Why consumer-focused outcomes are important in sponsorship

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So many times we enter sponsorship agreements without enough attention being given to the consumers we are trying to target. Consumers are now integrally involved in sponsorships and play a critical role in their effectiveness. It's no longer a one-way relationship.

As you lead consumers through the decision-making journey to purchase, consumer exchanges with your brand can occur at any moment during the sponsorship's lifetime. It could be at the event itself or in the future via your event portal, Facebook page, website, or app and physically at the event itself. There's so many ways to connect with your target market.

At the same time, consumer attitudes and behaviours towards sponsors can change over the course of the sponsorship, reinforcing the dynamic nature of sponsorship. How your target market views your brand is critical to sponsorship success. And, it's because of this ongoing interaction sponsors can have that makes focusing on the consumer in cause-related events so important.

Understanding how consumers process cause-related event sponsorship helps to develop mutually beneficial relationships. But first, to understand the difference between two potential outcomes in sponsorship.

The first is brand-focused outcomes, they are how we classify the consequences of sponsorship for brands. These are outcomes like brand equity, return on investment, exposures, engagement and stock price.

The second is consumer-focused outcomes, they are the consequences for consumers. They include brand awareness, brand association knowledge, brand loyalty, brand preference, brand purchase intent and sales amongst other consumer behaviours. It's the stuff we're all looking for in sponsorship.

Other consumer-focused outcomes include brand self-congruity – when the consumer considers itself to be a lot like the brand; and customer brand co-creation, when the consumer actively co-creates on behalf of the brand, such as recommending the brand to family and friends.

From a behavioural standpoint, consumer-focused outcomes may be defined as a consumer's discretionary commitment to a brand beyond any commercial transaction and is brought about by the consumer's response to the brand's actions. It's gold.

Next time you're considering sponsoring an event, don't forget to look at what you might be able to achieve in terms of consumer-focused outcomes. Negotiate for these outcomes upfront otherwise the opportunity might be lost. It just takes thoughtful consideration and a clear focus on what you are seeking to achieve through sponsorship.

For more sponsorship insights and advice, visit us at eventsponsors.com.au or email info@eventsponsors.com.au

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