New ANA Report: Use of Social Media and Advanced Technologies for Sponsorship

September 26, 2017

By Bill Duggan

 

The ANA has an active Sponsorship & Event Marketing Committee. We regularly poll committee members to identify topics of interest and the uses of social media and technology for sponsorship activations have been identified as hot topics. We conducted an in-depth survey among ANA members to learn more. Key findings:

  • The great majority of respondents (85 percent) are using social media to support sponsorship activations, either before, during, or after a sponsorship. The specific social media platforms most used were Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Slightly less than half of respondents (44 percent) use advanced technologies of any type to support a brand's sponsorship activations. The most commonly used advanced technologies were 360-degree photography, beacons, virtual reality, and RFID.
  • Top reasons for using either social media or advanced technologies to support a brand's sponsorship activations are the same: (a) generate awareness; (b) connect with customers during the event; (c) improve brand perception.
  • Internal resources, notably the social media and sponsorship teams, are most often used for the management of either social media or advanced technologies to support a brand's sponsorship activations. External agency resources are also used (e.g., digital/social agency and sponsorship agency), but to a lesser extent.
  • The amount of social media exposure generated was the top choice, by a wide margin, for measuring the effectiveness of a brand's social media activity for sponsorship. For advanced technologies, on-site activity tracked at the sponsorship and the amount of social media exposure generated were the two top choices for measuring effectiveness.

The conclusions of this report are:

  1. Social media is "table stakes" for sponsorship activation. Social media provides a relatively low-cost means to amplify and activate sponsorships. Given the importance that marketers are placing on social media as a sponsorship activation tool, they should approach it with rigor.
  2. Meeting certain activation objectives may require the use of paid social media. Paid social media is significantly more cost-effective than traditional advertising, and allows for precise audience targeting (by interest, geography, demographics, etc.), potentially leading to higher conversion rates than organic posts. Paid social also allows marketers to develop specialized content that works best for each target audience.
  3. The use of advanced technologies for sponsorship activation is more nascent. Marketers are encouraged to test and learn here. Advertisers should discuss opportunities that leverage technology with their sponsorship partners, as it is likely that those partners are also evaluating new technology.
  4. There should be closer alignment between the reasons for using both social media and advanced technologies for sponsorship activation and the metrics used to measure effectiveness.
  5. There is an opportunity for more marketers to take advantage of the social media platforms of properties to activate sponsorships. Sponsors and their property partners should ensure that sponsor content is not merely advertising or promotional but adds value to the social media conversation and enhances the user experience.
  6. It's important for marketers to have in-house expertise to manage social media to support sponsorship activations. Speed of response time is a key reason for doing so. In-house expertise is also important for use of advanced technologies.

Complete details are in the white paper, Use of Social Media and Advanced Technologies for Sponsorship.


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