Broaden your competitive edge. Be a sponsor.

by

Luann Feehan, Vice President of Membership

Sponsorship provides a great means of broadening your competitive edge by improving your company’s image, prestige and credibility by supporting events that your target market finds attractive. In recent years, corporate sponsorship has become a vogue segment in marketing.

A growth in this form of exposure can be attributed to the increasing numbers of small and medium-sized businesses involved. Previously, it seemed that only large businesses could afford to sponsor such marketing.

Companies have used sponsorships as a way of boosting profits as well as establishing goodwill and expressing civic pride. However, now smaller companies have learned about this effective method for boosting their visibility in their community. This marketing helps businesses enhance their public profile relatively cheaply.

Regardless of the size of the company, however, experts in the field tout a broad spectrum of benefits that can be gained by sponsorship aside from enhancing visibility and image, such as differentiating the company from competitors, helping to develop closer and better relationships with customers, both existing and potential ones, and especially showcasing services and products. These experts go on to say that when sponsorships are strategic and well-conceived, they can boost both short-term and long-term sales.

Sponsorship of events in particular can be especially effective as a marketing tool because it can be a means of accessing a wide range of audiences such as decision makers in business, government entities, and of course customers.

Corporate sponsorship is better than other methods as it provides opportunities to gauge customer response to products immediately. Events allow business owners or executives to relate directly with their customers, while they give customers the opportunity to experience the products of a company firsthand.

Heightened visibility due to positive publicity through the media is another reason corporate sponsorship of events – especially those that attract your niche can be a most effective marketing tool.

Every corporate sponsor seeks the widest exposure possible. What I like about this opportunity is that it provides a great bundle of marketing. The sponsor typically receives promotional marketing material exposure, program exposure, social media exposure, logo recognition, event visibility and for some events media exposure. And, it’s typically not just for one day, but the build up before which can mean months of cross marketing.

Given the tendency of consumers to associate sponsors with the event they promote, it is important for companies to select events that are appropriate with their product or corporate image. Therefore, before signing up, do your research and identify the options that relate best to your audience and to your company’s image.

The organizers should provide you with details like the target audience that are expected, media coverage plans, and what obligations you have as a sponsor. It is also important to find out the kind of support the organizers will provide, and exactly what your sponsorship money is buying. It is essential to appraise every opportunity and seek ways to marry them with your business and marketing goals.

Now, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention how The Chamber offers a unique proposition for businesses, of all sizes, throughout metro Kansas City. If you think we have the right niche audience for your company and if you’ve been eye-balling one of our programs. Well, contact me, let’s talk about what we can do to help you broaden your competitive edge while enhancing your visibility in Kansas City. – feehan@kcchamber.com or 816-374-5479.

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