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What matters is what’s measured. Even though there tends to be a great deal of subjectivity around measuring the success of live events, such as determining customer goodwill, audience vibe, mindshare, etc., in the end, working with hard data is the best path to improving your effectiveness.
There's not a single perfect answer to what you want to measure. Different groups in your organization will want answers to different kinds of questions. Presenting the right answers to the right groups will simplify planning for your next event.
What metrics will you use to measure the performance of your next experiential/in-person marketing event? How does it all translate to revenue?
We’ve put together some of the top Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) preferred by leading experiential marketers, broken dole by the role.
These KPIs will help you answer the hardest, most significant question of all: Was it all worth it in the end?
ROI – Finance-minded execs normally want to quantify everything in terms of return on investment (ROI). Traditionally, marketing campaigns were hard to measure that way because the path to purchase includes many touchpoints.
Mindshare and engagement are still difficult to read, even by counting clicks and tracking visual heatmaps. KPIs that can help execs put a dollar value on initiatives include:
When Producer at Trademark Event Productions Wendy Cook covered The Event Measurement and Data University talk at least year's Experiential Marketing Summit, she reported for brands not to forget brand advocacy, "or how likely they are to recommend you to another colleague, as well as cost avoidance, such as including a sales meeting as part of a user conference to make more efficient use of sales & marketing budgets."
If marketers truly want to calculate ROI, they'll need to take it a step further. With new digital technology, it is possible to track engagement in real time and determine the return on investment each event brings in. In order to determine an ROI baseline, experiential marketers need two things:
Then create a baseline by measuring the following:
Impressions are not ROI! To calculate true ROI for the C-Suite, you need two systems in place.
When making presentations to the VP of Marketing, you don’t have to worry about justifying the value of what you do generally. All you have to do is demonstrate the comparative success of individual campaigns. Your goto KPIs for the VP level:
User generated content (USG), especially social video, can be repurposed many times for webinars, commercials, testimonials, and future promotions.
When you are reviewing results with other team members and preparing for your next big event, you can dive much deeper into the data. Review KPIs like:
Less tactical data that can be shared with your team internally:
A good way to determine how happy event attendees were is by interviewing staff. Measuring how well their interactions went is an indication of positive brand lift.
Every company must craft its own cocktail of critical KPIs based on their strategic goals. These may be very different from what you are used to measuring for online initiatives. For all face-to-face marketing events, including experiential marketing, sampling, test drives, sponsorships, events, kiosks, tradeshows, etc., your central concern should be customer experience. Online, you are primarily looking for traffic and time on page, while KPIs for live events should revolve around measuring how positive the experience was for attendees.
Look at events from the customer’s point of view. They don’t really care about how profitable the event was. They want to know that they will have a good time the next time you sponsor an event. Pay special attention to all KPIs that indicate customer sentiment, such as net promoter score (NPS), referral rates and first visit growth. These impact the social value of attending your events, aka bragging rights. When prospects see their own social lift just from mentioning your events, you know you’re on the right track.
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