Whose responsibility is it that you get return-on-investment on the sponsorship dollars that you spend? We would argue that these are the entities responsible, in order of importance:
When making sponsorship decisions, you need to have a strategy.
For every dollar that you spend, you should have a plan for how it’s going to enhance your image, your life or your bottom line.
And you need to communicate it with your team.
Check out our article: Why You Should be Getting More Out of Your Business Memberships
(2) Your Marketing Team
Your vision for ROI must be communicated to the organizations that you are asking for support. Or else, how do they know what to give you? Your marketing team must be clear about what you expect out of the dollars you’re giving. (But do they have the time?)
(3) Your Sales Team
All the good will and exposure in the world can only get you so far. Your sales team needs to understand the vision, and be armed to optimize the reach of the dollars you’ve spent.
It is amazing how often we see companies spend their sponsorship money to put their name on an event, and then don’t even have anyone attend the event!
Or, (somehow even) worse, the dreaded, “Oh, did we sponsor this?” Include your salespeople in the program from the outset.
(4) The Organization You’re Funding
If #1, #2 and #3 above are working effectively, then you can look to the organization for their role.
And they will provide ROI, if they know what to provide. You’re holding a check with their name on it, and they want another one next year. If you’re not getting ROI, look to your own approach before theirs. With our experience on both sides of the sponsorship conversation, we’ve seen many, many companies dive into sponsorship without a plan. More often than not, actually. You wouldn’t spend thousands – or tens of thousands – of dollars elsewhere without knowing what it’s bringing back.
Don’t do it with sponsorship either.