Planning and measuring sponsorships: what should you sponsor, and how do you know it worked?

Should you invest in sponsoring Manchester United in 2017? But do Manchester United supporters even like power tools?



Imagine: you’re a brand selling power tools, and you’re looking to get some more visibility in the market through sponsorships. Great. But where to start? There are so many questions brands need answers to when they are considering using a sponsorship to align with their target audience. Every year, corporate spending on sponsorship reaches a new high, with brands increasingly investing ginormous amounts  in the influencer sphere. But when you’re planning – or evaluating –  the success of your partnerships, what should you look out for?

Social media provides a separate universe for a brand’s identity to live in through these partnerships, and Pulsar provides a new way of measuring and quantifying how far they have actually travelled.

Sponsorship planning

Basing important business decisions on social data ensures that clients move away from relying on outdated assumptions about who their consumers are and what they’re interested in: it’s fast, it’s abundant, and it’s easy to harness. If you listen first, and speak later, you can be sure that you won’t regret deciding to sponsor that particular conference, music event, or putting your logo on that famous sports team’s jersey. Listen first, and you’re basing your decisions on solid, irrefutable, data-driven evidence.



Follow people, not just words

One of Pulsar’s unique features, the audience search, allows you to go beyond keyword tracking and listen to a group of people.



Pulsar’s technology helps you to build audience panels – think of it like online communities – where you can listen to individuals, picking the relevant data you’re collecting on them at any time. What does this mean for sponsorship planning? We work with a major energy company in the UK. They used Pulsar to help them decide what cultural events to invest their sponsorship budget in, by creating an audience search of everyone who had followed their brand on Twitter. They then began to overlay keywords on that data set – words related to music, art, sports, and other leisure activities – to uncover which of these areas their followers were engaging with the most.

They identified that a big chunk of their followers, people who had already expressed interest in their services, were also interested in music. This informed their decision to invests their sponsorship budget in music venues, rather than in sports stadiums, safely knowing that these were pounds well spent.



Sponsorship measuring: Image Analysis 


Brands spend phenomenal amounts on sponsorships and endorsements because they are banking on their logo reaching millions of human eyes (just excluding animals here due to lack of spending power, you know). How do they, then, accurately measure the impact or lengths that their logo has travelled to? If they’re not counting social media, they’re missing out on an enormous part of the conversation.

Pulsar works with the best technology on the market at any given time to make sure that we stay at the forefront of cutting edge trends in technology. We partner with IBM Watson on image analysis technology, which allows us to mine huge data sets for the content within images. Availaible on Pulsar TRAC, it means is that we can understand, at scale, what people are taking pictures of. Unlike other image analysis software on the market, Pulsar doesn’t just recognise logos, but it can also other pick up on other text in an image as well as understanding its context, like ‘desert’, ‘nature’ or ‘summer’.

This is incredibly powerful for measuring the ROI of sponsorships in a way that might have previously not been quantifiable, seeing images form a huge (or YUGE, as the US president-elect would say) part of our common language on social media.

We work with a leading Financial Services firm, who have recently sponsored the UK National Rugby team. Live action shots from games, pictures of fans wearing jerseys, and behind-the-scenes sneak peaks of the players training are exploding all over social networks.
With Pulsar’s image analysis, we can now track and quantify the reach of our client’s sponsorship by scanning all mentions of the Sports Team, and in this case we could pick up all the images containing our client’s logo.


NB: although there is no mention of our client’s brand name on the post, as they have not been tagged. But Pulsar has picked up their logo on this cookie giftbox!

Using image recognition technology ensures that brands can get an accurate measure of where their logos have travelled, and therefore, a better gage on their sponsorship’s ROI.


Stepping it up

Marketing & communication teams can no longer rely on old-school methods of measurement when it comes to understanding how far their logos travel. They can also no longer rely on uninformed assumptions about where to spend hefty sponsorship budgets (or at least, we think they shouldn’t be.)

Get in touch with us here if you would like to talk about how you and your team could use Pulsar to ensure you’re staying ahead of the sponsorship game.

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