How research is driving Lloyds TSB's London 2012 sponsorship
Lloyds TSB is the official banking and insurance partner of London 2012. It has invested significantly in research to measure the effect of its sponsorship on its business. In this in-depth Q&A, a brand spokesperson tells Research exactly how the brand is fighting the negative image of bankers to activate its Olympic sponsorship.
How have you been using research to ensure that your London 2012 sponsorship resonates with your target audience?
Lloyds Banking Group gathers customer insight across existing research channels, specific campaign focused research and through broader national studies to review the impact of the London 2012 partnership against our original objectives. There are three levels of external target audience we aim to engage with as a result of the partnership:
- Existing customers
We adopt different research approaches for each of these audiences, based on the level of relationship we have with them and their proximity to our London 2012 activation campaigns. One core ongoing research tracker we’ve used for our customers is the Hall & Partners tracker. This monthly tracker enables Lloyds Banking Group to determine awareness of different elements of our partnership programme, in isolation and against other brands in the market. We can assess customers’ attitudes towards the overall partnership and individual programmes and also the extent to which our audience understands the reasoning behind doing it. Cross-referenced over time and against what our customers like or don’t like and how they feel towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we are able to adjust and prioritise the communications around different aspects of the partnership accordingly.
Whilst our focus has always been on delivering community focused programmes to support the partnership, the Hall & Partners tracking research has given us a steer on what is most important to our customers and enabled us to adjust our focus accordingly. Having been the first presenting partner of London 2012 back in 2007, we have focused on refining the partnership over the years so that in 2012 we are now delivering a campaign which meets our customers and communities’ needs whilst delivering our original objectives.
How has research helped you to communicate your sponsorship in the most meaningful ways possible?
Prior to communicating aspects of our campaign, either through above the line (ATL), in-branch or through public relations, we test our communications through focus groups to determine the most appropriate language, messaging and visual representations to ensure that we communicate effectively to the target audience. The feedback typically supports the Hall & Partners tracker in the first instance although, occasionally, we have had to adjust our communications to ensure that the campaign resonates with the audience.
Has all this helped you learn new things about what your brand means to people more widely?
When we signed the deal to be the first presenting partner of London 2012 we committed to bringing the Games closer to our customers and the communities in which we operate, rather than aligning ourselves to the elite aspects of the Games. We’ve delivered this through supporting 1,000 Local Heroes, the future stars of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, providing school sport opportunities for more than eight million young people through National School Sport Week and providing thousands of people across the UK to nominate someone to have the chance to carry the Olympic Flame in the Olympic Torch Relay. We always felt that this was the right approach for Lloyds Banking Group as a brand and in how we are positioned within society. We’ve therefore been delighted to see the impact our community programmes have had on our customers and the wider community with research demonstrating not only that Lloyds is the most well-known domestic partner to the Games but also the partner most widely recognised as doing the most to support London 2012.
How will research help you to ensure that you get the most out of your association with the London 2012 Games?
Research enables us to see the effect our activation is having on our communities and customers and allows us to steer the direction our campaigns are taking if we feel that we are not delivering against our initial objectives. Not all of the research we do is in-depth qualitative analysis and we quantify success differently across each of our core programmes in order to give us a clear benchmark of our achievement:
- National School Sport Week will be measured on the number of young people and schools taking part and their attitude towards participating in sport. Since 2009 72% of all schools in the country have taken part. Through annual SPEAR research we also understand the impact that the campaign is having on young people, parents and teachers which enables us to refresh the programme for the following year, as required
- Local Heroes will be measured on the number of young people supported and the level of success they achieve as a result. We have now supported 1,000 young people of whom 20 are already selected to represent Team GB or ParalympicsGB in London 2012
- The Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays will be measured by the number of nominations made and the engagement of communities taking part in the Torch Relay. We received thousands of nominations by the end of 2011 and have been overwhelmed by the level of support from the communities the Flame has passed through on route. We’re continuing to track the impact of the Relay as it passes within 95% of the population of the UK.
- We measure the engagement of our customers, at one level, by the number who sign up to our Trackside programme and who want to be the first to hear about news and opportunities with the Games - over 200,000 have already done so. Through existing research into customers’ needs and expectations of our brand we are also measuring the impact of the London 2012 partnership on their perception of the brand and propensity to recommend. For example, 65% of customers are spontaneously aware that Lloyds is an Olympic Games Partner and this awareness drives 20% of those customers to be more likely to recommend us to other people as a result.
- Colleague engagement will be measured through our understanding of how pride in our Partnership translates into pride in the organisation, and we continually track this
- Supporting business will be measured by the incremental revenue we generate as a result of the partnership, which is already ahead of target.
Do you have a bellwether in mind for the ideal ROI from being an Olympics sponsor?
Every London 2012 partner sets itself different objectives for becoming a partner, with specific and bespoke measures for determining whether there was an ROI from the partnership or otherwise. For Lloyds Banking Group we knew we were better placed than any other partner to take the Games to communities everywhere. Our strategy has always reflected this - it’s about taking a global programme local and making it tangible for communities. Through programmes like Local Heroes, supporting upcoming athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond, or the work we’ve done in helping businesses benefit from London 2012 so that a third of its contract winners have been supported by Lloyds, our priority has always been to ensure that our activity has integrity, credibility and inclusivity.
This approach has already given us an impressive return on investment (ROI), with 75% percent of our customers aware of us as a London 2012 partner, and this awareness is leading to a third of them being more likely to recommend us. On a local level, customers who know about our Local Heroes programme are 50% more likely to recommend us as a bank. This tells us our Partnership is working as a vehicle to communicate our brand, its values and what we stand for, and in doing so helps people think differently about us.