When I first started on my sponsorship journey there was very little information or help available. So I tried a whole range of different ideas and strategies on how to get sponsored. Some of them worked but many didn’t. After…
And your number 1 weapon to attract sponsors is the unique selling proposition (USP), “a factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition.” Entrepreneur.com
In this article I’m going to show you how you can attract sponsors with a series of USPs that will make your sponsorship opportunity irresistible.
Traditional marketing and advertising relies on interrupting people to get their attention. Consider TV advertising, website pop-up banners or telemarketing.
Sponsorship on the other hand is all about creating experiences, weaving the sponsor’s brand into an interactive and memorable exchange with the audience.
Sponsorship letter writing is hard work
If you’re sending unqualified and unsolicited sponsorship letters to potential sponsors you’ll already know that response rates are either extremely low or nonexistent.
Put yourself in the shoes of a marketing manager who receives hundreds of sponsorship letters every month. What’s the likelihood they are going to take time out of their busy day to read a sponsorship letter from a stranger, asking for an investment into something they know nothing about?
That’s right – not very likely.
You’ve been pounding away for months now, cold calling potential sponsors only to get the brush off from a gatekeeper or sending out proposals that never get a response.
It’s becoming depressing and you’re starting to get upset, angry even, that no one can see your potential.
Don’t stress, you’re not alone. It’s the dilemma of many sponsorship seekers.
If this is happening to you then it’s time to stop, re-group and have a serious think about your approach to sponsorship.
The reasons why you’re not getting anywhere can be summarised by three simple words: Who, what and why.
When you come into contact with a potential sponsor they’re going to ask themselves these questions:
- Who are you?
- What’s in it for me?
- Why should I choose you?
As a sponsorship seeker, it’s you job to provide the answers to these 3 questions in a way that makes you and your opportunity the logical choice.
Let’s look at each of these questions in detail and discuss ways you can improve your answers and get sponsored.
Here’s part 2 of my interview with Frank Pudarich, owner of bespoke automotive marketing company Octane Garage.
In part 1 of the interview we covered:
- Leveraging your sponsorship dollars
- Marketing 101 – What to include in a sponsorship proposal
- Delivering sponsorship value and managing expectations
Sponsorship objectives: business-to-business and business-to-consumer
Kym: There’s different types of businesses that use sponsorships for different types of reasons. For example if you were a manufacturer and distributor of batteries and battery-related products, what would your major objectives be, or what equates to a return on investment for you? Is it purely about more units being sold or are there other factors?
Frank: There’s other factors. It’s similar to when I was working in car care, most automotive industries are the same, they’re very similar in their customer base and their areas of distribution; so you’d have the automotive service and retail chains, and you’ve got the individual workshops, and you may have wholesalers.
Frank has a long history in the automotive industry, from managing Frank’s Paint and Panel, a hugely successful business which specialised in custom car restorations to consulting with Turtle Wax to build their brand in Australia. While working at Frank’s Paint and Panel, Frank graduated from university with a marketing degree and is also a licensed tradesman.
One of Frank’s roles as a marketing consultant is to review sponsorship proposals and determine how they could work with a businesses marketing programs. Having also been on the other side of the table, preparing sponsorship proposals for his own businesses, Frank is uniquely positioned to give us some great insights into the sponsorship process.
It’s time; time to find and research sponsors, time to prepare sponsorship proposals and time to create unique marketing opportunities.
As a sponsorship seeker you can spend a heap of time finding and researching potential sponsors, creating spreadsheets, recording contact details and analysing the data.
I know from personal experience that sponsorship research can take days and days of your time. Research is a necessary step in the process of preparing and delivering targeted sponsorship proposals that have the best chance of success.
So what are the alternatives? Can we save time and reach better qualified leads?
Truth be told, I’m not really a fan of the term guru but in this case it’s an accurate description, Julian truly is “Australia’s no.1 nonprofit sponsorship specialist”.
A few months ago I was fortunate enough to attend one of Julian’s sponsorship breakfasts (organised by Strategic Membership Solutions, the consulting services company Julian and Belinda Moore own and operate), where I was able to corner him for a few minutes and fire off questions in rapid succession (something I’m known for).
I was even able to sneak my sponsorship proposal into the conversation. Julian obliged by flicking though it and pointing out a number areas that needed work and some thoughtful tips.
One of the worst things you can do is send an unsolicited, untargeted, irrelevant proposal to a potential sponsor. You’ll get absolutely nowhere and will waste your time and theirs.
Time spent doing your research now will pay you back 10 fold in the long run.
Before you begin the process of finding that perfect sponsor, I assume that you have a good understanding of your target audience – those people who are interested in what you do. Be it visitors to an event, members / fans of a sporting association or specific audience demographic etc.
- Step 1 – Create a wish list of sponsors
- Step 2 – Research each of the sponsors
- Step 3 – Record the details in the Sponsor Research Template
- Step 4 – Reality check using the Sponsor Compatibility Matrix…how compatible are you really?
- Step 5 – Pick up the phone and contact your hot list of sponsors