Event marketing is a powerful tool that connects brands with consumers to build lasting, meaningful relationships, increase revenue, and generate leads. But, it’s no secret that events can make up a good portion of your marketing budget, and planning them takes a lot of time. So naturally, event marketers want to find the metrics to prove the value of their efforts.
In the era of big data, it has never been more important to use metrics to back-up your investment. The problem is, many people become so focused on achieving short-term gains that they lose sight of the long-term value of event marketing.
And the long-term value is huge; according to Event Success Formula, experiential marketing events are the most effective marketing channel for successful organizations.
The key is learning to balance both your long-term and short-term event marketing strategies. To understand what you need to focus on now, there needs to be a broader understanding of what gains will be seen in the future.
Many people see events as one-off initiatives that don’t necessarily fit in with a broader marketing plan. But event marketing should be included in both short- and long-term goal setting.
There are always tangible benefits with any marketing strategy, such as new customer acquisition and total revenue earned. But there are a number of intangible benefits to event marketing as well.
Here are 4 intangible benefits of an event marketing strategy. These demonstrate why we should shift our perspective from an event as a singular campaign to experiential marketing as part of a long-term marketing practice.
When you market your products online, you compete with dozens of other companies that are selling the exact same thing. It is also challenging to develop a tangible brand image when you are limited behind a screen. Events allow your customers to experience your brand and your products in person, which is especially beneficial if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar presence.
This allows your brand to stand out in a way that cannot be accomplished online. And even if you don’t make an immediate sale, your audience will remember your brand and have an increased positive view of the company because you offered them a unique experience.
With experiential marketing, not only can your customers interact with your product in person, you can receive immediate feedback from them. This can be highly valuable as it relates to new products and services.
This gives you the rate opportunity to answer individual consumer questions and dispel concerns. But most importantly, it gives your team insight into ways you can improve your product or service offerings in the future – before a large-scale launch.
Many people see event marketing and social media marketing as two separate things. However, the two disciplines are intrinsically linked. In many ways, you can argue one isn’t complete without the other.
Research shows that events are nothing short of content creation factories. According to the 2016 Event Track yearly report, “nearly all consumers (98%) create or capture some type of content at events and experiences – and all consumers (100%) that create content, then share it.” This word-of-mouth advertising is immensely powerful in terms of influencing consumer behavior. It also immortalizes your event and gives it selling power beyond the actual footprint. And that ROI continues to grow well after the conclusion of the event itself.
Brand activations let consumers engage with your brand in person, and often they are trying or interacting with your product or services. This provides brands with a tremendous opportunity in terms of capturing data at multiple touch points. Rather than depend on feedback surveys and other traditional mechanisms, events give brands face-time with consumers that is invaluable and authentic.
Event marketing is a long-term strategy, and you need to track and measure your success at each event. But it’s hard to measure campaign goals; how do you assign data points to brand recognition or face-to-face contact?
Here are five ways you can measure the ROI of your event marketing strategy. Of course, this is an incomplete list and there are many other KPI’s you could consider depending on your goals.
After your event, it’s important to measure how many people registered for the event and also how many people actually checked in. If there is a large discrepancy between these two numbers it can reveal something about your strategy leading up to the event.
Why did you lose so many people between the registration and the day of the event? Understanding this can help you improve your planning and attendance for future events.
By embedding a consumer feedback mechanism into your event, you can measure the level of engagement from your attendees in a way that is seamless for them. They can also help you improve for future events. Incorporating gamification, for example, is a great way to encourage feedback in a way that provides the attendees with meaningful brand engagement and entertainment.
Track social media mentions, including the use of your event name, hashtag, and company. Tracking the social media mentions will help you understand how well you incorporated social media into your event.
Social media engagement is slightly different from mentions; this is when someone likes or shares a post. This can give insight into which aspects of your event resonated with your attendees the most.
And to increase social engagement, make sure you are encouraging attendees to create content, especially photo and video. Event Track 2017 reports that “over two-thirds of consumers say watching branded experience videos make them more likely to purchase the brand as a result.” So, continue to execute events, have your attendees and marketing team capture them on video, and share them with the world. The data show that you will be financially rewarded.
One of the best ways to track revenue generation from an event is to provide attendees with a digital offer promotion. In tracking redemptions, you can determine how attractive the offer was, as well as get a snapshot of sales related to the event. It’s also an environmentally- and user-friendly way to distribute an offer.
Despite the many intangible benefits to brand activations, increasing sales and generating revenue is the name of the game. That is why some professional services brands (and others), such as healthcare and insurance, are tying lead generation to experiential marketing campaigns.
When you track event ROI, look at the following:
Marketing events can drive both immediate and long-term sales, but companies might need to be patient as they wait for those results to roll in. By incorporating lead generation, you are amplifying event ROI and giving your sales team an actionable tool to generate additional earnings.
Defining, tracking, and measuring the success of each event is important, no matter what goals you set for your event. Make sure your event KPI’s are specific, achievable, and measurable. Consider setting short-term KPIs, like lead generation, as well as long-term KPIs, like social media amplification and increased sales. This will allow you shift your perspective on event value and to continue to improve your event marketing strategy in the future.