How to Measure Experiential Marketing Without Losing Your Mind? - Metrics, Goals & Tips
Do you find it challenging to prove ROI of experiential marketing? Read on to discover how to measure experiential marketing easily.
8 min read
"SHOW ME THE MONEY"
No, that is not just an epic dialogue from Jerry Maguire.
It could possibly be the most popular indirect message repeated over and over again in the marketing circle enough to make you lose your mind.
Especially if Jerry is your boss who would approve the budget for your next experiential marketing campaign, you better SHOW THE MONEY, right?
Proving the ROI of a marketing campaign to C-suit executives is essential for any marketing manager. When it comes to experiential marketing, things are no different.
In fact, measuring the effectiveness of Experiential marketing could be more challenging than measuring the ROI of your traditional marketing mediums or digital advertising channels such as PPC (Pay Per Click).
So, in the latter case, it is easy to measure the impact of a campaign by tracking the number of clicks, website visits, etc, the same could not be said about experiential marketing.
There are too many variables involved. With the changing experiential marketing trends, it is not always possible to trace back a sale or purchase decision to an experiential event or interactive experience in a trade show.
While this has not prevented the rise of experiential marketing trends, it remains a challenge for brand managers to prove the ROI of interactive campaigns.
However, the process of measuring the effectiveness of experiential marketing events need not be so complicated given we keep certain things and relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and experiential marketing metrics in mind.
But, before that, let's have a look at one of the most common mistakes of experiential marketing brands make while in tracking their ROI.
One Mistake Brands Make Before Measuring Experiential Marketing
Imagine a group of people playing football and trying to take possession of the ball from one another. There is only one catch- there is no goalpost!
How do you decide on the winning team?
Without a goalpost, the game of football would be futile.
Same goes for any initiative you take in your life or your marketing campaign. Without a goal, you cannot measure the performance of any project or activity you undertake. Without knowing how to measure your experiential marketing campaign, you cannot chart out a path for the future of your marketing campaign.
As simple as this sounds, the biggest reason why brands fail to showcase the ROI of an experiential marketing campaign is that there is no clarity or uniform internal understanding about the purpose of the campaign.
The most common objective associated with any experiential campaign is that it allows connecting with the audience in a more engaging and emphatic manner. While that is true, you still need to figure out specific objectives of your campaign which can be beyond just positive engagement depending on the type of experiential campaign.
So, before you set out to plan the experiential campaign, sit down to brainstorm what you are trying to achieve with the campaign.
Once you have the clarity about your goals, you can set up the appropriate experiential marketing metrics or KPIs to track the performance of these goals.
Goals for your Experiential Marketing Event
Some of the common goals and related KPIs of an experiential marketing event could be:
Goal 1: Create Hype About Your New Product At The Launch Event
This is the most popular goal for which brands usually employ experiential marketing activities at their product launch events.
Getting the audience to try and experience the product rather than passively going through boring brochures surely leaves an impact. Traffic data collection and analysis with the following experiential marketing KPIs will help you measure the hype created by your event.
- Number of people who tried the demo or engaged with the activation
- Number of people who posted on social media about the product launch
- Number of people who signed up for your experiential marketing activation
Goal 2: Enhance The Brand Image And Recall Value
A well-executed experiential campaign always leads to a better brand perception and recall value among people. This may not directly result in sales.
However, if you manage to offer a personalized memorable experience to your audience through your event, chances are people might remember your product/brand when they actually need to buy a similar thing.
- Number of brand mentions on social media pre, during, and post event
- Number of website visits during the campaign
Goal 3: Generate New Leads For Your Business
An experiential event is the biggest opportunity for you and your sales team to generate leads. From the attendees of the event, you can make them sign up for your forms or email updates by collecting their details through basic lead capture technologies and tools such as mobile applications or scanning QR codes that lead to your landing pages.
All you need to do is to train your on-ground staff with the right skills and guidelines to engage the crowd at the event and make them participate in your campaign.
Some of the common KPIs related to this objective could be:
- Number of email - sign ups for your activation
- Number of people made direct inquiries with the on-spot sales representative
- Conversion ratio - people who signed-up or engaged with your brand/total attendance of the event
- Cost per lead acquisition
Goal 4: Sales Enablement
We say sales enablement as opposed to a direct increase in sales because it can be a tricky affair to set an exact number of sales as a direct result of your experiential event.
Unless it is an on-spot sale, it is much better to set an objective of sales enablement, i.e., helping your sales team to get acquainted with the users and make them try out your product or service at the event.
Common KPIs would involve:
- Number of people who tried samples
- Number of people who purchased on-spot
- Number of people who registered for free trials
Once you set goals and KPIs of your experiential event and have gathered the experiential marketing statistics from traffic data collection and analysis, consider the battle half-won because now you know how you'd measure your success and can modify your strategy and optimize your campaign effectively.
However, there are a few more things that you need to keep in mind while you measure the effectiveness of experiential marketing event.
Best Tips to Measure Experiential Marketing
i) Go through your past campaigns, if any, and analyze the performance and metrics used
It could be helpful to revisit the reports of your past campaigns before your next campaign. Not only will it help you set benchmarks but will also give you some clarity about which experiential marketing KPIs are relevant.
ii) Ensure that people in your organization or your client (if you are an agency) are clear on goals and KPIs
The biggest source of a headache for a brand manager is the lack of understanding among own organization about the purpose and goals of a particular campaign. Your marketing head may have an entirely different idea about the goals which could spell doom for you after the marketing event is over. So, make sure that everyone is on the same page in this regard.
iii) Get your database and system to record the performance of campaign ready in advance
Setting goals and KPIs for the experiential campaign is one thing. To record and organize all incoming data in a clean fashion is different and should be organized in advance.
Experiential marketing events could get very disconnected from your other marketing mediums. So, you must ensure that you connect your marketing dashboard well in advance and set up relevant metrics.
iv) Make sure that the on-ground team is aware of the KPIs of the campaign
Your on-ground team during the experiential event would be your primary asset to not only execute the campaign but also to record the right metrics.
So, ensure that they are on the same page about the objectives of the campaign so they can coordinate amongst themselves to keep a track of the campaign using right KPIs.
v) Focus on the quality of the data and avoid redundant, irrelevant metrics that don't add any value
This is the most important thing you can do to measure the ROI of an experiential campaign in an effective manner. Nothing can make you lose your mind than being among the scattered pile of irrelevant data after the campaign is over. Go back to your goal and KPI setting exercise at the beginning of this blog to ensure focus on quality.
To Sum Up:
Experiential marketing has emerged as an effective strategy for brands to stand out and strike an emotional connection with their customers.
This becomes particularly crucial in the age when traditional advertising channels are rapidly showing signs of decline with the evolution of ad-blockers, availability of information at finger-tips, smart buyers, decreasing attention span.
The modern customer wants a highly personalized, interactive, and contextual experience. They do not just want to buy your brand, they want to interact with and live the brand. And experiential marketing campaigns, when executed right, help you deliver that memorable experience to your visitors.
However, unless they are measured properly to track the return on marketing investment, it becomes another fancy marketing expenditure which may not go down too well with your senior executives.
So, ensure that you take proper steps to measure the effectiveness of your experiential marketing and prove its ROI for your business. After all, experiential is indeed the present and the future of marketing where all brands are vying to grab a share of their pie.