The Problems with Equivalent Media Measurement

Sponsorship is often challenged on what is perceived as a lack of transparency in measuring its effectiveness. Despite the fact we know that sponsorship gets results, when it comes to measuring the results, the results suddenly fade away. Sponsorship struggles to clearly link itself to brand equity changes or articulate its contribution in a brand-centric, sales or corporate goodwill context.

Current measurement of sponsorship relies heavily on equivalent media value measurement. Simply put, it involves reach and frequency measures of signage to determine the value of sponsors exposure. These are calculated in differing ways and to different levels of sophistication, but every measure produces a sum of calculated media value. Hence, sponsors that focus on brand exposure are considered to provide the greatest return on investment. Increasing audiences and signage and changing the position of the signage are the primary focus on such research.

The underlying assumption is that sponsorship is all about the value of logo exposure sponsorship provides compared to other media types. But, in point of fact, these are not real ROI measurements, they are calculations of calculated inputs or investments. The key question to ask when sponsorship is being evaluated is, What is a sponsor yielding back from their investment especially for a marketing or brand communications strategy? This question might be phased in familiar ways, such as for example, “What has it done for our brands?”; “How has it improved our company reputation” or “How it improved our sales”?

Providing measurement of media value alone and using this as the basis for claiming return on investment or sponsorship ROI does not answer these questions. What is needed is a measure of sponsorship ROI or ROO (return on objectives) that demonstrates tangible, business-real benefits for a sponsor.

From a marketing perspective, choosing sponsorship as a brand building tool, then measuring performance based on logo exposure, simply fails to measure sponsorship. Most importantly, it undervalues sponsorship as an effective marketing tool. It is the marketing, analysts, CEOs and company boards who are looking to measure performance. Demonstrating sponsorship ROI can be achieved with the right approach – but requires a fresh innovative and experience-backed methodology.

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. Interesting article.

    A lot of marketing professionals would agree as logo counting would not tell you very much.

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