In the increasingly intense battlefield that is consumer marketing, experiential marketing is growing in popularity due to its ability to engage consumers in a memorable way and to build meaningful, long-lasting relationships between brands and consumers.
But with experiential marketing campaign’s cost per contact being far higher than any other advertising medium, agencies and clients alike are gradually growing concerned about whether their spend on experiential marketing campaigns can be justified. The key questions have become: “What value do experiential campaigns add to the brand?” and “How can this be measured?”
The debate about whether experiential marketing is measurable is an old favourite. The fact is that when planned and implemented effectively, experiential marketing is one of the most measurable media around. And the experiential marketing industry has worked its socks off proving ROI on their campaigns to justify being awarded larger parts of brands’ overall marketing budgets.
The point that is often missed in this context, however, lies in the preparation and strategy behind the experiential campaign and its measurement. Any successful measurement of experiential marketing relies heavily on three basic requirements that are often overlooked:
The formulation of clear objectives before campaign start:
This is the most fundamental part of campaign measurement anywhere and yet it is frequently ignored: Without formulating clear objectives outlining what the experiential marketing campaign is looking to achieve, it is impossible to measure how well it has achieved its goals afterwards.
The measurement of the experiential marketing campaign in two stages:
The first stage of measurement for an experiential marketing campaign should be the activity stage, where the immediate reach of the campaign is determined. How many people have participated in the campaign, taken a leaflet, spoke to a member of staff etc? The second stage of post-campaign-measurement is the effect stage, demonstrating the “extended reach” of the campaign: Have sales figures increased, have consumer attitudes changed, are people blogging about the product?
Properly enabled post-campaign-measurement:
Agencies cannot evaluate the effects of their campaigns without key information that is only accessible by their client. In order to achieve accurate post-campaign measurements, clients need to share their research that shows propensity to purchase following campaign activities (e.g. sampling of a product) so agencies can project life time values and returns from the campaign.
It is only once these rudiments have been established and incorporated that the successful measurement of an experiential marketing campaign becomes possible. And it wouldn’t be surprising if it turned out that many experiential campaigns claimed to be un-measurable failed on at least one of these counts.
Written by Miriam Kuhn, Marketing Coordinator