Corporate sponsorship can be a valuable marketing tool for brands to strengthen their image, create greater brand awareness, connect with their target audience, and ultimately increase sales and revenue. On the other side of the fence, raising funds for worthwhile projects and causes is an important task, especially for volunteer organizations – and finding sponsorship is a key element of fundraising. Writing persuasive and engaging sponsorship proposals is essential to attract potential sponsors. However, this can be time-consuming and difficult. But AI tools can help sponsorship seekers develop powerful sponsorship proposals effectively. And AI is used in various other ways as well.
Why events are sponsored
Sponsorship is a marketing technique that brands use to connect to their customers – your attendees and members. This means the sponsors you’re seeking have some of these broad goals in their marketing strategies:
- Access to specific audiences, especially potential customers and members of sponsorship seekers
- Increased brand awareness
- Brand credibility
- Shared publicity.
Benefits of AI for sponsorship ROI
When you set out to use AI in a significant sponsorship quest, you would be well advised to start by engaging an IT consultant with experience in developing sponsorship algorithms to develop a suitable algorithm to enable your AI. This would be an up-front cost for your organization, but you could use or adapt the software for future sponsorship activities.
An algorithm is a set of rules or instructions that a computer program follows to solve a problem or perform a task. In the context of AI-based data tracking, algorithms can be used to analyse and process large amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, and make predictions based on that data.
Here are some of the benefits gained from using AI in sponsorship activities:
Data analysis and predictive modeling. AI can analyze customer data and provide predictive modeling to help both potential sponsors as well as sponsorship seekers to make informed decisions about sponsorship strategies. By analyzing data from previous events, you can broadly predict behavior and preferences of the sponsor’s customers and sponsees’ members and supporters. PecanAI is one example of software designed to turn data into intelligent predictions.
Improved targeting and personalization. AI can help sponsors understand the behavior and preferences of the sponsee’s stakeholders such as members and attendees from target audiences. This enables sponsees to tailor sponsorship activities to their interests, and therefore provide a more personalized and engaging experience for members and customers.
More effective activation and engagement. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants, like the ones provided by Quickchat, can engage with members and customers in real-time, providing them with helpful information about sponsored events and activities. This kind of engagement can help you build a stronger relationship with your stakeholders.
Better measurement and optimization. AI can provide real-time analytics and insights into sponsorship activities, enabling you to optimize strategies for better ROI. Platforms like Adobe Analytics provide data that sponsors and sponsees can use to measure engagement levels, attendance rates, and other metrics to gain a better understanding of sponsorship performance.
Improved email deliverability. AI can assist potential sponsors and sponsorship seekers to easily generate subject lines and email content. The platform Phrasee uses AI to analyze your past email performance data to create subject lines that are more likely to drive engagement with potential sponsors and therefore more conversions.
Best practices for using AI in sponsorship
Here are some of the best practices that sponsors can follow when using AI in sponsorship:
Ensure data privacy and security. As a sponsor, you should ensure you have the essential data privacy and security measures in place to protect customer data. One of the main security concerns when using AI is protecting the data used. You must ensure the data used to train and operate AI systems are secure from cyber threats such as hacking, data breaches, and malware attacks. Clearly, the same principles apply if you are a sponsorship seeker. If you are based in the US, you are required to implement strong data privacy and security measures that comply with relevant regulations.
Train and upskill staff for AI use. Both sponsors and sponsorship seekers should invest in training and upskilling their staff to ensure that they are equipped to handle AI technologies and tools effectively. Provide relevant training courses and workshops. These courses can cover topics such as machine learning and data analysis. You can also arrange online training resources, such as video tutorials, webinars, and e-learning modules, to help employees access training materials at their convenience. Another way to upskill employees is to provide realistic training through projects and collaborations.
The power of data and AI cannot be overstated when it comes to improving sponsorship ROI. By using these technologies, brands can achieve more effective targeting and personalization, activation and engagement, as well as better measurement and optimization. Real-world examples have demonstrated the potential impact of AI on sponsorship, from chatbots to predictive modeling and data-driven optimization. It is essential to follow best practices in choosing the right tools, ensuring data privacy and security, and upskilling staff for adoption. As the sponsorship landscape continues to evolve, brands that welcome the power of data and AI will have a competitive advantage in achieving their sponsorship goals and driving ROI.
Overall, AI is a valuable help for sponsorship activities, but you need to always remember that the human element is essential for input, reviewing, and decision-making about AI output.
(Be mindful that the sponsorship industry has become more advanced in recent years, so some of the databases used by AI platforms can tend to be out of date. At the time of writing, ChatGPT is an example.)
Learn from and engage with the sponsorship industry
It is important to keep up with trends in the sponsorship industry, so it makes sense for sponsors and sponsorship seekers to participate in activities of industry bodies and receive newsletters etc.
Here are some:
International Festivals & Events Association – US-based with international perspective
Redmandarin – UK sponsorship consultancy
European Sponsorship Association – website may not be entirely secure
Team Marketing Report – US sports business news
Sports Business Journal – sports media. International, but mainly US.
SportBusiness – sports media including sponsorship. UK-based but international scope
SportsPro Media – professional sports events and conferences “international”
Activative – UK sports marketing intelligence provider. Lots of case studies to read.