It’s a new marketing world out there. But even as we’ve moved from the days when crafty taglines and product placement were the most important tools in an agency’s tool belt to a world that demands advertising be high-tech, immersive, experiential, and social, one thing remains consistent. Advertisers and their clients want to be able to determine how well—or even if—their campaigns are working.
If you’re building out and launching an experiential marketing campaign for a client, no matter how big or how small, whether it’s built around in-aisle technology or it’s a building-sized installation, staying on top of these following tips will let you better measure what’s working and what isn’t, setting you up both to justify future experiential campaigns and to know how to make them successful.
Track and Analyze Interaction Data
Traditional advertising hasn’t always lent itself to easily determining which message is driving which customer behavior. But one of the big upsides to experiential marketing taking us far beyond tools like the simple billboard or the one-way commercial is that it allows for consumers to physically interact with brands and lets brands collect robust data on the interactions. Tools like touch screens—while they serve the primary purpose of creating a memorable interaction with a brand—can also capture robust data about that interaction on the back end.
Identifying what type of conversion you are looking for out of a customer and then running analytics on the data collected from the point of interaction to see how many conversions happened and under what circumstances can take you far in understanding if a given campaign was a success.
Watch, Quantify, and Qualify Social Chatter
Social media outlets are one of the prime ways that customers communicate, and so it’s not just important for marketers to pay attention to the buzz that they’ve managed to spark online anymore—it’s necessary.
The particular social media channels in which your experiential campaign is catching on in can tell you a great deal about who is looking at your client’s brand even before you dig deeper into demographics. If your campaign is being Snapchatted, that tells you something different from if it’s garnering “likes” on Facebook. But while looking at shares, likes, pins, and what have you is important, it’s equally important to drill down and see what people are actually saying about the campaign. Understand what the numbers are telling you, but also understand what the people are telling you in their own voices.
Determine how and why you’ve wowed a particular customer segment and then look at its size and importance relative to your client’s brand. This will let you call a definitive success when you see it. Not to mention, embedded in those comments might be some sage wisdom about your client’s customers’ mindsets and what it is about an experiential campaign that’s clicking with them.
Look for (and Measure) the Sustained Impact
Drawing customers’ eyes to a brand with a wow factor is, of course, one thing that an experiential marketing campaign can do incredibly well. But an experience that grabs people in the moment but that they then walk away from isn’t necessarily a success. Experiential marketing should be about more than just making a flashy first impression—it should cultivate that impression into sustained brand loyalty, keeping new customers coming back to the brand and even turning them into brand evangelists.
How can you measure that? When you’re setting up an experience, don’t just think of immediate conversions—think of, and set yourself up to measure, interactions far into the future. If the marketing campaign results in a sales bump, don’t stop paying attention there—keep logging customer interactions, looking at the numbers, and paying attention to what those customers whom the campaign brought aboard are doing.