The sponsorship industry has really moved on in the last few years, do we really still lag behind the advertising industry? Probably, yes but only in two respects – how we promote ourselves and speed of innovation / progression. Both are linked.
1. The advertising industry is catching up
We mustn’t forget that sponsorship is still a relatively new discipline compared to advertising, but TV / Broadcast sponsorship is even younger - only 25 years old. Look at how quickly and most recently the media/adverting sponsorship industry has moved on
They have gone from recently adopting the best practice that the traditional sponsorship has adhered to for years (theoretically), only with more creative execution
2. The advertising industry doesn’t beat itself up
Thank god we’ve got over the ‘how can sponsorship be evaluated debate’ and moved on to a ‘how best can sponsorship be evaluated’. But again the tone of this conversation must change to a more positive message, a more solutions focused, example based (case studies) debate as opposed to more questions than answers, as this only fuels self-doubt.
Questioning and challenging what we do is very important – it’s a key part of progress, but we must also come up with solutions or be more solutions focused as an industry. We are no more or less robust than the Advertising industry (our metrics are based on their metrics) , no more or less consistent (there are good practitioners and bad practitioners, good ads and bad ads) but I don’t see the advertising industry constantly publically questioning itself or agonising over its worth. It just goes out and does a great job of selling (advertising) adverting.
3. By constantly looking back and asking questions we are not looking forward or finding solutions
We are spending so much time trying to justify ourselves and benchmark ourselves against other sectors that we’ve almost forgotten and don’t spend enough time talking about (most importantly selling) what we do best – emotive engagement. We drag our argument down, weaken it. Yes work on your weaknesses but focus on your strengths.
The advertising industry is introspective and self-analyses but it doesn’t spend its time beating its self-up, it talks its self-up, it is incredibly self-confident which fuels an air of both confidence and enables positive progression. This is the biggest lesson we can learn. Sell ourselves better, more positively, collectively and with confidence.
The advertising industry needs the sponsorship industry more than the sponsorship industry need the advertising industry – but you wouldn’t think it
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