Oct 30, 2013 at 01:53 PM
written by Guest Post: Kym Oberauer

The 6 P's of the Perfect Sponsorship Proposal

When you first start thinking about sponsorship it's often associated with an immediate financial need...

I need money to get my event off the ground or fund this movie idea. I want to provide additional services to my local community or I want someone to help pay the bills on my race car.

You know what I mean...

It's this "what's in it for me" attitude that could be holding you back from developing a successful relationship with a sponsor. I want you to turn this attitude around and think about what's in it for the sponsor, what can you provide that will improve their business?

So I want you to put yourself in the shoes of a sponsor's marketing manager. What would you want to see in a sponsorship proposal and what would your expectations be?

Looking at a sponsorship proposal from a marketing manager's perspective there are 3 main criteria:

1. A sponsorship proposal that fits with the marketing plan

2. A sponsorship proposal that demonstrates a return on investment

3. A sponsorship proposal that fits within the budget

That's it... if you can nail those 3 main criteria you give yourself the best shot at success. In part 1 of this 3 part series we'll look at 1 - A sponsorship proposal that fits with the marketing plan.

A sponsorship proposal that fits with the marketing plan

Most medium to large businesses will (or should) have a marketing plan for the year. This plan is usually divided into a number of strategies including sponsorship programs.

One of the fundamental tools marketing managers use to create a marketing plan is the "6 P's of Marketing" concept.

By understanding these 6 P's of Marketing, marketing managers create effective marketing plans for their business. And if you understand this, you can create a sponsorship proposal that is laser focused and much more likely to provide value and meet the marketing objectives of the sponsor.

Let's look at this 6 P's or Marketing, how they apply to you and how they can help you prepare the perfect sponsorship proposal.

1 - Product

A product solves a problem, whether it's physical or emotional. You may think businesses are selling goods and services, but what they are really selling is problem solvers - solutions.

When you buy a car you're solving a problem. On the most basic level you need transport from A to B. But it can and often runs deeper than this. You want a car that enhances your status or one that makes your job easier or one that lets you escape the daily grind.

Ask yourself... What solutions does my prospective sponsor provide by the way of the products they sell? How can I help them market these solutions effectively with my sponsorship opportunity?

2 - Place

The next P is Place. Place is all about how customers can get hold of the sponsor's products. Think about how the prospective sponsor is placed:

- Do they manufacture, wholesale or retail products?

- Do they provide services?

- Are the products tangible or intangible?

- How are the products sold; on-line, off-line?

- What sales channels do they use; direct to customers, dealer networks, affiliates?

- What geographical areas do they operate in; local, national, international?

- Do they operate in a niche market?

Ask yourself... How can I link my target audience with my potential sponsor based on a place or places we have in common?

3 - Pricing

How much does your potential sponsor sell their products for? The pricing strategy will be a key indicator of how successful you may be in helping them market their products. Ultimately sales are a numbers game - you have a certain number of prospects and a small percentage will convert into actual sales for your sponsor.

Let's say you have a niche opportunity and your target audience is a few thousand well-to-do types. Then BMW may be a great potential sponsor. You only have to help them sell a few cars and the relationship will be a success.

At the other end of the spectrum you may have a target audience of hundreds of thousands of people with a low discretionary income. A relationship with a snack food or soft drink company may be a perfect match.

The nirvana is obviously a huge target audience who are in the market for a high dollar product. Few are far between I'd say.

Ask yourself... Who' my target audience, what are their spending habits and how do they fit with the pricing strategy of my potential sponsor?

4 - Promotion

Promotion is the use marketing programs by sponsor's to get their products in front of customers. This is where you can really shine.

Promotion can take many forms; from product sampling all the way up to big dollar TV ads, flash mobs to interactive videos. There are thousands of ways you can promote a product, and it's your job to help sponsors leverage your unique marketing opportunities to promote their products.

At the end of the day it's about the best ways to get products in front of potential customers and engage with them in a meaningful way to solve a problem.

I want to look at each of these a little further:

- Potential customers - this is your target audience, the people who are in the market for your sponsor's products

- Engage - "to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person or persons)". Basically, to get and hold a potential customers attention

- Meaningful - for something to be meaningful it must have value to a person

- Solve a problem - as we discussed earlier, products solve problems by the way of a solution

Ask yourself... How can I promote a sponsor's products to my target audience in ways that grab and hold their attention, has value and solves a genuine problem?

5 - People

You may think that 'People' refers to customers. Actually, it refers to the people who work in and for the sponsor. So this means you.

It's important that you, your organisation, your sporting team etc. connect with the sponsor so they get to know, like and trust you. Without this relationship you are very unlikely succeed with your sponsorship seeking efforts (this is why networking is so important).

This know, like, trust process starts with your first informal meeting with a prospective sponsor. It moves naturally on to the presentation of a professional and customised sponsorship proposal, the implementation of a sponsorship program and the delivery of measurable results.

Ask yourself... Do I have what it takes to become a valuable member of the sponsor's team? Do I have a win/win attitude to sponsorship rather than 'what's in it for me'? Can I deliver on what I promise? If you can say yes to each of these you'll be way ahead in the know, like and trust process.

6 - Process

Finally we have Process. This is the system, the way a sponsor conducts their business and manages the customer experience. Each of the preceding elements combines to make up the process. You can think of the process as all of the contact a potential customer has with a sponsor; from initial interest all the way to after sales support.

To be effective, each step in the process must be logical and consistent; the outcome being a positive customer experience.

As a marketing partner and a member of the sponsor's team you must demonstrate you can integrate the way conduct your marketing initiatives with the sponsor's process.

Ask yourself... What processes and procedures will I put in place to make sure the potential customer has a positive experience? How can I provide the sponsor with meaningful measurements and data? How can I integrate what I do with the sponsor's process to add value?

Happy sponsorship seeking... cheers, Kym.

Kym Oberauer is the author and head sponsorship seeker at Practical Sponsorship Ideas; dedicated to sharing experiences, tools and resources to help you find, attract and keep your sponsors happy.