sides need to work together on a frequent basis, not just exchange a contract and then talk a week before the main event to get a banner. And, both sides need to participate and collect data on the event to see what worked and what didn’t. The association or event should gather demographic data from the events and organization and provide that to the sponsor. The sponsor should attend the event and get involved, as well as think through a strategy to develop on-site as well as future sales that can be attributed to that event or sponsorship.

Working together is the only way to assure a beneficial relationship from partnership marketing.