Sponsorships are a great way for your bank or credit union to support your community and raise your local profile. But let’s face it: sponsorships are expensive, and it’s often difficult to determine the return on your investment.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do them, but they can get out of hand if you let them—and you need to be deliberate in how you make them part of your marketing strategy. Here are three ways you can protect your budget and get more out of your sponsorships.
Centralize Your Sponsorships
It’s a slippery slope. When you sponsor one event or organization, more will come looking for your support. Are you getting hit with requests left and right?
“It isn’t uncommon to receive multiple requests from different people in the same organization—or worse, multiple requests from the same person to different contacts within your FI,” says Paul Thompson, media buyer at Epicosity. “How you navigate these requests can make a big difference in how your organization is perceived within the community.”
Here are a few ways to maintain control of the process.
- Create a central location for businesses and non-profits to submit their sponsorship request through a form. This will create consistency within the requests and force those seeking your support to provide enough information to make an educated decision on the support you are able or willing to provide. It also helps funnel all requests to one or two team members.
- Create a sponsorship committee to review requests, compare them, and weigh in on which ones make the most sense for your business and goals. This will help offset having a single person be pressured into providing support that may not make sense.
- Establish a set of rules the committee needs to follow for approving or disapproving a sponsorship. This will provide fairness and reasoning as to why a business or non-profit didn’t get your sponsorship.
Protect Your Budget
You’ve probably delivered this bit of budgeting advice to some of your account holders: Set a budget and stick to it! Setting a number aside for sponsorships will keep costs from creeping into your important initiatives you may have over the year.
- You likely have sponsorship obligations that you have to commit to, so set aside a smaller percentage of your sponsorship budget towards those “good faith” sponsorships.
- Sponsorships of near equal value should be compared against each other to see which one makes more sense or aligns better with your FI.
Compare & Negotiate for Value
Not all sponsorships are flexible, but those that do offer some flexibility can often have better terms if you try to negotiate. For example, it isn’t always possible to lower the sponsorship price, but you can always ask for add-ons.
“Remember that your value is worth more than a logo listing!” says Paul Thomson, media buyer at Epicosity. “Some good examples of getting more value for your sponsorship spend include special mentions in their communication, more signage, letting you host an education session, or being present to distribute materials.”
Here are a few other items to keep in mind when it comes to improving your negotiating position.
- Bring the passion and express it. If you’re excited about the opportunity, the organization you want to sponsor will feel it, too. This can help you build the kind of rapport that may make the organization more open to negotiating a better deal.
- Come with a unique angle. You might pique the organization’s interest if your sponsorship idea includes something they haven’t seen before.
- Build a relationship over time. As financial industry professionals know, there’s no substitute for strong relationships when it comes to building loyalty. Make sure the organization hears from you when you’re not asking them for a sponsorship opportunity.
Looking to get more out of your marketing budget or better media rates? 👉 Contact us to see what we can do.