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ANA Report: Measurement of Sponsorships Needs to Improve

Companies need better ways to assess their spending on sponsorships, according to a new report conducted by the Association of National Advertisers and the Marketing Accountability Standards Board.

Spending on sponsorships has grown to $24.2 billion in 2018, up 41% since the ANA’s first sponsorship measurement study in 2010, but progress on gauging the business impact and return on investment has been marginal, the new report said.

“Despite the continued growth of sponsorship investment and the repeated sentiment from marketers that there is a need for improved measurement and assessment, there has been little progress toward this goal,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. “It’s time for the industry to substantially upgrade sponsorship accountability, and this report is a material step in the right direction.”

Only a bit more than half of the companies that have a defined measurement process have a sponsorship measurement budget, the survey found. Most spend about 5% of the cost of the sponsorship on measurement.

Marketers look at return on investment, which looks at the financial returns from a sponsorship, and return on objective, which look at changes in awareness and consumers’ attitude toward the brand.

The study says marketers want advanced sponsorship measurement.

Among the things marketers want to know is how spending on a sponsorship compares in generated impressions to buying paid media.

The report recommended that marketers begin challenging the measurement community to assist with additional perspective and prioritize brand preference attribution for sponsorship, in addition to developing guidelines, benchmarks, and best practices.

“The survey points out the continuing, unmet need for more sophisticated sponsorship measurement and valuation practices,” said MASB president and CEO Tony Pace. “Developing and disseminating such practices is the next step for the MASB’s Sponsorship Accountability Metrics Project team."