Are we on the right platform?

John Owen’s piece on the importance of exploiting sponsorship properties (MW August 8) must have brought joy to many below-the-line marketers. We need campaignable “platforms” – they give us scale and flexibility. Key trade customers buy into them and we are able to create national and tailor-made activities that build brand values and achieve objectives. The right sponsorship property is often exactly what is required.

The challenge to agencies is to create a range of different promotions, which can be adapted to achieve both retailers’ and the brand’s objectives. No client wants to be running anything similar to its competitors. Good communication with national account managers is essential. You have to be able to support them and give them the best chance of selling-in activity that is true to the overall campaign.

Exploitation is no good without implementation. This is the area that many a campaign can fall down on. Ensuring that the right promotions get to outlets is often complex, requiring incentivising, educating, briefing and merchandising along the way. It is a hands-on job that needs determined and dedicated resources at both the client and agency. This certainly isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, which is why it is often done poorly.

Promotional platforms are becoming increasingly important. If you pay for a sponsorship property to support your brand, it makes sense to use it where your brand is bought and consumed.

Nick Cunningham

Joint managing director


London W6

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