Successful marketing is all about getting the name and mission of your company, business, product or service out in front of the public eye. Of course, you want to reach your target market in a variety of ways but that can sound easy while being a challenging task in reality! One overlooked way of spreading the news about your product or service is by sponsoring events and programs or by making corporate gifts that will get your company name in front of just the right people.
So, what does “gifting” or sponsoring actually mean and what will it require of you and/or your company? Gifting in the corporate or business world basically means that you are making a contribution or donation-often an “in kind” one of goods or services instead of a cash donation. Sponsoring can, of course, mean a cash donation to support a project, event, or organization, however. Depending on the nature of the gift and whether or not the organization is a registered non-profit corporation, some of the contribution may be tax deductible. It is important to work with a tax professional or attorney regarding any gifting or sponsoring that your business or company may do.
Regardless of whether you are donating products, services or cash as part of gifting and/or sponsoring it is important to make a plan for how this will be included and benefit your overall marketing efforts. Just as if you were doing a direct mail campaign or some other form of advertising and marketing, it is important to evaluate the project to understand who you will reach and what the value is of the marketing expense. It needs to be budgeted and part of your overall marketing plan. For example, if your target market is also the same people who attend the local symphony-taking out an ad in the symphony program can be one way to reach them and promote your product or service. If you make a gift or sponsor a performance, however, you may not only get that program ad-but get additional exposure to the target market as well: banner placement at a performance or during the season, invitations to opening night events or special donor recognition events, and/or logo and name recognition in a print ad or article as well as a link on the symphony web site.
Consider exactly what you can receive for sponsoring or gifting to a school, organization, project or community event and while you want it to be something you genuinely care about and support, it should also be a good fit for your marketing efforts in order to maximize the expense. By planning for gifts and sponsorships, it is a part of your annual marketing budget and it can be a strategic move instead of a last-minute gift.