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Julia Manoukian


May 10, 2018

How Top Brands Use Actionable Metrics To Gather Data On Customer Behavior

Julia Manoukian

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Still wasting your time with vanity metrics? Analytics like page views, registered users and downloads are useless — they tell you very little, if nothing, about your marketing campaigns. Concentrate, instead, on actionable metrics: data that provides you with intelligence about customer behaviors before, during and after experiential events.

In a recent webinar, chaired by Russ Armstrong, the co-founder and CFO of Limelight, two marketing experts highlighted three global brands that went beyond vanity metrics to drive their experiential marketing campaigns. These companies captured contextual and quantifiable data and tied it to their marketing stack for deeper insights. Now you can do the same.

1. Boeing

Multinational aerospace and defense corporation Boeing recently unveiled its 747-8 aircraft at a live event attended by more than 10,000 stakeholders, media representatives and employees. The goal? To position the plane as the must-have intercontinental jet airliner in the world. Chicago-based experience agency agencyEA handled all the aspects of the big reveal, which was live-streamed around the world, including logistics, video production and vendor management.

"We created a 61-by-225-foot kabuki drape to unveil, what was at the time, the largest commercial aircraft in the United States," says Rick Cosgrove, executive creative director at agencyEA. "Although Guinness World Records wasn't there, we were told this was the largest kabuki drop in the world, which was pretty awesome."

"We delivered the unexpected," says Claire Holland, director of marketing at agencyEA. "It's so important for brands in the live event space to give their audiences something that's a surprise. What's going to incentivize people to talk about the experience and share it?"

The campaign was a huge success. Boeing has since received 51 orders for the 747-8, which totals more than $15 billion in revenue, according to Holland. Plus, the launch reached an additional 140,000 customers through social media. The company was able to measure the success of the event with contextual data captured from every element of the live experience.

With the right tools, you can achieve the same. Quantifiable, actionable metrics let you measure ROI and link data to your customer relationship management (CRM) system so you can improve sales results and lead generation techniques.

2. QuickBooks

In 2014, accounting software company QuickBooks launched Connect, a multi-day experiential event that brings together small business owners, accountants and developers in one place. agencyEA catered to all three groups on an individual level and provided opportunities for them to come together and network. "We focused on data," says Cosgrove.

agencyEA collected data about attendees before the event and developed campaigns that addressed their pain points. Then, during the event itself, the company implemented NFC technology to find out which booths and sessions guests visited.

"We could make real-time adjustments to the event based on data and things that were happening on site," says Holland. "Collecting data in all its different forms is really important for building smarter, better experiential programs."

"We tried to cater specific tracks based on the groups that were actually attending Connect," adds Cosgrove.

When Connect finished, agencyEA extended the shelf life of the event by taking it to other cities. They were able to produce valuable data about content usage, session attendance and sponsor interactions. The entire campaign generated a 91 percent adoption rate of the event's mobile app and an 81 percent usage rate of the event website's custom agenda building feature.

How can you replicate the success of the QuickBooks Connect and agencyEA campaign? Use actionable metrics when you plan your next experiential event. The right data maximizes analytic capabilities, tracks consumer interactions and extends the life of your activations — things vanity metrics just can't do.

3. Clif

agencyEA also worked with food and drinks brand Clif to optimize their experiential campaigns and generate more insightful data about their live events. At the 2017 Pitchfork Music Festival, agencyEA focused on Clif's sustainability efforts with interactive activations that resonated with event attendees. Visitors could play games like giant Connect 4 and Jenga, which were made with reclaimed materials, and get tattoos with semi-permanent organic ink. It was a campaign with a conscience.

"Today's consumers prioritize and value brands that show a commitment to a cause in a meaningful way," says Holland. "Everything Clif did through this interaction reflected their commitment to sustainability. We're seeing many brands reinforce the causes they are championing."

The campaign worked. On average, festival goers engaged with the Clif booth for twice as long as other sponsor booths, and one in 20 social media posts that included the tag #Pitchforkfest featured the Clif activation. In addition, Clif distributed 26,000 energy bars. They discovered this information with actionable analytics — metrics that provided them with insights during and after their live event.

You can also optimize event measurement during your next experiential campaign. The right digital tools let you track key performance indicators like social sentiment for better engagement. Plus, like Clif, you can focus on different types of experiences that reflect the values of you and your brand partners and measure all of your interactions with greater clarity.

Boeing, QuickBooks and Clif are three brands that shunned vanity metrics and went one step and beyond when it came to event measurement. With actionable analytics, these companies monitored interactions and activations, tracked ROI and moved customers through the sales funnel. Now it's your turn to do the same.

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