Experiential marketing ROI: How do your people measure up?


Carina Filek, Global COO of Elevate Staffing and Staffing Partner of the IPM COGS Awards 2019, shares how brands can measure the impact of their event staffing teams

“There is no ‘i’ in team, but there is in win.” – Michael Jordan, former NBA player

A recent research brief shared three fundamental elements of experiential marketing success. They are strategy, process, and people. As a marketer, you likely create the strategy and oversee the process to execute it. But it takes that second element – people – to carry your plans through. This means, while you may be accountable for results at the end of the day, you know a win is not possible without the right team. To make matters more complex, you may have a few teams to manage. Yet, no matter what, you need to know that every person involved is equipped to achieve experiential marketing ROI. Just as there’s an ‘i’ in win, there’s also one in the ‘individuals’ who make up the teams responsible for maximizing results.

The people who interact with your target audience are the most valuable asset of experiential events. How they engage consumers in attendance will define the perception of your brand moving forward. And while there are multiple intangibles related to building relationships with consumers, there are great ways that brands can measure the impact of their event staffing teams.

How to Measure Experiential Marketing ROI of Promotional Staff

A Harvard Business School professor outlined four factors of knowing the effects of a brand experience. These are 1) attention, 2) attitude (changes), 3) interest, and 4) conversion.

At a basic level, attention is summed up by the number of consumers whose attention you capture. In experiential marketing, promo staff are often responsible for grabbing consumer attention, which is necessary to progress to the other three factors, which all provide measurement of promo staff’s impact on experiential marketing ROI. Which you choose to focus on will depend on your goal, but here are some questions you might ask are:

  • Did the promo staff change attendees’ attitudes of the brand?
  • How interested were consumers to learn more after engaging with promo staff?
  • Are attendees ready to take the next step to a purchase?
  • What was the conversion rate?

3 Ways to Determine Whether your Event Staff were Successful

  1. Quizzes and Surveys.

When kept concise, surveys are a great way to gather simple, yet vital intel. They can be gamified by incorporating quizzes or other interactive questionnaires, which makes consumers more enthusiastic about participating. The data collected may be related to brand perception; for example, a survey can be conducted upon exit and ask attendees if their feelings about the brand have changed. This tactic worked for ASUS when it learned 70 percent of attendees felt “more positive” about the computer brand after engaging in its brand experience in a U.K. mall. Even better, 45 percent planned to buy a laptop as a result.

2. Sales.

When possible, the best way to know how promo staff performed is in their ability to close the sale. This might mean making product available for purchase, which is ideal for sampling initiatives in grocery stores, for instance, or when activating in other retail locations, like Weber did. The well-known brand of grills was able to attribute near a half-million pounds in sales to its promo staff at roadshow events. Yet, when conditions don’t allow consumers to take products home that day, event marketers may choose to make online sales available at the event, offering incentives like free or expedited shipping.

3. Sign-ups.

Both B2B and B2C companies find experiential events proven to generate leads. One such brand is State Farm, which uses promo staff to engage consumers at community events. In reaching and even exceeding its lead generation goal, it is able to know its staff measure up to the task. LasikPlus is another brand that activates local and bilingual brand ambassadors in targeted areas and sees an increase in qualified leads and conversion rates year-over-year.

Contingent on the goal, other brands measure success by the number of photos taken with staff or the number of demos product specialists give. When working with a promotional staffing agency, its team should provide insights to measure the impact of promo staff on your activation. A full-service agency will take it a step further to help secure these metrics for you with real-time reporting, online dashboards, and more, making it delivers the right team to bring home a win. That’s because its team knows, in the end, your success is their success.