By Ken Ungar
In sponsorship, the property’s audience must match the sponsor’s. A sponsor wants to be assured that their sponsorship is aimed at its current and potential customers.
Whether it’s demographics (like age and gender), psychographics (like lifestyles, interests, or values) or buying preferences (like the probability of buying certain products in an upcoming timeframe), sponsors need to understand a property’s audience to determine a match.
Most times, the best way to obtain audience data is from the source. For example, on-site surveys at events, email surveys to a ticket buyer list, or professional market research surveys offer proven ways to define an audience. However, sometimes properties may be constrained by budget to obtain audience data from paid sources. There’s good news, though. We’ve found a few free resources that can supplement your current audience data.
As we live in the Digital Age, I appreciate the comprehensive picture that Google Analytics provides. A property’s website and its sponsored events go hand-in-hand. From pre-event marketing to event information to post-event communications, an audience uses the property’s website while leaving digital breadcrumbs about themselves. Google Analytics is the free source of information about the age and gender of your website visitors. Additionally, if provides clues about visitor interests, including online travel and purchasing activity. Google Analytics provides a source of audience data, and the price is right.
Facebook< offers some general demographic information if your organization manages a Facebook Page. Social media demographic data, like Facebook’s, offers an additional snapshot into your audience. Whether it’s Facebook or another of your social media platforms, this demographic data should be used to piece together a more complete picture of the property’s audience. For example, online users may be younger or older than event attendees. This nuance becomes important when prospective sponsors want to verify the real fit of their customers and your audience.
Audience Explorer a product of market research firm YouGov, provides a snapshot of numerous brands, referencing the demographics and psychographics of their customers. In the free portion of Audience Explorer, a property can find enough information to tailor a sponsorship presentation for prospective sponsors. For example, a free search of the Five Guys brand (a personal favorite!) shows this brand’s fans skews slightly male, middle-aged, and living in the Northeast. Additionally, Audience Explorer also reveals that Five Guys fans heavily consume media around comedy, rock music and social media websites.
Claritas PRIZM delves into audience demographics divided into geographic segments. This zip code-driven database breaks down communities into 68 “neighborhood types” describing an interesting variety of demographic and psychographic information. A deep dive into lifestyle and interests requires a paid license from this market research agency. However, the free functionality provides some important audience clues. For properties that serve a specific community, this tool may offer a sponsor interesting insights into a local audience.
We believe that a property can never know too much about its audience. However, we also recognize that budget constraints often impact the ability to conduct market research. For this reason, if a property or sponsor can round off their understanding of an audience with free data, all the better.
For more information about how audience data can make sponsorships more powerful, feel free to reply to this email with your question.