I was lucky enough to co-contribute to this article in CMO that was published on 15th August, 2019 and written by Vanessa Mitchel, and here is an overview…

Given marketing and brand strategy have evolved so much in the past five years, thanks mostly to technology and new metrics, is event sponsorship still relevant to marketers?

CMO asked the experts just that question and the answer was a resounding yes – event sponsorship remains as relevant as ever, even more so for brand building. But beware: If you go into events with a sales mentality, it will fall flat. Rather, marketers should approach event hosting and sponsorship like they do any other marketing activity – with a clear direction and purpose, with metrics in place and with customer value at the centre of it all.

Chief marketing, advertising and strategy director at Marmot, Simon Marmot, told CMO event sponsorship is still relevant. The reason is all marketing is about an emotional connection and storytelling.

“It’s another touchpoint, an opportunity to have an engaged audience, and a place you can tell multiple stories,” Marmot said. “Now, touchpoints must all connect, each one connects and builds on your story, for a single-minded proposition, and for building a nice user experience.

“However, one of the important things to consider is if an event is right for you; a lot of businesses don’t even have a branding or marketing strategy. So marketers must ask: Does it make sense to sponsor or have an event? What are the objectives? Is it increasing awareness, positioning, brand launch, new packaging, what story will you be telling?”

Another big question is knowing how you will measure success, from leads to driving transactional sales. To do this, Marmot recommended defining your top two or three objectives, then working backwards towards the event strategy and goals.

“When it comes to measurement, like leads for example, you might have a lot but they might not be real leads, because they are not leading to conversions. Don’t go in with sales in mind,” he said. “You have to introduce yourself first, there’s no way you’re going to sell at the first stage of a relationship. So you can track leads, but so what, how many accounts did you open? Did you build brand equity?

“If you can provide value to the consumer, then finally you can talk about yourself. Paying for sponsorship and doing nothing in terms of objectives while expecting quick results is similar to waiting for a miracle. Event sponsorship not something you should take on lightly. It is a large and important investment and needs to fit into your marketing plans, it requires a lot of hard work.”

This article appeared in CMO, written by Vanessa Mitchell on 15th August 2019.

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