For one major company, new technology helped assess the value of their sponsorship by combining in-the-moment data with insightful evaluation of consumers’ emotional responses.
A recent global survey found that while companies and brands who use sponsorship as a key tool in their promotional strategies are on the increase, they continue to allocate little to no money for measuring sponsorship performance.
In fact a significant one in five sponsors can’t say how return on investment (ROI) is tracking. In light of this fact, a number of clever sponsors are turning to market researchers for assistance because they struggle to evaluate the return on their own.
The survey findings were highlighted in the What Sponsors want and where sponsorship dollars go in 2016 report that also revealed sponsors seem to be most interested in how their brand is perceived, and what the awareness levels are around their products and company rather than metrics around sales.
Stable Research has certainly found that the results of the report are mirrored in Australia, and that there is an increasing focus on providing reporting and tracking of a sponsorship’s effectiveness, whether it be associated with sports, arts or non-profit organisations.
Recently, Stable Research and technology partner MDI were given an interesting challenge by a client who wanted to measure the impact of their sponsorship dollar at a popular annual Melbourne festival.
While the leading Australian energy retailer believed their Gold sponsorship of the Midsumma Festival and Carnival – a popular LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex) event – was worthwhile, the organisation was curious to understand the impact that the sponsorship had on their brand in terms of awareness, affiliation and suitability.
Capturing and measuring the emotional response
While many traditional research methodologies focus on measuring the two-point relationship between the Brand/Product and its Target Market, this client was interested in assessing the more complex three-way relationship between the Brand/Product, the Property (in this case the event) and Target Market.
We provided a practical solution that treated sponsorship differently to other forms of advertising because it measured the emotional and dynamic connection between the sponsor and the property, and sponsor and consumer.
Using the latest technology
By using the SMS-based mobile tool RapiTestTM, we were able to engage with festival goers and receive information rapidly through in-the-moment surveys.
The first step in the process was approaching groups of festival goers throughout the day asking for their permission to SMS them short surveys that they could immediately answer while they were at the event.
The emotional response questions were created and then assessed using our sponsorship evaluation tool (SponsorMapTM), which measured the emotional connectivity and involvement between the property and consumer, the sponsor fit with the property and the consumer’s level of sponsor appreciation.
As a result of this approach, the organisation was able to gauge consumer awareness of their sponsorship, as well as an understanding of brand impact. They were also able to benchmark against a number of other similar organisations that have been medium- to long-term sponsors, helping project near future awareness levels.
The research also helped identify ways in which the organisation could measure their return on investment and improve on brand activations as part of future Midsumma sponsorship activities.
More broadly, the research highlighted some deficits around the efficacy of diversity communication, and revealed ways in which a more genuine connection could be achieved.
RapiTestTM and SponsorMapTM are two of the latest platforms that Stable Research offers as part of our sponsorship evaluation and assessment services. We believe that sponsorship evaluation must provide emotional connection metrics across properties in addition to desired brand KPIs.
For more information, contact us on 1300 782 253.