Julia Manoukian

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April 11, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Improving Results for Experiential Marketing

Julia Manoukian

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Calling all marketing experts! Experiential creates a stronger bond with consumers than any other marketing method. It's all about experiences — making customers feel that certain something.

Remember your first kiss? Or the first car you bought? How did these experiences make you feel? What emotions did you experience? Fear? Joy? Surprise? Anticipation?

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.

Imagine you could replicate these feelings in your marketing campaigns. Imagine creating a sense of awe or intrigue or bliss.

With experiential marketing, you can.

Experiential marketing's giving consumers all kind of feels —and there's research to back this up.

  • 98 percent of customers are more inclined to make a purchase after an experience.
  • 65 percent of you marketers see direct sales boosts from experiential.
  • Customers who undergo an experience tell, on average, 17 other people about it.

This guide will help you and your agency partners monitor your killer experiential campaigns. Find out why data is critical, how to measure ROI properly and more.

What is Experiential Marketing?

Think about the last great experience you had. Perhaps it was a vacation or a wedding or a music concert. How many people did you tell about it? How many people asked you about it?

With experiential, you create memorable experiences for other people. You make customers feel just like you did when you had your first crush or received your first-ever paycheck. You recreate all those feelings that come with life's greatest moments — those Christmas morning, butterflies-in-the-stomach kinda feelings.

You and your agency partners can center an experience around an existing event — a music festival, a trade show, a sports game — or you can create your own. Then, measure your campaign properly. It's the only way you know if you're doing things properly.

Here are seven reasons why you need to measure experiential ROI:

  1. Find out about sales and leads.
  2. Discover target specific, high-value segments.
  3. Improve brand loyalty.
  4. Move more customers through your marketing funnel.
  5. Increase brand awareness on social media.
  6. Engage with customers one-on-one, face-to-face..
  7. Attract influencers and generate media buzz.

"In principle, measuring return on experience isn’t all that complicated," says Meta S. Brown, writing for Forbes magazine. "Define the goals at the start of the marketing campaign, set success criteria, execute the campaign, measure and assess results. Simple, right? Well, no, of course not."

Experiential Marketing — It's a Challenge

Experiential just doesn't work for everyone. Some brands just can't wrap their heads around it. Others are doing it all wrong.

Here's something that might surprise you. Just one in five marketers can tie revenue to live events. That's pretty feeble.

As a leader, you can't manage what you can't measure. How are you supposed to know which experiences to double down on, which ones to refine, and how to report your impact on the bottom line?

The result often translates to your team creating events that gets the media buzzing and customers opening their wallets. Which isn't terrible—but, ask yourself, if you can't accurately measure experiential marketing's impact on bottom line, what's the point?

The problem is that starts with confidence, and ends with better data, measurement and analytics.

Sixty percent of marketers are confident when it comes to increasing the awareness of a brand, but are not so confident in their ability to measure leads, event attendees and pipeline creation.

And, believe it or not, in some ways, technology is making everything harder. There are way too many tools for measuring events. And often, there's way too much data that marketers don't use or can't access. (Marketers analyze and use just 0.5 percent of all data).

It's difficult to measure every single activation. It's even harder to tie everything all together and gain real insights. It's no wonder, then, that marketers are confused.

But, despite its drawbacks, data is critical to campaign measurement. Without it, you can't find out what consumers really think about your event. You can't track event attendees as they progress through the marketing pipeline. And you'll never know which leads convert into bona fide customers

When it comes to ROI measurement, data is complex and complicated. But it's the only way you can gauge the success your campaigns. You can't live with it, and you can't live without it.

You're between a rock and a hard place here.

So, What are Your Options?

You can do one of two things.

You can continue with the way things are now — using poor quality data and a handful of tools to measure experiential campaign performance, engagement and effectiveness.

Or, you can try something different.

What about building an in-house solution? You can measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) that you want to measure, instead of having to navigate through all the fluff that comes with off-the-shelf software. This lets you measure real metrics — you know, metrics that actually provide you with value — like customer acquisition cost (CAC), customer retention rate and projected value in the pipeline (VP).

Alternatively, choose a platform that's designed for live marketing — a program that lets you build digital touchpoints for every activation, tracks consumer engagement on one dashboard and actively measures ROI.

This way, you won't have to rely on several systems. Everything you need is in one place — sounds much better, right? As a result, you can focus on active data capture and not just vanity metrics that provide you with vague "insights."

Aside from tech, create new collaboration strategies with your agency partners, train your staff how to measure ROI properly, focus just as much on measurement as you do with event planning.

Tie all of this together, and you're onto a winner. You still get to create all those amazing experiences for your consumers. Only this time, you actually know if they're working or not.

Experiential marketing lets you create one-of-a-kind experiences that evoke strong emotions in your consumers. Make sure you measure your campaigns properly, though. Software and other solutions will provide you with greater insights into your campaigns so you can measure your gains and losses.

Prove & Improve Experiential Marketing ROI eBook 

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