Rightsholder Research that Really Benefits the Sponsors

Rightsholder research that really benefits sponsors“Can you name any of the sponsors of this event?”

If that question is never asked again, our industry would be better for it. It’s nothing but a leading memory test that has nothing to do with the changes in perceptions, behaviours, and alignment that a sponsor needs to see. And yet, many rightsholders – and, let’s face it, sponsors – let this masquerade as sponsorship measurement.

Before another rightsholder constructs some lame-arse questionnaire that benefits no one, everyone involved needs to understand the kind of information that will really benefit a sponsor.

What a rightsholder can’t do

Rightsholders can’t measure sponsorship results for the sponsor. The objectives are the sponsor’s, the benchmarks are the sponsor’s, and the experts that can measure against those benchmarks, in ways the company has already determined are valid, work for the sponsor. Most of all, however, sponsor results are generated by the leverage plan a sponsor implements, so it’s not measuring the results of the sponsorship, but measuring the results of the leverage program.

So, with that firmly in mind, let’s put measurement to the side. (And if you need a primer on sponsorship measurement, see “Sponsorship Measurement: How to Measure What’s Important“)

What a rightsholder can do

Where rightsholder-generated research does work is when it helps a sponsor understand what is meaningful to the fans, so that sponsor can be more effective at leverage.

Sponsorship is now win-win-win, with the third win going to the target markets. Much of that is accomplished by the sponsor adding value to the fans’ experience with whatever it is that they sponsor. The thing is, a sponsor can’t add meaningful value if they don’t understand what is important to those fans.

When conducting audience research, the four best questions a rightsholder can ask are:

  • What are the three main reasons you decided to attend/donate/join?
  • What are the three best things about the experience?
  • What are the three worst things about the experience?
  • If you were to describe this experience in three words, what would they be?

The answers to these questions will give astute sponsors insight into how they can add that value – amplifying the best stuff and ameliorating the worst about the experience – as well as how they can align with the passions of the fans.

The answers will help rightsholders feed great leverage ideas to their less astute sponsors, creating vision and opening their eyes to the real marketing potential of the investment. The answers will also help rightsholders develop and incorporate leverage ideas for new sponsorship proposals.

That’s it: Four little questions that will prove more valuable than any question you could ever ask about sponsor awareness. Don’t believe me? Keep asking the lame-arse awareness questions, and just add these to the survey, then you’ll see for yourself where the real value is.

Need more assistance?

For all you need to know about sponsorship sales and servicing, you may want to get a copy of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition. You may also be interested in my white papers,  “Last Generation Sponsorship Redux” and “Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better“. I’ve also got self-paced, online sponsorship training courses for both sponsors and rightsholders. Get the details and links to course outlines and reviews here.

If you need additional assistance, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer a comprehensive Sponsorship Systems Design service for large, diverse, and decentralised organisations.

Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss.

Please note, I do not offer a sponsorship broker service, and can’t sell sponsorship on your behalf. You may find someone appropriate on my sponsorship broker registry.

© Kim Skildum-Reid. All rights reserved. To enquire about republishing or distribution, please see the blog and white paper reprints page.

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