As brands and their agencies work on 2018 planning, we are seeing more emphasis on activation management. Here are some key reasons for this increased focus:
For many sponsorship assets, activation drives ROI. Activation management assures sponsors not only get what they pay for, but also optimize what they get. For many sponsors, activation efficiency and effectiveness may be the single greatest value drivers in determining the returns on their sponsorship investments.
ACTIVATION COSTS ARE GROWING AS A PERCENTAGE OF ASSET COST.
Making sure those activation dollars are spent well and on the right assets is becoming increasingly important in optimizing portfolio mix, spend and returns.
EXPERIENTIAL ASSETS ARE HOT.
Almost by definition, experiential translates to increased activation costs and management requirements. As interest in experiential continues to grow, activation management becomes more important to portfolio costs and returns.
SOCIAL MEDIA HAS SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED THE BENEFITS
AND RISKS OF ACTIVATION RESULTS.
Great activations assure exceptional guest experiences that drive social media leverage. Today’s experiential-focused guests expect events that are both special and personal. Solid activation delivers those experiences and increases reach through resulting social media posts by the participants. On the downside, failed activations can quickly drive negative returns. Better planning and management can reduce execution risk and avoid the embarrassments and adverse guest experiences that can go viral in a heartbeat.
ACTIVATION IS A TEAM SPORT THAT REQUIRES PLANNING
AND COLLABORATION TO OPTIMIZE RESULTS.
This has always been true, but the impact of growing activation budgets and results has increased the importance and the complexity of activation planning and collaboration, particularly where events are involved. (Consider the simple example of making sure that all physical assets at a given venue are identified and customized to the messaging desired for the specific event.) To optimize activation results, brands, agencies and properties must share real-time access to information and work together effectively.
TRACKING ACTIVATION RESULTS IS ESSENTIAL TO PORTFOLIO VALUATION,
BUDGET AND RENEWAL DECISIONS
Sponsorships that offer differing activation opportunities and returns deliver different values, justifying different investments in asset and activation costs. Brands are increasingly understanding the importance of tracking the multiple factors that contribute to the relative activation value of each of the assets and properties. To compare and optimize their sponsorship investments, brands are ranking properties on everything from activation opportunities, activation support levels and guest experience survey results to ROI ratios based on asset value versus total-asset-plus-activation cost.
At Sponsor Locker, we see the trend toward increased activation management first hand as leading sponsors and agencies use our unique cloud-based platform and applications to plan, activate, manage and analyze thousands of sponsorship assets, events and guests across a wide range of sports platforms and properties from motorsports to golf to college and professional sports. By integrating everything into a single database - while still allowing individual applications and features to be implemented and used separately if desired - Sponsor Locker helps sponsors and their agencies see what they have and where they stand, improving activation, guest experiences, collaboration and decision-making across their entire sponsorship portfolio.