Value-added really means more for more

If you are on the buying side of the television advertising, marketing or promotions business, I am sure you hear the cliche 'added value' or 'value-added' a great deal.In fact, you are probably tired of hearing it. Why? Because it implies...

If you are on the buying side of the television advertising, marketing or promotions business, I am sure you hear the cliche ‘added value’ or ‘value-added’ a great deal.

In fact, you are probably tired of hearing it. Why? Because it implies getting something for nothing, or more for less.

If I were a buyer and told that I would get more for less, I, too, would be skeptical.

My belief is that when tv sponsorship opportunities are being presented to clients and their agencies, an honest, straightforward approach must be taken.

Instead of more for less, more for more. In other words, you will get more if you invest more.

What exactly does ‘more’ mean?

If it is more spots, you as a buyer probably do not need any because you have already laid out your media plan.

The ‘more’ you should look for is something that goes beyond addressing your advertising needs.

Moves customers

It should be something that tactically and strategically moves your customers to buy more of your products, heightens consumer awareness and enhances your corporate image.

This has become a challenge and a dilemma for most ad agencies. After all, their clients have mandated them primarily to buy and place media as efficiently as possible.

But tv sponsorship or ‘event television’ is not simply a cpm (cost per thousand) or cpr (cost per rating) issue.

It goes far beyond the buying and assessment of pure media advertising. I suggest that a more appropriate method of evaluating sponsorship is roi, or, return on investment.

Promotional agencies have become a valid force to be reckoned with because their clients have seen direct and immediate returns from successful consumer and trade promotions.

From the client’s perspective, the key to success is business integration. The understanding of an integrated approach can also be a real solution for ad agencies.

Before a client and its agency can make truly intelligent, well-informed decisions regarding tv sponsorship, they need to involve various groups or departments in the process.

Contributors

They include marketing, advertising, sales, promotion (consumer, trade, internal sales incentives), public relations and corporate communications.

tv sponsorship should bring together these factions for a meeting of the minds.

I have found that the most productive meetings have taken place when all the interested parties are brought to the table simultaneously at the seedling stage of discussions and presentations.

With advertising budgets shrinking as they have been, integration of the sum of the parts makes more sense than ever before because it is efficient and addresses several issues at once.

The initial function for us on the tv side is simply to listen to potential sponsors and their agencies to understand their objectives and expected results.

A particular objective, however, depends on such factors as seasonality and type of business activity.

A well-executed, turnkey sponsorship package should result in increased sales and heightened consumer awareness/corporate image.

The tv industry is not just looking for more advertisers, it is looking for partners in order to establish on-going, mutually beneficial business relationships.

A successful partnership means the sharing of information before entering into an agreement and then ensuring there is proper follow-up to determine the results of the marriage.

The more information the client and its agency are willing to share with the tv network, the easier it will be to find the appropriate sponsorship vehicle.

Cross-promotion

When there is more than one sponsor involved with a particular tv program, the opportunity exists for even greater exposure through client-to-client cross-promotion.

I believe strongly in introducing several compatible sponsors to each other and bringing them together within the same program.

When two or more sponsors put their heads together, it is remarkable what creative cross-promotional associations can be achieved through tv.

tv sponsorship seems to be a hot topic these days with marketers. In tv’s early days, advertising was founded on sponsorship. Now it looks like the industry has come full circle.

Does tv sponsorship work? It works for those agencies and clients who define their goals well and have the desire to break away from the pack.

The only difference between tv sponsorship in the early days and now is that sophisticated agencies and clients have more internal and external resources at their disposal to achieve greater results through integration.

Added value or value-added. Call it what you like. As long as you understand that it means more for more, not more for less, it can work.

Dan Sherrett is head of corporate sponsorship at CBC Television.