With established business goals, using data to drive direction, understanding your audience and communicating the thought process clearly to your leadership team, you have a good foundation for showing ROI.
You can’t end there though. You need to be able to actually show how each tactic is driving back to the original goal.
Let’s start with digital assets. This is the easiest because of tracking mechanisms that can show click-thrus, time spent on page and purchases or call-ins even within 30 days of initial website interaction. This will give you an idea if your digital ads are appealing and what your customers are doing after they have been exposed to your ad. As you’re connecting the digital ad back to your original goal, pay attention to markers such as cost per click or cost per purchase. This will help drive costs down as you’re driving website traffic and sales.
Television and traditional advertisement is easier to show ROI if you’re using these assets to meet the proper goals. Traditional assets such as TV, print or outside signage are typically best to increase awareness of a brand, product or service including the often need to change perception. The best way to show this is to implement consistent brand tracking surveys. Before you start ads, run a survey within your designated audience to show who knows of your brand and what your potential customers currently think of your brand. Once your campaign starts, run this survey about every six months. The important part with traditional ads is that you look at long-term trends. Compare lift in awareness shown by the brand surveys to a lift in sales or increased website traffic. Keep in mind, it will likely take at least three surveys to establish a baseline and see growth.
Experiential or event marketing is the most challenging to show ROI because the cost per engagement is much higher plus it often doesn’t equate to sales as quickly. To start, consider the amount of time spent with each consumer and compare to a 30 second television spot watched. For example, six minutes of engagement per person equals twelve total 30 second spots watched per person.
Next consider the experiential cost per engagement and compare to the cost per 30 second spot watched. For example, let’s say you are spending $30 per experiential engagement per person. That breaks down to $2.50 for each 30 second spot watched. That stat by itself isn’t necessarily noteworthy because the average cost to reach 1,000 viewers on network TV is $42, but this information will help you justify your spend with experiential by comparing it to an asset that is more familiar. While $2.50 seems like a lot to spend per person for a 30 second spot, once you look at the benefits of experiential marketing, it’s often worth it.
Educate your leadership team on the benefits of experiential marketing and how that will ultimately drive back toward your original goal. Engagement within experiential marketing is uninterrupted which allows you to build on your messaging.
Imagine if you could get each potential customer to watch twelve consecutive television commercials?
In addition to that, seventy-two percent of consumers say they positively view brands that provide quality event content opportunities and experiences. A larger percentage of consumers (74%) say engaging with branded event marketing experiences makes them more likely to buy the products being promoted.
Another point of consideration for experiential marketing ROI is the follow up engagement. For example, posting to social media about the experience or capturing email addresses and sending follow up information. Fifty percent of consumers capture and share between two and five photos, videos or social posts; and 14% share more than six posts. This is huge when you’re trying to create a long-term relationship with a customer.
I have sat in many executive meetings where the C-Suite has a variety of marketing knowledge. Any time I can show how the assets are driving back to the original predetermined goal while staying within budget, it’s good. An added bonus is when I can communicate why the asset is performing well and how we plan to optimize regardless of sales. You can always improve even if it’s creating more efficiency by lowering your cost per engagement or click-thru.