When we think of interactive marketing, we think of the sheer amount of creativity, imagination, and ingenuity that goes into it. No two interactive marketing campaigns are the same. But when it comes to quantifying success (and justifying a budget for future experiential endeavors) that would seem to create a hurdle. How can we know, for sure, how well something as big and as multifaceted as an interactive marketing campaign is working?
But if you think about it, experiential marketing actually provides opportunities to quantify ROI far beyond that of what was available to traditional advertisers in the past. Where once the advertising industry had to rely on techniques like making suppositions based on commercial viewer data and tying it to regional sales, these days brands interact with customers more directly than ever before. And because of that level of interactivity, you and your clients can get a better idea of what you’re getting out of all the effort, strategy, and resources you put into a given campaign.
These following tips will set you up to best harness all the information an interactive campaign can give you to determine the value of your client’s investment—and guide you to creating future campaigns that generate ever-more-impressive ROI.
Capture Conversion Data and Compare Them to Benchmarks
One of the most significant advantages that interactive marketing has when it comes to establishing ROI is that there is often a direct point of contact between the consumer and the brand. Whether it’s a touch screen that customers are asked to tap, an active box on a tablet into which they enter information, or an RFID-enabled auto sign-in at an exclusive event, the consumer is performing an action on a piece of technology that the brand facilitates. A digital interaction like that is something you can capture—and learn from.
So when you’re setting up an interactive campaign, always keep in mind the kind of data you’re going to harvest from the interaction. In the simplest terms: If you define a conversion as getting someone to press an on-screen button, and your campaign has resulted in more than the expected number of consumers hitting that button, you have demonstrated ROI. But no matter how complex the campaign is, you should be setting a benchmark, collecting the data from the point of interaction, and seeing how you fare.
Pay Attention to What Social Media Is Saying
In a relatively short period of time, social media has become a phenomenon that brands have to stay on top of—they can’t afford not to. What was once primarily used for friends and relatives to talk to each other has become fundamental to how customers communicate with brands. And so it’s a sure thing that if you’re running an interactive campaign, there will be a social media element.
It’s critical to do a social push, to encourage that increased level of interactivity. And as the social push unfolds, it’s important to get, analyze, and quantify all the raw numbers that social media makes available: the number of likes, number of shares, and so on. But the social element of an interactive campaign can’t be represented purely in numbers; it’s also about people talking to each other—and the content of what they are saying. Collecting the content of the comments, as much as the number of comments you’re getting, is an important part of determining ROI. You can see not just how much your investment is paying off, but how and why it is making your customers happy.
Keep Doing Analytics in the Campaign’s Aftermath
With both channels of communication that you own (like touch-screen interactions) and ones that you don’t (like social), you can learn a lot about the individuals who are interacting with your campaign. If a customer is brought on board by an interactive campaign, make a note of it. Your client can build a sustained relationship, target (appropriate) messaging through various venues, and collect data surrounding it. This will allow you to determine not just the short-term but also the long-term ROI of a given campaign. Immediate interactions with a single campaign are important—but customers becoming long-term brand loyalists well into the future is an even more critical, demonstrable form of ROI.