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It's impossible to measure event ROI, right? Wrong. Now, there are a whole host of metrics that provide you with real-time insights into every aspect of your marketing event, from the planning stage right through to the end of the sales cycle. With these metrics, you can determine experiential and event marketing ROI. But wait! Before you start, there are a few things that you really need to know.
One of the biggest misconceptions about measuring event ROI is that it's just too difficult -- and costly.
This couldn't be further from the truth. Tracking event success doesn't involve expensive software or lots of manual work. In fact, all you need is a reliable way to get excellent insights. This could be a CRM, software, or even configuring settings within your POS system.
If it's something you haven't tried yet, now's a good time to get on board.
When you measure event ROI, you can discover how many people attend your events, what visitors and the media really think about your event and how this all converts into cold, hard sales.
Wrapping your head around a single system is essential. This foundational tech element will help you track everything you need in one place, saving you time and hassle. This means you can track registration, communications, brand awareness and attendance without having to rely on multiple programs.
Plus, you will only have to deal with one software vendor, instead of multiple companies. Sounds pretty good, right?
All-in-one systems are a lot cheaper, too.
"You can manage everything you could dream of, all in the same software with a single click of the mouse," says Robert Cordray, writing for IT Business. "Many businesses have now made the switch to these programs. Benefits include saving money by using a one-stop solution and team members having less stress and your documents will be more organized."
Using a single system for event ROI just makes sense. You won't have to train your marketing team to use multiple programs and IT teams will no longer need to install and manage several applications. Plus, research shows that an integrated system boosts sales productivity by 12.5 percent and increases inventory by 50 percent.
"If you choose to implement different and segregated software systems, this can sometimes lead to fragmentized information and integration issues," notes Digital Edge.
"So choosing complete business software solutions help you avoid inefficiencies and integration challenges in the future."
Measuring event ROI isn't just about the right software.
You need to choose the best key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can track your experiential marketing campaigns properly.
Ask yourself what you want to measure. Event attendance? Customer perception? Conversions? Website impressions? All of the above? Define a measurement strategy that will provide you with the information you will ever need.
"Measuring success can often be challenging in experiential marketing, but it’s vital to lay out clear goals prior to any campaign so that you can take a step back and see what worked… and what could be improved upon," says Josh Harrold, Senior Experiential Marketing Manager, Plenty.
Don't try to measure every single metric, though. Stick to the KPIs that best reflect your marketing goals.
Keep in mind that spikes in sales, event interactions and numbers of impressions are strong universal indicators of success.
There is no silver bullet for measuring event ROI, but using a single platform and choosing the right KPIs will go a long way.
You need to start somewhere, so start with the basics. Simple surveys, for example, will provide you with accurate insights into what event visitors think about your products and services.
Alternatively, mobile apps will let you interact with customers through their smartphones and tablets long after an event has finished. This way, you can track engagement throughout the entire sales cycle.
Finally, measuring social media activity will let you know what event visitors are really saying about you online. Collect this information and share it with your clients or use the data to tweak future marketing campaigns.
"If developing more robust or expansive social media engagement is one of your goals, this data is key," says Event Pro Strategies. "This information is also perfect for crafting post-event content that is most relevant to an audience."
Just because you've used a particular piece of software in the past, it doesn't mean you'll have an advantage when it comes to measuring event ROI.
While customer relationship management systems like Marketo, ExactTarget and Salesforce let marketers view consumer information and access analytics, you don't need knowledge of these programs to excel at experiential marketing analysis.
If you're a beginner, make sure you measure the success of your next event. Who knows, it could provide you with insightful information that transforms your business.
Want to measure event ROI but don't know where to start? Follow the tactics in this article for more accurate insights into your next trade show, exhibition, in-store promotion or brand activation.
With a little practice, you'll soon become a master of metrics!
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