One of the most common planning frustrations we hear from brands is that instead of researching partnership best fits, they heavily depend on the timing of opportunities that walk through the door. This creates a constant reactive cycle. Brands big and small know how critical athlete, artist, and influencer sponsorships are, which is why it’s important to be both reactive and proactive when researching and identifying potential partnerships. Here, we walk you through our tips on how to balance the two approaches. Then, we’ll guide you on how to research your partnership decisions faster using your own data, your potential partner’s data, and real-time insights tracked across the entire sports and influencer network.
The importance of balancing proactive and reactive research for partnerships
Many organizations have come to us with concerns over missed opportunities, looking for tools or support to help fill in the gaps. When proactive research is in place, and a new opportunity arises, team’s can confidently seize opportunities that matched criteria. Having the right tools in place will help you attract, filter and quickly find the the best matches. Our Intake tool streamlines most of this type of work for you, allowing you to take advantage of trends before your competitors do. Making space for both proactive and reactive research leads to better decision-making overall. Being able to react and plan simultaneously keeps your organization flexible and adaptable in a constantly changing world. This sets you up to recognize brand defining moments as they arise culturally. When it comes to partnerships, proactive brands are always looking for potential opportunities. Here’s how we suggest balancing the overall approach.
1. Understand your objectives, and identify clear KPIs and target demographics.
Before you begin reaching out to potential partners or reviewing them, ensure you understand or have developed your business objectives for the partnership. If other teams will be supporting the partnership in any way, from finance and operations to social, digital, and event brand activations, sharing these goals and their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will provide awareness for other teams to support the cause and create more alignment. Some of the brands we work with have told us how hard it is to align goals between teams. For example, what sports marketing’s goals are, could be wholly different than brand activation. While you may benefit from the same partnerships, your KPIs could be vastly different. Having a single-source of truth to track every team’s needs can create massive amounts of cost savings, and efficiency for your brand, while ensuring consistency for fans who deeply engage with those partnerships. It’s important to identify the attributes of your target demographic. This will help you better align yourself with the right partners and support content that is more likely to resonate with their fans and your brand.
2. Leverage your own data to research partnerships.
Brands have a wealth of data at their fingertips. Your own customer data can give you incredible insights into who your target demographic is, what they care about, and how to reach them. Additionally, analyzing your website’s traffic sources can help you identify which channels are most effective at driving traffic and leads. Yet, often we hear frustration from sponsorship teams who are not only chasing the data, but require access to it in a timely manner or and help translating it. Getting the full snapshot into your brand’s data isn’t easy though. Our Portfolio Optimization Platform is the industry-first solution that streamlines your brand’s data into one single tool which teams across your organization can access versus people working in silos chasing down data points across various teams and orgs.
3. Examine your potential partner’s data to research partnerships.
Many brands make the mistake of only looking at their own data when researching partnerships. However, by looking at your potential partner’s data as well, you can gain a much broader understanding of their target demographic, what content they produce and share, and how they engage with their fans/followers and how they can compliment your brand.
Gain real-time insights across the social sport and influencer network to research partnerships.
One of the best ways to get real-time insights into potential partnerships is to track conversations happening across the social sport and influencer network. This will allow you to see what content is resonating with fans, what athletes/artists/influencers are generating the most engagement, and which sponsorships are generating the most buzz.
The KORE Sport & Entertainment Graph tracks:
- 100k athletes & influencers
- 10K+ teams, leagues, events
- 1M+ deals & assets
- 2B+ fans & fan data
If you want access to the largest Sports and Influencer Network, that analyzes spend, and tracks social output for more than 500,000 entities across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Weibo, VK and TikTok, then learn how the McClaren Formula 1 Racing team uses it in this case study. Or reach out for a demo to learn how to leverage it for your own research.
4. Stay agile
No one can predict the future, but by planning for potential problems, you can avoid or minimize them. For example, being able to swiftly swap content assets to another partnership that meets the criteria of the goals, or creating space to react mindfully over a situation garnering public attention are common issues. By having a solid plan in place, and easy visibility over all of your assets, you’ll be able to act quickly and decisively when something unexpected does come up.
The world is constantly changing and businesses need to be flexible and adaptable in order to stay ahead of the curve. Staying proactive will allow you to react quickly to changes in the market and capitalize on new opportunities as they arise.
Fine-tuned research to make critical decisions on partnership spend is necessary in today’s industry. Creating successful partnerships means finding a balance between being proactive and responsive. If you’re too reactive, you’ll be at the mercy of current events and trends, potentially losing track of long-term relationship goals and KPIs. However, if you’re too proactive, you won’t be able to take advantage of new opportunities. This will allow for a more well-rounded, long-term partnership that can grow over time. By using your own data, potential partner’s data, and real-time insights tracked across the internet, you can research partnerships faster than ever before. Reach out for a demo on how our industry-leading single source platform can bring the research and KPIs together. A streamlined system will help you not just seize the right opportunities but quickly recognize those brand defining moments to elevate, ultimately shaping and shifting the future of your organization.
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.