The A-Z of Experiential Marketing: R for ROI


6 tips for measuring the success of your engagement strategy


Accountability reigns supreme these days and Sir Alan Sugar is not the only boardroom baddie to have uttered those dreaded words, ‘You’re fired!’ in recent times. The world changed during the banking crisis of the noughties and now, more than ever, we have to be able to account for our actions in the workplace.

If that sounds too much like scaremongering, let’s flip it on its head. When you are responsible for a resounding success, you want to be able to shout about it and let other people give you a well-deserved pat on the back. Either way, evaluation is undoubtedly an essential and highly valuable part of any project.

But these are not the only reasons that we are devoting this article in our series the A-Z of Experiential Marketing to ROI. If you’ve followed the series you may have read our piece on hindsight that advocates the principle of learning from each and every experience to better your planning and improve your strategy in the longer term. Evaluating, analysing and learning for the future is a no-brainer.

So, here are our tips on ensuring that you maximize on the useful information that you can take out of any event to help you plan in the future.

Be crystal clear on your objectives

Knowing what you want to achieve at the outset is paramount to the success of any project – it goes without saying. But make sure that you can be very specific about desired outcomes. These then provide the key metrics for evaluation. In a consumer context, for instance, is product trial important to you, is your key objective a viral effect via social media or are you trying to change consumer perceptions of a brand or product. In a B2B context you may have less tangible metrics – the success of a brand engagement project, for instance, is entirely measurable but in a very different way.

Build in KPIs in the planning stage

Once you have set your key objectives it is important to agree on what success will mean. Will it be numbers of samples distributed, numbers of test drives achieved, YouTube hits, Facebook impressions etc. The list could go on but know what your KPIs are and what kind of numbers you want to achieve.

Get the methodology right

Remember also that it’s not always just about numbers. Some of the most meaningful feedback can be anecdotal and it is vitally important to know whether you are looking for quantitative or qualitative feedback. Often you may be looking for a combination of both; all the numbers in the world can make far more of an impression when accompanied by a killer quote or that timeless sound bite.

Even if the feedback that you are gathering is a simple case of digital hits, ensure that you are tracking them to maximize your information. Make sure that you can accurately map the journey that the consumer has taken to the desired engagement.

In all cases make sure that your methodology for data capture is relevant, audience friendly and easy-to-use.

Surveying your audience

If your evaluation relies on a survey make sure that you adhere to a couple of really basic rules.

1. Get the timing right – do you need to survey pre or post-engagement or both? Setting benchmarks before any activity can be a great idea to really evaluate results that are gained post. If you are surveying post engagement, don’t leave it too long.

2. Make it easy for your audience to respond – simple online surveys that take a couple of minutes to complete can create really useful information moving forwards. Decide on what you really want to learn, create a few simple questions, give easy options for answering and make access to the survey super-easy.

Social indicators

Social media is obviously a tool for spreading awareness, but it’s a gift when it comes to evaluation too. In order to use social indicators well, make sure that you are being realistic about your expectations. Where possible take a look at what similar campaigns have achieved in terms of numbers and remember that it is still the exceptions that manage to exceed many millions of hits or impressions. Set reasonable targets and know how many people you’d ideally like to reach.

Analyse and learn

Finally, it goes without saying that all of the above is tantamount to nothing if results are not analysed and actioned. Where could improvements be made? Can you build on any particular successes? What has come to light that you haven’t considered before, or didn’t regard as so important?

The proof is in the pudding and if you aren’t aware of what that pudding ultimately contains you won’t be able to keep making improvements. Experiential marketing is about making those key connections, engaging people with your idea, product or concept and allowing them to feel they ‘get’ your brand. With good reporting and sensible post campaign actions you will step ever closer to the coveted experiential sweet spot.

As we’ve said before, hindsight is a wonderful thing!

You may also be interested in:
Make the brand story the foundation of your content
8 questions we are most frequently asked
How to write a brief for an experiential marketing campaign
Communicating ‘that something new’
Fundamental marketing principles that will never be outmoded

Want to read more of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing posts? You can now download and keep A-N as a PDF ebook.

Or select another of the posts  from the on-going series to view online:

Audience | Brief | Content | Digital | Engagement | Fun

Global | Hindsight | Insight Journey | Knowledge | Logistics

Mobile | New | Old | Product Launch | Q&A | ROI | Social Media

Target Market | User Experience | Venues | Word of Mouth | X for X Factor | Y for Youth | Z for Zeitgeist



a-zilineupebookDownload our ebook!
You can now download the first part of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series as a ebook to keep for reference or read on the daily commute!
We are well on our way to Z, but in the meantime click here to get hold of the A-N ebook!

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