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How Digital Marketing Is Disrupting The Sponsorship Landscape

Audience (and activation) are everything in sponsorship.

Digital marketing is disrupting all aspects of the marketing space and sponsorship is no exception. With digital marketing, sponsors are able to advertise directly to their target market.  What’s more, is that they only have to pay when their customer takes a very specific action. Brands can now focus on their target audience taking a specific action that they can monitor directly themselves, in other words, they can now do on their own what sponsorship used to claim as its chief benefit!

Picture yourself as a sponsor with these two options:

Option One: Put your logo on a backdrop at an event, in hopes that someone would see it, remember it and then make a purchase of your product at some point in the future.

Option Two: You run a social media campaign, targeting all of the attendees at that same event, but only the ones who fit your target market and only pay if they click a link to your product.

Which would you choose?

If Option Two was your choice, it would be the same choice made by your sponsors too. What does that mean for the sponsorship salesperson? It means you have to be able to prove that you can deliver the outcomes required by your sponsors.

Audience (and activation) are everything in sponsorship.

With more and more brands being created by the day, brands are demanding more and more that properties know their audience very well.  Age, geography, gender and income used to be enough to understand an audience but now sponsors want to know buying habits, interests, fields of employment and education plus a ton more.

Something that digital simply cannot offer, but sponsorship can, is activation. Being visible online isn’t enough. You can provide tailored experiences that cater to your audience’s needs and interests, that solve a problem specifically for your audience and you can use that to change how your audience views the sponsor, for the better. Immersive experiences such as 12 ROOMS™ is a growing trend where brands are not seen to be selling but supporting art and local artists.

Knowing your audience leads to custom activation ideas which in turn leads to the ability to report back to sponsors on the ROI of their investment in ways that digital can’t compete with.

Digital marketing can compete very well with “logos on stuff” and is winning that competition more often than not.

The sponsorship marketplace is a competitive one. It has always been true that sponsorship seekers compete with each other and with traditional advertising. Add digital marketing to the mix and sponsorship seekers need to be focused on providing custom opportunities, appropriately valued and designed with specific audiences in mind.

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Hanniz Lam
Written By

Hanniz is a marketing consultant and entrepreneur, with more than 15 years experience in the PR, event and marketing industries. Follow her on LinkedIn and website.

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