The goal of qualitative measurement, while not as statistically significant as quantitative tactics, is to assess event performance by obtaining unaided, firsthand consumer reactions, impressions and perceptions relative to the event experience. This information gives marketers an in-depth and unfiltered evaluation of how the audience received an event. A few methodologies to capture this data include: In-person interviews/intercepts In-person interviews can be used to measure the immediate effectiveness of the event and provide insight on things like: what brought consumers to the event, their initial impression/perception of the event and what was most memorable about the event. Social Media Conversation Monitoring An effective way to measure consumer sentiment and perception of an event is to monitor the social conversations that arise. Marketers can now follow and track event related content posted by consumers by utilizing hashtags, Google alerts, and social media monitoring applications (see a comprehensive list of social media monitoring tools in this article by Pam Dyer on social media today), giving brands the opportunity to listen to what consumers are saying in real time. Monitoring event specific social content will give you an unfiltered look at consumer attitudes toward an event as well as valuable insights on what did or didn't resonate with them. Don't be afraid to engage further in conversation with targeted consumers, the greatest thing about social media is the ability to interact with your consumers. Event observation/Interaction Observe and experience the event for yourself or with your team. Engage with the brands activations as if you were a consumer, interact with staff, demo the new products, ask questions and use the technology. The knowledge and insights you and your staff gather from observing and interacting will give you a solid understanding of the event experience and strong basis to analyze all of your additional event metrics. Things to remember The goal of measuring any event is to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the event based on your marketing objectives and uncover actionable insights to help drive future event strategy. A good measurement strategy begins with clearly defined objectives and leverages a combination of methods to effectively measure the event success.
Any true quantitative approach requires a large collection of relevant data points which can then be leveraged strategically and potentially statistically in order to create actionable insights. In the case of event marketing, a strategic approach is required. Data must be collected from numerous sources across many events throughout the year and beyond in order for it to be actionable. These data points should come from a combination of sources: Pre-Post Surveys The most obvious is the event survey. If the survey questions are structured strategically, they can be used to collect important quantitative data. Questions that measure brand health, recall, purchase intent, attitudes and impact can be merged with other data sets to create an actionable database. RFID Tracking/Check-in RFID codes as well as check in points can quantify attendees at certain areas of an event. Other tracking tools such as multi environment tracking in Google Universal Analytics (in which you map offline actions into various Google Analytic fields) can also be implemented. The task of introducing and implementing RFID codes and Google Universal Analytics for offline events is not easy and can be expensive, but the data may be invaluable. Social Media and Web Analytics Measuring social media and web metrics such as 'likes'?, 'follows'?, 'shares'? and 'retweets'? as well as website traffic, bounce rates, content popularity and online download rates are a quick and effective way to quantify things such as lift and increased engagement, potentially attributed to the event activation. Data Analysis Once data from the actual event is collected, quantitative researchers can then layer on data from other sources, such as website and sales data, to begin to determine relationships through attribution and predictive modeling techniques. Depending on the validity and robustness of the data set, researchers can use these advanced statistical concepts to not only determine that an event was successful in terms of its impact on sales but also how each part of that event contributed to that success. This information can then be used to optimize future events. Stayed tuned for part 3 of the series on event measurement tips and tricks, in which we will discuss a tactical approach to obtaining qualitative insights from your brand's event.
We can all agree that with the planning, logistics and costs that go into executing a brand event, it's essential that you have a measurement strategy in place to help gauge the success and effectiveness of your event marketing efforts. That said, measuring events can often be a complicated assignment when trying to determine just what to measure and how best to measure it. Don't fret though, there are a few best practices you can follow to help in the development of your measurement strategy to ultimately provide you with the metrics and insights you need to accurately evaluate your event. Define your objectives Since there is no industry "standard" on what indices should be measured at an event and different types of events support different objectives, it's up to you to develop a measurement plan that accurately assesses the success of your unique event. The first step to developing this plan is defining the objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, if one of your objectives is to raise awareness for a product, KPIs may include product trial rate, number of impressions generated and increased product awareness metrics. Additionally if another one of your objectives is to increase brand affinity, your KPIs may include delivering a 'memorable experience'? and establishing a trending topic on social media, all of which can be measured through a variety of methods. Objectives and KPIs can be fairly straightforward, but you will want to include all key stakeholders in establishing them. It's important to have everyone involved and in agreement with the objectives before you can begin to build out a measurement strategy. Gaining alignment will help eliminate any misunderstanding of the purpose of the event ahead of time. Develop tactics to effectively measure success against each objective Now that you know what success looks like, you can effectively develop a measurement plan to evaluate your marketing efforts. At AMP, we measure our events on both a quantitative and qualitative basis. Within these two options are multiple tactics. In our next two blog posts, we will discuss a few tactics to consider when developing a measurement plan. Keep in mind that there is not one 'correct'? method to measure against your event objectives, only methods that will give you actionable information that you can continue to plan against. What are some of the objectives you have for your next event?
For years brands have been using registration systems with opt-in options to receive additional information as pre-requisites to participate in both on- and off-line activities. The goal was to use the information acquired during registration to follow-up with consumers post-activity about the brand's products or services. The information gathered through this process is very helpful and beneficial to brands; however, it also can be flawed. The two major issues facing this type of consumer data collection technology are that consumers tend to fill in false or the bare minimum amount of information. Even if consumers do fill out the registration thoroughly and opt-in for additional information, the actual consumer behavior and trends that a brand is able to interpret out of the brief interaction is very minimal. The U.S. Army and Air Force were running into these same issues, so they decided to turn to their respective experiential marketing agencies to help them better gain information about consumers for more quality interactions post events. The solution was the use of RFID location tracking cards. As consumers came to participate at event areas for both military arms at malls and other event locations, they were handed RFID cards or wristbands. The participants were then allowed to partake in a combination of different games and engagements in the event space designed to replicate fun and exciting activities performed as part of each military arm's active duty. To participate in each activity participants were required to swipe in their RFID item to activate each one. As consumers were enjoying the activities, the event managers were actually using the RFID item to track which activities each consumer went to, how much time they spent at each activity, and how well they did. Then, in real time, recruiters approached the consumers having key information about where the consumer spent the most time and what they were most interested in, which was learned through mapping the consumers activity in the event space. Since the recruiters already had information on what activities peaked the consumer's interest, they were able to have more engaging and quality conversations. The ability to understand consumers' behaviors is key in terms of selling any product including military service. With the ability to use specific consumers' activity to identify points of interest brands can adapt messaging to play off those interests as well as target consumers that they know for sure are already open to the product. Look for behavior mapping technology to be integrated into more event marketing events in the future. Do you have any plans to integrate it in future events?
As an experiential marketer, you typically prefer to route your mobile tour to large fairs or festivals, professional sporting events, or other large events, where tens of thousands of consumers will have access to your footprint and brand. These events are usually in pretty large DMA's and are, for the most part, easily accessible. But what about events in rural America? In towns that have a total population of 10,000 or less? Is it worth your time? Is it worth your budget? If you're looking for more than just quantitative results, then I say Yes, with a capital Y. Working with a regional client who offers its services in extremely rural areas, I've seen firsthand the impact that mobile tours can have on consumers in these markets. First reaction: they are shocked to see you in their town. Second reaction: they are excited to see you in their town. Third reaction: they are grateful to see you in their town. Shocked? Excited? Grateful? Seems like a recipe for some quality consumer interactions if you ask me. Not to sound like a softy, but when I'm at an event and see consumers really having a good time, it's an awesome feeling ' knowing that my client's brand played a role in making their experience memorable. And this happens even more so at events in areas where they are not accustomed to mobile tour activations or larger brands being a part of their community. Having attended events in both major cities and small towns (and by small towns I mean I've driven past horse and buggy crossing road signs'?¦ on the highway'?¦), I feel event-goers in rural areas will be more receptive to your brand and event presence than their urban counterparts. So I bid you farewell with the following'?¦ Sometimes it's nice to have a successful event in terms of numbers, but sometimes it's also nice to have a successful event in terms of quality consumer interactions and long-term consumer impact. What are your thoughts?
In 1989, two brothers from Boston began selling t-shirts out of the back of a van, often sleeping on top of the shirts in the back of the van as they made their way along the East Coast. Even with their tireless efforts, business wasn't taking off. Then, five years later at a street fair, they began selling t-shirts with the drawing of a smiling stick figure with the mantra "Life is good'?, and all 48 t-shirts sold out in less than an hour. The drawing was named Jake; a happy little stick figure who simply just enjoyed life, and with that the "Life is good" brand was born ' standing for happiness and simplicity. Today, Life is Good has evolved into a lifestyle apparel brand dedicated to philanthropic causes such as the Life is Good Kids Foundation, created to help kids overcome life threatening challenges such as violence and poverty. So why am I blogging about this company? Besides the fact a successful clothing brand was created from the drawing of a stick figure'?¦ Because this past September 11-12, Life is Good brought a 2-day music festival to the Boston metro area - http://www.lifeisgood.com/festivals/, and this new music festival represents an opportunity for brands to connect with charity-minded consumers in a family friendly environment. The first annual Life is Good Festival was a family affair, held on the Prowse Farm in Canton, MA, only 20 minutes outside of Boston. With three stages, over a dozen musical artists, and various entertainment and family activities, the inaugural Life is Good Festival attracted approximately 12,000 consumers on Saturday and 15,000 on Sunday, raising over $600,000 for the Life is Good Kids Foundation. The festival offered various food and drink vendors and a wide range of entertainment options, including games and interactive art activities presented by various sponsors of the festival. The major sponsors included Chase Freedom, Chipotle, Reebok, RCN, and Stonyfield Organics. Many sponsors' consumer activations were family oriented or dedicated to a philanthropic cause, for example UPS hosted a 9.11 Giving Tent where consumers could donate items for care packages for local troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the sponsors were also New England based companies like Reebok, the Cabot Creamery and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. In today's media-fragmented world, consumers are more receptive and engaged during one-on-one brand interactions set in a fun, relaxed environment. If your brand supports a childrens charity or certain philanthropic cause, next year's Life is Good festival may be a great way to connect with consumers in a fun, music-oriented environment.