Mar 27, 2009 at 04:34 PM
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Perfect Pitch Fridays VI: Prove It!

Yesterday, got a direct message on twitter saying "@sponsorpitch You guys have a great concept." After extending our gratitude came this follow-up question: "Now, help me understand how companies justify blowing big $ in untrackable sponsorships? Is there something I'm missing?"

While some lawmakers and media would like you to believe otherwise, sponsorship pros know that demonstrating ROI and ROO (Return on Objectives) is and has been for some time one of the most important aspects of their job.

The days of spending without measurement are officially dead and new tools and services are allowing us to measure in increasingly savvy, sophisticated and precise ways. The current sales environment we're in is demanding it and that will be a good thing in the long run. As one sports marketing vet told us on Twitter, "anytime sales are tougher, teams will look to arm themselves with more "ammo" (ie data for their pitches).

Yesterday had a long conversation with Tom Stipes, founder of SponsorshipPro+ software. In case you're not familiar, SponsorshipPro's multimedia software influences renewals by allowing properties to present post-event reporting data to their sponsors in an comprehensive and logical order. They'll help you package all of your data in a smart way so that you can have a better chance of justifying the expense to your sponsors. If you've got the budget, you can also look into independent sponsorship valuation services offered from companies like Brand Advantage , Joyce Julius & Associates and IEG. One tool that a lot of properties forget about is to simply talk to your partners. Treat it like an interview and make sure you're asking targeted questions about both the qualitative (i.e. anecdotal feedback from customers) and quantitative metrics (i.e. website traffic) that you discussed before the partnership. This is much different than the assets you delivered, this is looking at what buttons it pushed for their business and only they have that data. How much does this cost? $0. Ok, maybe a lunch. With this info on the table in a transparent way, you'll be able to show not just what you delivered, but also how it impacted their business goals. It's a scary thought and you may not always like all of the answers, but ultimately if you're looking for a long term partnership you've got to be held accountable for not only what you delivered, but also how successful it was against their business goals. If you do that, one of two things will happen- you'll realize the partnership is not a great fit for either party (which is not as bad as you may think) or you'll find valuable new ways to improve upon and evolve the partnership. And quite honestly, if the partnership is not the right fit, this conversation isn't going to effect your renewals one way or the other. Measurement's evolving at all levels, no matter the budget and there's a whole host of technologies and techniques that can help you deliver - when it comes time to deliver.

We're having some great conversations on Twitter. Engage in the discussion - @sponsorpitch

Have a great weekend and enjoy the sweet 16!