I’m Going to open this post about 7 Tips to Refine Your Corporate Sponsorship Marketing Strategy with a fitting quote from Poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce.

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day

Every day represents a new opportunity to increase the visibility and income of your small business. No matter what you believe about the state of the economy, corporations have continued to sponsor businesses, brands and projects that have the potential to move their marketing and sales objectives forward. Here are seven Tips to Refine Your Corporate Sponsorship Marketing Strategy:

1. You already have corporate sponsorship prospects

The truth is that almost all small businesses have corporate sponsorship prospects, but only some truly know how to identify and approach those corporate prospects in ways that are not intrusive and mutually beneficial. Consider inviting your vendors, stakeholders, and VIP customers to a prospect research session to uncover the relationships that exist between your business and the corporations to which they are connected. Once you have your prospects identified, create strategies to engage those prospects.

2. Get close and personal with your corporate sponsorship prospects.

Begin your prospecting sessions with the end in mind: getting the names of corporate contacts you can solicit, and the commitment from your connecter to make an introduction. Your goal is to get a face-to-face meeting (optimal) or a phone conversation with your prospective sponsor.

3. Start taking social media seriously

According to HootSuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes, “In 2013, companies can look forward to expanded returns on their investment in social media, as social technologies improve and functionality extends beyond just marketing and community building.”  Through Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, you can offer great opportunities to linking your sponsor directly to their ideal customer. I’ve worked with many organizations who have built their sponsorship program strictly on the benefits they can offer through social media.

4. Understand that corporate sponsors aren’t just interested in logo recognition. 

Think about it ….do corporations like Pepsi really need your help to promote their logo? Look to offer more creative benefits that align with your corporate prospect’s brand and ultimately help them drive business.

5. Offer diverse opportunities for corporate sponsors to partner with your brand.

New sponsors may be reluctant to take on your top tier opportunities until they have a sense of if the partnership will generate a return on their financial investment. I don’t encourage you discount your value, but do encourage you to consider developing a range of smaller sponsorship packages that serve as the prelude to larger opportunities.

6. Adjust your attitude. 

Before you approach your sponsor remember, you are proposing a win-win partnership of mutual benefit. Go in with the attitude of “we have an opportunity for your corporation to build business and spread goodwill,” rather than “we really need your money.”

7. Honor corporate sponsorship deliverables

Once you have a sponsor, where possible, over deliver and offer more value, benefits, and/or recognition at no additional cost. Small gestures help endear your organization to the corporate sponsor, and increase the chance that you will retain and attract new sponsors.

What do you think of these tips?  Did they help you out?  Let us know in the comments section below.





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