NatWest Group is a leading banking and financial services group serving 19 million customers across every region of the UK. It operates through a number of well-known banking brands.
The banking group is the largest supporter of UK business, banking around 1 in 4 businesses across the UK. In addition, NatWest Group has a presence on the high street through its retail banking brands – NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank.
NatWest Group has many sponsorships and commercial partnerships that provide access to a wide range of events from concerts to sporting arenas.
NatWest Group manually tracked its ticketing and hospitality assets in a spreadsheet which, while being an easy-to-use solution, created a number of issues. The spreadsheet was sent around the business, so staff in over 20 departments could apply for tickets. Each team created its own copy of the spreadsheet with its requests for assets. The central hospitality team then had to collate requests to create a single view across the bank.
This manual approach led to a duplication of effort and made hospitality management a time-consuming process. Additionally, post-event evaluations were not possible due to the time it took to manage requests, as the team did not have enough time to follow up with colleagues. This meant the business lacked feedback data to evaluate outcomes effectively.
A further challenge for NatWest Group was that each business unit had different approval processes for different functions within the bank. To replace the spreadsheets, it needed a purpose-built platform that could work across the group and also adapt to the existing processes within each business unit.
NatWest Group realised it needed to automate its corporate hospitality management. The banking group looked for an established software platform that could work with its existing processes. With many different brands and customer segments, the banking group wanted to avoid changing processes to fit with a new system.
As a result, NatWest Group chose the Sponsorworks Enterprise Platform. This off-the-shelf solution gave the group 95% of the functionality it needed straight away. Due to the platform’s flexibility, Sponsorworks customised it to also handle the extra features that were needed. These covered the differing request and approval processes across NatWest Group.
The new platform made it easier for each department to see its allocation of tickets. It was also simpler for department representatives to assign or transfer tickets to staff to ensure tickets were used. This played a key role in improving ticket utilisation.
With its previous spreadsheet method, NatWest Group was unable to collect feedback data and analyse guest experiences. Once the group moved to the Sponsorworks platform, it could use automated post-event surveys to evaluate the success of different hospitality offerings at each venue. The platform also ensures GDPR compliance through the use of its automated data retention policies.
Alongside the software platform, the Sponsorworks customer support team also provides an agency managed service for NatWest Group. This complements NatWest Group’s internal admin team and deals with all first-line enquiries from representatives and hosts. This frees up the sponsorship managers to focus on running their commercial partnerships and campaigns.
Replacing the manual spreadsheet process with an off-the-shelf platform has delivered significant time savings across NatWest Group.
The hospitality team no longer need to collate and combine data from multiple versions of spreadsheets. While within each department the representatives and hosts benefit from automation and the platform’s self-service ability. Across NatWest Group, the platform is now accessed by over 250 staff across 22 business units.
With a feedback capture rate of 100%, the automated surveys generate a rich set of data for NatWest Group. The banking group can now evaluate its return on investment and make better-informed decisions about future partnership plans.
The new platform has also given NatWest Group greater visibility into its usage of sponsorship tickets to ensure ticket utilisation is maximised.
The Sponsorworks platform now manages over 3,500 assets a year and as NatWest Group’s sponsorships evolve with its business strategy this is expected to grow.