Our previous post ‘Could you be the One?’ discussed how the selection of your sponsorship recipient should be tailored to your purpose, values, and customer desires. This post looks to provide considerations on engagement, both within and external to the company.
Make it Personal
In both entertainment and business, we are looking for a more nuanced and personal interaction. The more personal the approach the higher it is valued. This may not align with every business model, but thoughtful time expended in planning has the potential for exponential value. Think of the elevation points from the transaction of here is a ticket to an event received by email, to the experience of joining with your partner at a hosted event, to the ongoing Relationship from meeting and been invited into a trusted circle on a regular basis.
Differentiation and personalisation provide huge upside. To be successfully achieved it requires nurture and listening skills. Through the careful understanding of our interests from a theatre connection, we had the opportunity to host a treasured international musician who performed a private concert for our special guests, stayed at our house and with whom we now maintain ongoing correspondence. While that was a personal example, think – what if you could provide a similar experience to your major customer or to your employee who has exceeded expectation?
Understand your customer
There are a number of questions to ask to begin to understand your customer. What are their values? What do they like? How is it best to approach them? Ultimately what do you already know about them and how can you elevate from the analytics to a more personal approach?
Elon Musk used an interesting phrase when recently interviewed on the valuation of Tesla. He responded that the company’s “market cap is higher than we have the right to deserve”. As a company, and an individual representing the company you need to deserve the right, or as I have heard it phrased “build the right to engage”?
This takes time and commitment. It takes willingness to learn, and see things from another perspective. It is an opportunity to engage on a more meaningful level above the noise of the transaction. This is the how brands are built, experiences shared and relationships cemented.
Get this right and it becomes your license to thrill.
Invest the time
To be a relationship it must be sustainable and it must work for all parties. This relationship should also have the ability to flex and to grow. Dialogue, listening and genuine interest make this achievable. The Comedy Festival with Flick Electric has developed from its original scope from each understanding the other’s drivers and investing in improving the outcome.
For the relationship to be embedded it needs a sponsor (who may then share the execution role with others in the company). The respective party teams should be brought together to ensure goal alignment and understand the customer’s customer of each. In the best alignments, they are one of the same. Thrilled end customers then reinforce the brand of each party and often spark new ideas on interaction.
The relationship must also be supported from the top. This means a sponsor within the senior management team and the buy in of the board of directors. For relationships to be ongoing they need to proceed from the sponsor across the company. Further, they need to transcend the sponsor, should that person be reassigned.
Be open to change, as the best relationships mature like a fine bottle of Coleraine. Giddy Up.