Start with a plan

The calendar just passed the halfway mark and Summer is getting into full swing.  It is now time for many of us to begin planning for next year.  Before determining budgets and renewing any contracts, it may be worth spending a little time reassessing your strategy or developing a new one.  Begin by asking yourself if there are clearly defined objectives for your sponsorship marketing?  Did you stick to the plan and is it working?  These questions may seem obvious, but sometimes are not easy to answer.  Often times we may find ourselves reacting to opportunities and proposals.  Different stakeholders, agendas and sometimes egos dictate the course of action.  The result may be a portfolio of properties which are steering you and things end up off course.  Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else….”. Yogi

If you can answer these 7 questions, you are off to a good start.

1)   Why sponsorships versus other forms of media?

2)   What are you trying to accomplish?

3)   What criteria must be met in order to consider a sponsorship?

4)   Which stakeholders will this impact and may need to sign off?

5)   What assets are needed to accomplish objectives?

6)   What resources are needed to effectively support?

7)   What metrics will be utilized to measure results?

WoodenThere are plenty of opportunities out there.  Having a clear plan, disciplined criteria and consistent process will help guide you.  It will make decisions easier.  It will keep things in check and under control.  Ultimately, it will help maximize your investments.  There should be room for flexibility within your plan for the occasional exception.  The strategy will evolve, as business needs change and market conditions shift.  The great John Wooden liked to say, “No one plans to fail, they fail to plan”.  Start with a solid strategy and you will be in good shape.