Julia Manoukian

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January 7, 2019

Beyond Experiential Marketing Technology: A Strategy for Success [Part 2/2]

Julia Manoukian

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There is no silver bullet for success. If you want to improve the consumer experience and the results from your experiential marketing programs, you need a strategy for success.

In our last blog, we talked about assessing your current state, ensuring stakeholder buy-in, creating personas and charting a journey map. In this blog, we'll close the loop and walk you through how to identify "moments that matter," set up the right KPIs and tie sales back to unique events.

Without effective data capture, your company could be lagging behind. Watch  our latest webinar, "Event & Experiential Trends in 2018: What Consumer Experts  Are Saying," and learn what major brands are doing to drive engagement and lift  sales.

4) Identify Moments That Matter & Opportunities for Experiential

Successful teams have found that there are certain moments that really matter in terms of making a buying decision within their journey. Those are the moments when the customer finds something in a brand that engages them beyond any others and guides the next stage in the journey.

In some cases, and as you can see on the next page, those moments coincide with pain points like the mental strain of concentration, the anxiety of giving up control over finances or the buyer’s remorse.

Some of the opportunities may be visible just by mapping all the current journeys customers can follow across all channels and displaying them together.

The goal of a customer-centric marketing team is to minimize pain points and try to control perception around moments that matter. For example, if a consumer really doesn’t want to go to a dealership, experiential marketing events or virtual reality programs can bring the dealership to the customer on their own terms.

Again, building a more consumer-centric strategy for businesses requires a new way of thinking about the marketing funnel. This starts with understanding customers, mapping their journey, pain points and the moments that matter. Choosing the right channels to deliver your message comes second.

As we can see in this example, Cadillac identified a large number of opportunities for experiential, marked by the dotted orange line. By identifying pain points with moments that matter and easing them with experiential, Cadillac has reduced friction in the consumer journey, and helped elevate the overall experience of purchasing a vehicle.

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5) What A Successful Experiential Marketing Activation Looks Like

Let's take a closer look at what one of these experiential activations looks like. Properly segmenting your audience will ensure that from the very first touchpoint, they are given a personalized journey tailored to their needs.

The level of personalization increases based on the more data collected, allowing consumers to essentially "choose their own adventure" until a purchase is made. But the experience doesn't stop there—even post-purchase, consumers will be sent personalized VIP events, special promotions and other offers to retain them for life.

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6) Set Up Experiential Objectives & KPIs In Alignment With Customer Journey

Now that you’ve revisited your customer journey, you can set up experiential objectives to align with key moments that matter. To ensure consistency between objectives and KPIs, standardize experiential metrics across all activations, and translate those metrics and map them to different phases of the customer lifecycle.

Standardized data sets include ratios that help paint a picture of the consumer across different variables. You can use these data sets across any experiential campaign type—test drives, auto shows, contests, etc. The most common set of standardized data sets we see with our OEM clients include:

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According to Forrester, “By attributing these metrics to discover, explore, and buy and adjusting key performance indicators (KPIs) as the target consumer moves across the life cycle,” you get a better view of their effectiveness to reach and convert customers at a specific point in the brand journey. You then get to see the impact of experiential not only within the offline channel, but across the omnichannel view.

7) Build Analytic Capabilities: Experiential As Part Of Your 360-Degree View of The Customer

Such a data-driven approach for experiential enables any activation—including its active and passive data capture elements, from VR to AR, beacon technology to face detection—to translate into a quantifiable and standardized metric to illustrate its impact within the larger customer journey.

Using metadata from thousands of activations for Fortune 500 companies across industries and event types, as well as industry benchmarks from Mosaic, Salesforce and HubSpot, we’ve compiled 8 steps you need measure the impact of any campaign. Note this process assumes you have a CRM system in place.

  1. Identify main objective: data capture, conversion, revenue lift
  2. Define KPIs given your standardized data set
  3. Configure your CRM to accommodate metrics in standardized data set
  4. Invest in experiential technology to capture engagement at offline event
  5. Sync experiential technology with CRM system
  6. Tag sales/leads/consumers directly to their original event source
  7. Determine source of sale or engagement: test drive, auto show, contest, etc.
  8. Bonus: Find baseline ROI = sales/ cost of event

Adopting a true omnichannel approach to experiential means having a comprehensive understanding of how consumers experience, engage and view of your brand. This means keeping a flexible mindset when it comes to attribution and measurement to ensure your team is constantly testing, learning, measuring and optimizing towards the best KPIs.

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