New tools needed to measure sponsorship ROI

21 December 2009

BRUSSELS: Major marketers are seeking more effective ways to measure the return on their investment in sponsorship, a study by the World Federation of Advertisers has found.

The WFA's survey was conducted in November 2009 among members of its Sponsorship TaskForce, a peer-to-peer group for multinational sponsors.

A total of 12 companies were represented in the results, with these organisations being responsible for a sizeable share of global expenditure in this area.

Overall, a quarter of respondents said their sponsorship budgets will decrease this year, while 59% expect them to remain stable or increase.

In terms of the specific sectors that are attracting advertisers, all of the participants had forged some form of partnership related to the sports category.

This figure stood at 50% for events tied to music and the arts, 42% for film, and 33% for broadcast deals, according to the industry body's findings.

Other important activities included education and health, cause- and charity-related appeals, community projects, and scientific or environmental platforms.

More than 90% of these programmes were aimed at the mass market, with 58% targeting "opinion leaders", and 50% hoping to make an impact on employees.

In attempting to measure the return on sponsorship investment, the contributors to the WFA's research employed an average of seven metrics in all.

Brand awareness was a measure favoured by 92% of the sample, followed by brand perception, utilisied by a total of 75%.

Sales and TV logo time, which both registered scores of 67%, made up the top four elements featured on marketers' dashboards.

However, 75% of those polled were not satisfied with their ability to analyse the payback provided by their sponsorship schemes, while 17% took the opposite view, and 8% were neutral.

While not statistically relevant, the findings drawn from this study are indicative of the thoughts and actions of the large multinational marketers in the WFA's Membership.

Data sourced from World Federation of Advertisers; additional content by Warc staff