To assemble a winning partnership portfolio, brands must first choose the right partners. The right partners help to achieve key business objectives, improving both partnership and portfolio returns. However, all brands have distinct goals so knowing what to look for in a partner can be a challenge. Without the right tools or processes in place, you’ll spend valuable time and effort sifting through hundreds of applications for the perfect fit and still, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll identify the right ones.
So how do you accurately recognize effective partners faster while doing less grunt work? We’re sharing the four essential steps to selecting the right partners for helping your brand reach its unique objectives.
1. Identify Your Business Objectives & Ask the Right Questions
Every organization has different business objectives. From our work with global brands, some of the more common ones we’ve seen are societal impact, customer engagement, and revenue lift. Identifying your business objectives allows you to ask the right questions in your sponsorship application and determine if a potential partner is a good fit. For example, if your brand’s goal is to increase high-end customer growth, then you’d ask questions about audience demographics to uncover opportunities that help reach that target market. Asking strategic questions at the beginning of your evaluation process eliminates the gut-feel decision making that often plagues new partnership selection.
2. Define Your Scoring Criteria
With strategic application questions in place, assign weights based on your brand’s priorities. Perhaps your top focus is brand exposure, then you’d assign more weight to questions related to increasing reach. After an applicant responds, their request is scored based on what you’re trying to achieve. Now, reviewing hundreds, even thousands, of applications is no longer a time-consuming task because the high-scoring opportunities are highlighted.
Assigning weights to questions and intentionally scoring applications also provides the capability to evaluate different types of opportunities. For example, if you receive an application from an esports organization for the first time, applying weights allows you to compare it to more traditional sponsorships like a sports team. Having the ability to compare apples-to-apples, even between diverse opportunities, eliminates the guess work behind choosing partnerships and demonstrates your selection is based on data.
3. Develop A User-Friendly Interface
Once you’ve created your custom application, it needs to live somewhere accessible for both applicants and internal reviewers. Instead of accepting submissions via email, text, carrier pigeon, etc., set up a branded submission portal to direct future partners and clearly state your brand’s expectations. Luckily, KORE’s Intake solution can help with this. Intake is an application management portal built to host your application, accept requests, and streamline your entire sponsorship selection process.
Further, having a tailored portal like Intake prevents submissions from getting buried in personal work emails. It centralizes every request and gives internal reviewers a dedicated place to evaluate and approve applications.
Using a branded platform provides a consistent user experience and an efficient process for both external applicants and internal employees.
4. Establish A Review & Approval Process
Now that you have a branded platform to host your application, set up the software to automatically score, assign reviewers, and send approval/deny responses. Intake’s technology includes the capability to set up custom weighting and scoring, designate reviewers, and provide status emails to applicants.
User-friendly tools and a unified process allows you to instantly bring to light and act on the best sponsorship opportunities. Additionally, eliminating the manual elements of reviewing every application saves you time and effort that you could spend improving your portfolio strategy and partner relationships.
Need help developing a sponsorship application process to find the right partners? KORE Intake can help. Request a 30-min demo here.
KORE is the global leader in engagement marketing solutions, serving more than 200 professional teams and 850+ sports and entertainment properties worldwide, providing practical tools and services to harness customer data, facilitate sponsorship sales and activation, and create actionable insights.