By Peter Lidgey, Global CSO at Elevate
Brand marketers have welcomed the return of live events post-pandemic. Events are a pivotal part of the industry, providing a platform to publicise new services and ideas – as well as offering a host of networking and sales opportunities.
But traditionally, events have been difficult to measure. Especially when compared to other channels in our digital world such as digital advertising or social media marketing. So how can marketers understand what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to live events?
At Elevate, we decided to investigate; commissioning research across key brand decision makers to understand the metrics currently used by our industry and where we can improve those to better match other channels. Events are strategic resources. And this research revealed how these powerful engagement channels are being under-utilised.
Crunching the numbers
Marketers have become complacent. Across industries there is a sense that because the effectiveness of events has not been easily measured in the past, that they cannot be measured in the future.
But this is not the case. There are now ways to understand the bottom line of brand activations, with as much accuracy as many other forms of marketing. For example, Impact is an innovative technology platform developed by Elevate. This system can be used to quantitatively measure events. Marketers can use this live data to gain new insights that are being captured for the first time.
Elevate’s research identified the three most valuable KPIs for businesses across the board:
- Net Promoter Score
- Total Purchase Value
- Visitor Satisfaction Score
Yet these are rarely focussed on at live events. Different industries place greater stock into different KPIs. A survey across 500 Brand Decision Makers revealed that 67% of those in tech in the UK valued face to face interaction most highly versus 30% in tech across regions.
Similar disparities can be seen regarding the key information that brands value. 38% of tech brands prioritised benchmark scores data – this is markedly higher than the 22% of alcohol brands that responded the same.
Business priorities have shifted in light of the pandemic. Brand loyalty has been thrust into the spotlight. Elevate has uncovered that investment into activations that offer tangible campaign support is the primary reason for event investment. Attendance at events which improve recognition and affinity – whilst also offering greater lead generation – is vital.
Marketers should be refining their data collection activities. Enhanced targeting enables brands to collect more relevant live data. There are four values that should be considered during the collection process:
- Building the value of the brand
- Proving the value of face-to-face
- Tracking data across campaigns
- Benchmarking vs. other channels
Brands should seek to reevaluate the role of their data. Investing in new technologies will give data collection more value and make live events more relevant to all aspects of the business.
The main event
The return of live events is a gamechanger for brands and marketers. This is an unparalleled opportunity to gather first-party data. But marketers must get their strategy right.
Looking beyond the standard-issue metrics is the catalyst for achieving significant, meaningful change. Improving data optimisation has to be prioritised by all industries, brands and marketers. Closing the data gap will not only get you closer to your customers and help you control your brand experiences – but also ensure that ROI improves, significantly.