Before launching any kind of experiential marketing program, almost all our potential clients ask us how we measure their ROI. Usually, the question behind the question is, “Are you going to help me grow enough to offset the cost of the activation?”
The ROI on experiential marketing campaigns is notoriously difficult to measure. However, with a well-planned strategy and top-notch execution, you can tilt the odds of a successful event in your favor.
Here are a few things you’ll want to get right to maximize the ROI of your events:
1. The Event Location
Location, location, location. Bottom line – if you don’t have anyone to engage with, you won’t see an ROI. Selecting the right location, the right event or retailer, is the single most important factor in determining the ROI of your activation. Take a look at the overall traffic and the demographics of the event. Do these line up with your expectations? Do the attendees look like your target demographic?
2. The Location within the Location
Once you determine which event or retailer you are partnering with, it’s important you find the best place for your table or tent. Even if there’s a lot of traffic at the event itself, if you are in the very back corner, you’re not likely to get much traffic at your specific booth or table. Think about the traffic flow of the venue and the type of activation you are running to determine where the best placement will be for your activation.
3. The Competition
Check to see if the retailer or event allows competing products. Depending on the traffic you’re expecting, this may be a dealbreaker. For example, if there are 4 sports drink brands at a marathon expo, with an expected attendance of 100,000 people, that’s probably doable. But if there are the same number at a 5k packet pickup estimating 1,000 attendees, we would recommend passing on that event.
4. The Hook
What is going to make someone stop at your booth or table? This is your hook. The bigger the event, the bigger your hook will need to be to stand out. For retail demos, product sampling is likely enough to get your target consumer to stop and engage. But at a music festival, you’re going to need something flashier, maybe a pedicab ride or a free mobile charger to take into the venue.
5. The Team
You could have the best location and the best plan, but if your brand ambassadors are not engaging, your event is guaranteed to fall flat. Spend time finding people with the passion and personality to represent your brand in the field. Then, provide them the education they need to speak intelligently about your brand. The balance of passion, personality, and education is a winner every time.
Experiential marketing events have a higher cost per engagement than digital campaigns. But there’s no replacing the face-to-face connection with consumers.
Are there any aspects on the list above you find difficult when planning your experiential marketing events?