Measuring Your Sponsor’s ROI

When was the last time you provided your corporate partners with a fulfilment or ROI (return on investment) report?

You might be building a relationship with a potential sponsor and they’ve asked you how you will measure their return on the partnership for them.

Sometimes they may also ask questions like ‘how will you measure the sales we make out of the partnership, and how many of your supporters take up our offers?’

If you find yourself in a conversation with a brand faced with these questions, then rest assured, your potential partner does not understand how sponsorship works, and they are very much hoping you can help them with the tricky subject of sponsorship measurement.

The great news for you is, it’s not your job to measure how many of your supporters are purchasing your sponsor’s products or services!

Measuring Your Sponsor

Actually, it’s their job to be tracking those details.

However, you definitely have a role in the measurement process, and this is where so many charities and associations fall short.

To be seen as a valuable and proactive partner, you can (and should) be measuring the things within your control.  Things like:

  • how often and through which channels you are sharing your sponsor’s key messages?
  • what about how you promote them and share their brand throughout the term of your agreement together?
  • how often did you mention them in the opening speech of your conference?
  • what about social sharing, posting and commenting?

In any corporate partnership agreement, it’s essential to have a binding contract that details how you will deliver the partnership, the opportunities you are providing access to and what the expectations in return will be.  Without this, how can you get to the end of the agreement and expect your partner to renew if you haven’t been tracking and measuring the desired outcomes?

One way to create a fulfilment report is to outline all the things you have said you will deliver (detailed in the contract) and make up a table detailing when and how often you have delivered on each particular item.  For instance, if you have said that in the first quarter of the partnership that you will be sending out 1000 event invitations with your corporate partner’s logo on it, make sure you know exactly how many invitations were sent out and can provide them with that number, as well as all the other ways you have promised to share their messages to your members. Things like this, are examples of ways you can measure activities that are within your control.

You can absolutely measure how many people your last EDM went out to, you can (should!) even track how many people opened that email and what links they clicked (what actions they took).

You cannot measure how many people walked out of your event and took action to connect with your sponsor as a result of seeing their logo, hearing their speech, chatting with them at their trade stand.  That’s THEIR job to measure.

Prior to beginning any corporate partnership, one of the key benefits of being aligned with you should be that you will be providing your partner with regular fulfilment reports (quarterly is good, but ask them if they have specific reporting requirements that they need to meet, so your reports can support their efforts.)

Tell them how you will be measuring the partnership, and ask them if they can also provide you with feedback each quarter on how they are measuring it. (They will have sales reports that track how many sales have they made, how many leads have they generated etc.)

Another key part of the conversation is to discuss how are they discerning enquiries from your supporters vs the general public that come through to them?  Perhaps it would be helpful for your community of followers to quote a membership number or coupon code in order to make tracking their action easier?

The whole point is to be able to understand exactly how much business they are deriving from being associated with you, so when you come to your formal annual review of the partnership you are both fore-armed and fore-warned which takes all of the guesswork and games out of renewing contracts.

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