Target audience should be the focal point of any sponsorship conversation between sponsors and sponsorship seekers. After all, the whole purpose of sponsorship is to engage with the audience and create value for them. If done right, this will later translate into benefits for the sponsor.
A PERFECT CUSTOMER
Imagine that your perfect customer has just walked through the door.
- Who are they?
- How would you describe them?
- Are they a male of a female?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- How do they live?
- What do they do?
- Family situation?
- What do they do in their free time?
- Where do they spend their holidays?
- What car do they drive?
- Media habits?
- Shopping habits?
And so on. The more specific you are, the better idea you will have where and how to find them, and how to engage them.
When considering sponsorship opportunities, the target audience should be your number one concern. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should only sponsor events that your ideal consumer will attend, but there must be at least a link to the consumer.
For example, a target audience for an accounting firm is a person, male or female, in their late thirties or older. They own a small business, that has grown enough that they can afford outsourcing the accounting service. They have two or three kids, most likely in high school. They own one property where they live as a family, and another one as an investment. They live in Queenstown and spend their free time in the mountains.
They have a couple of bank accounts opened at a local bank and they use a lawyer for any legal questions. Therefore, the accounting firm will jump at an opportunity to sponsor a local Ski Networking Event that will target and attract local bankers and lawyers. The accounting firm’s end customer will most likely not attend the event. However, bankers and lawyers will and they will be able to refer their clients to the accounting firm.
AND NOW THE ACTIVATION…
Now that we have found a perfect event to sponsor (in terms of the target audience), we need to think about the activation of the sponsorship. Namely, displaying our logos won’t really do the trick, as we have established previously. We need to engage the attendants.
Step #1: First thing the accounting firm needs to make sure is that there will be plenty of its staff (accountants) present at the event. Referrals are based on relationships between an accountant and a banker or a lawyer. A networking event is a perfect opportunity for them to get together and build a relationship!
Step #2: Secondly, we need to help the staff by increasing the brand visibility. Again, sticking up logos won’t do the magic, while inviting a local ski shop to the event will. The ski shop can bring different models of skis and snowboards to test at the event. The ski shop will gain an exposure among the locals who are their target audience. The event will instantly become more interesting, as there will be an extra feature that all the attendants can benefit from. The event attendants will get an even better event experience. And the accounting firm’s staff who will be networking at the event can use this activation as a starting point for their conversations.
THE CONVERSATION IS THE KEY
If you are sponsoring an event with the target audience that you can relate to (either they are your ideal consumer or they are a link to your ideal consumer), finding ways to interact with them will be easy. As mentioned in my previous posts, the key is in the relationship between the sponsor and the rights holder (the sponsorship seeker). The more you talk to each other and collaborate, the better ways you will find to increase your target market’s event and brand experience. Even more, the better activation you think of, not only you will find your target audience at an event, you will help attract them to the event.