Measuring Experiential Marketing’s ROI

if only it were that simple…

In recent years, experiential has become a key marketing strategy for many major brands. Between 2017 and 2018 the number of companies creating 20 or more branded events per year increased by 17% (Bizzabo, 2018) which highlights the direction that brands are taking to engage with their customers.

Experiential is an interactive way for brands to build consumer relationships, making use of all 5 senses. This is a great way for brands to come face to face with thousands of consumers. However there are still many brands out there that are hesitant to take the jump to focus their spend on this tactic. From working in the industry and specialising in this sector, even we can see why this is understandable. Marketing is a results driven industry and providing clear cut evidence of a campaign’s success is paramount if you want to prove its value.

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Previous Barriers for CMOs:

Previously, brands have struggled to measure engagement and exposure from experiential marketing in any meaningful way, and in many circumstances we have seen first-hand that this can be a major preventative barrier. 

For Digital marketers measurement can be very easy: Quickly open Google Analytics (and numerous other tools) and all of a sudden you have precise figures for traffic, engagement and conversion rates; all at the touch of a button. The perfect sell to your CEO who is hounding you for figures and ROI. These KPIs are crucial to understanding the performance of your online marketing efforts.

Return on Experience (ROE) – Our Solution:

In contrast, the reach and performance of experiential campaigns can be more difficult to quantify. In the past, experiential’s ROI has been regarded as vague and debatable.

The same questions frequently return:

  • How can I prove the success of this experiential idea if I am not selling any product? My boss needs results.
  • Is it possible to measure engagement, impact and ROE within physical environments like I can with my digital campaign?
  • What analytics should be we be looking out for?

Fortunately, we have a solution whereby our techniques and technologies can be used to gauge an experiential activation’s effectiveness and put it into clear figures and results. 

Objectives of Experiential

We have always been keen in investing into ways whereby we can help our clients optimise their visitor experience at activation’s and live events. These are the key performance indicators that we believe should be measured in experiential:

  • Footfall & Brand Exposure: How many consumers are coming in contact with your activation and seeing your brand?
  • Engagement: How many of these consumers stopped to engage with your brand experience?
  • Average Dwell Time: How long did consumers spend engaging with your experience?

Using Technology To Understand Experiential

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Fortunately for experiential marketers, the days of using rough estimations of these figures can be left behind. Using our sensory hardware and beacon technologies, we now have the capability to remove all unreliable elements of measuring ROE and get much more accurate analytics for our clients.

These sensors can identify hotspots, dwell times, and footfall and also passively collect data by tracking mobile pings that all phones send out when searching for WiFi. This (GDPR compliant!) method of anonymously identifying mobile device signals can be used to track customer journey paths.

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For example, if you have a sensor at an experiential event and also in a specific shop/area that you are looking to direct consumers towards – the sensors will recognise if someone has been exposed to your activation and later shown up to the shop/area to make an enquiry/purchase. The Smart phone proxy tracking combined with footfall counting will now provide brands with actual conversion rates from experiences.

From all of these stats, brands can identify what day, time and place are most effective for their campaigns. These analytics can be detailed to the hour, and will improve future event planning and space design – providing a benchmark for future activations as well as conveying the value of experiential to the varying stakeholders.

We believe that this is an invaluable tool for the future of experiential and sponsorship of all kinds.

If you’re looking for more information about using this type of technology at your brand’s future experiential and event campaigns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at

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