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How to Measure Experiential ROI

Are you considering investing in experiential marketing but unsure of how to measure the return on investment (ROI)? This guide will explain everything you need to know about calculating the ROI of your experiential marketing campaigns.

From brand marketing to developing meaningful KPIs, this guide will help you measure the success of your brand activation or event marketing initiatives.

What Is Experiential Marketing?

First, it’s important to understand what experiential marketing is. 

Experiential marketing is a brand activation technique. It involves creating immersive brand experiences for customers. These experiences can range from attending a branded event to simply interacting with a brand’s marketing materials.

Emotionally Resonant Marketing

The goal of experiential marketing is to create an emotional connection between the customer and the brand. By providing a memorable, engaging experience, brands can encourage customers to build a positive association with their product or service.

This type of marketing is often more effective than traditional forms of advertising, such as TV commercials and print ads.

Here are a few dos and don’ts:

Do

  • Talk about your customers, not your brand (base communications on customer insight)
  • Tell moving and meaningful stories (and measure emotional responses)
  • Use branded hashtags and integrate digital marketing to enhance experiential events
  • Refer back to experiential memories with target customers in the future
  • Define your metrics for success early and how to implement them

Don’t

  • Focus on your brand or come across as boastful
  • Offer value in the form of 100% financial incentives
  • Neglect digital channels or post one or two live tweets (experiential must also be digital)
  • Only measure event lead gen without also taking into account conversions or digital impact

How Does Experiential Marketing Generate ROI?

There are many ways to generate ROI from experiential marketing. 

The ROI calculation is a process that starts with understanding the goal of the campaign and what you want to achieve. Measuring brand impact or brand consideration might be valuable goals for brand activations. However, they might not be right for all experiential campaigns. 

The objectives of an experiential marketing campaign need to be clear. Then, you can measure the return on investment. 

Define Your Objectives

Here are some example objectives that could be used to measure the ROI of an experiential marketing campaign:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate leads
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase social media engagement
  • Increase sales

Once you have identified your objectives, you can start to develop meaningful KPIs to track progress. 

Below are some examples of how to measure the ROI of experiential marketing.

Example 1: Generating Leads

If the goal of your experiential marketing campaign is to generate leads, you can assess the number of leads generated as a result of the campaign. To do so, you would need to set up a lead capture system at your event or brand activation. 

You would then compare the number of leads captured during the campaign with other campaigns or a preceding month’s lead activity. 

Example 2: Increasing Website Traffic

Is the goal of your experiential marketing campaign to increase website traffic? You can check the number of website visits generated as a result of the campaign. 

You would need to set up a tracking system that links website visits to the experiential marketing campaign by comparing the number of website visits in a similar period, or by using a tracking link.

To create a tracking link, you would need to add a unique tracking code to each experiential marketing campaign. This code can be used to analyze the number of website visits that are generated as a result of the campaign.

In general, increasing website traffic is an indicator of success for experiential marketing campaigns. It suggests improved brand awareness, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to sales or leads. 

Qualified Leads vs. Website Traffic

It’s important to note that not all website traffic is equal. 

Not all visitors to your website are going to be interested in your product or service. Most website visitors are not qualified leads (also known as prospects). 

Qualified leads are people who have expressed an interest in your product or service and are more likely to become customers. They fit your target customer profile and ideally are ready to buy or sign up (they have purchase intent).

Measuring brand awareness? Website traffic is a good indicator of success for experiential marketing campaigns.

However, it’s important to check the number of qualified leads that are generated as well.

This can be done by setting up a lead capture system at your event or brand activation and tracking the number of leads. Popular methods include scanning business cards or event tickets, or even just collecting email addresses manually.

Example 3: Measuring Brand Impact

If the goal of your experiential marketing campaign is to measure brand impact, you can track the number of brand mentions or brand conversations generated as a result of the campaign. 

This will help you determine whether the campaign was successful in generating brand awareness or brand consideration.

You can also create an experiential hashtag or social media campaign that connects directly with the event. Various technological tools can be used to track brand mentions, including brand monitoring tools like BrandMentions or social media listening tools like Falcon.io. 

Auctus also has solutions to collect and analyze mentions and brand impact. 

Example 4: Increase Sales

Using experiential marketing to increase sales can be difficult to assess, but not impossible. 

One way to measure sales is to set up a unique discount code for customers who purchase as a result of the experiential marketing campaign. 

You would then need to analyze the number of sales generated through the discount code.

Campaign Landing Pages

Another way to track sales is to set up a unique landing page for customers who purchase as a result of the experiential marketing campaign. 

Landing pages should be appealing to share. That will increase the digital reach of the experiential marketing. However, bear in mind that some leads that come through the page may not be directly from the event.

Customer Insight Surveys

You can also use post-campaign surveys to ask customers how they heard about your brand and if they were influenced to purchase as a result of the experiential marketing campaign.

Whatever method you use to track sales, it is important to have a control group to compare the data against. This will help you ensure that any increase in sales can be attributed to the experiential marketing campaign and not other external factors.

By understanding how to measure the ROI of your experiential marketing campaigns, you can develop campaigns that are more likely to be successful. It is important to track the right KPIs (key performance indicators) for your business and campaign goals. 

Surveys Have Limitations

Despite expectations to the contrary, surveys don’t tell you what customers truly think. They tell you what customers say they think.

Worse, surveys can be gamed by people who want to look good. Respondents may not be truthful, and there’s no way to tell if they are. 

Qualitative research, such as focus groups, depth interviews, and customer journey mapping, is better at helping us to understand customer sentiment and why customers do what they do.

Auctus has a team of social media and marketing experts who can help you measure the ROI of your experiential marketing campaigns. 

ROI Calculation

Now that we have looked at some examples of how to measure the ROI of an experiential marketing campaign, let’s take a look at the process of how to calculate ROI. 

ROI is calculated by dividing the benefits of the campaign by the costs of the campaign. 

The benefits are measured in terms of what you want to achieve as an objective. For example, if you want to generate leads, the number of leads generated would be a benefit. 

The costs are all of the expenses associated with running the campaign. This includes the cost of the event, marketing expenses, and labor costs. 

Lead Generation Example

ROI stands for return on investment. Here is an example calculation: 

Benefits (leads generated) / Costs (event cost + marketing expenses + labor costs) = ROI 

So, if your overall spend is $20,000 and you generate 10,000 leads, each lead costs $2 on average to generate. 

Auctus can help you track all of the benefits and costs associated with your experiential marketing campaigns so that you can accurately measure your ROI.

You can also use a net profit calculation, which takes into account the value of the leads generated. This would give you a different result as it would consider the lifetime value of the lead. 

Or perhaps you’re looking for conversions, in which case the number of conversions can be measured and will be represented in the ROI calculations.

Partnering with Auctus Agency

By enlisting Auctus to help, we can also use specialist solutions to track brand mentions and measure ROI from experiential marketing efforts. 

Auctus has a wealth of experience in brand activation and event marketing, and we can track a wide range of KPIs that can help you measure the success of your experiential marketing campaign.

Would you like to learn more about how to measure the ROI of experiential marketing? Auctus is a brand activation and experiential marketing agency with over 15 years of experience in helping brands achieve their marketing goals. 

Brand Marketing and Experiential Experts

We work with a wide range of clients, from small businesses to global corporations. We have the expertise and knowledge to help you measure the ROI of your experiential marketing campaigns.

If you would like to learn more about how to measure the ROI of experiential marketing and brand marketing, please contact us at info@auctusagency.com.

You can also call us at (651) 796-3525. We would be happy to discuss your needs and help your business to achieve measurable results.