IQ: Data Should Be Driving Your Event Marketing Strategy

To quote Sherlock Holmes: “Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.”

Data is the difference between an idea and a reality. Data is what cuts through assumptions, what separates a plan that worked from a plan that didn’t.

All marketing needs data on both sides of the strategic pipeline: at the beginning stages when you’re trying to come up with a plan that you hope might work, and at the ending stages when reviewing how things could have been done better.

We spoke with our own data guru and Senior Integrated Strategist, Ross Cooper, about how event marketers use data, analytics, and marketing IQ to execute meaningful, memorable brand experiences.

We Need Data in Marketing, and How to Get it 

“Data is at the cornerstone of driving insights for our marketing initiatives.” – Ross Cooper, Senior Integrated Strategist, Inspira Marketing

It’s obvious, but it bears mentioning: the more you know about customers (or potential customers), the stronger you can connect with them. The more you know about your own product, the easier it becomes to know who to target and what problems you can solve. The more you know about the problems of the everyday consumer, the simpler it becomes to present your product as the answer.

Experiential marketing without data is a battle plan without intel: you are literally shooting in the dark. 

But the first step to collecting data is deciding what matters to the brand, why you’re collecting the data, and what it means to you. Establishing key performance indicators(KPIs) is job one. We can’t know if our brand experience succeeded if we haven’t defined success.

Here are just a few KPIs we tend to measure for our experiential marketing events and campaigns in general:

  • What is our target consumer for this experience?
  • How many target consumers did we connect with?
  • How long did we connect with them?
  • Did their brand beliefs shift at all after the event? (What did they believe going in vs what do they believe now?)
  • Are they considering a purchase?
  • What do the Net Promoter Scores look like? (Are they going to recommend the experience, the brands, or the product to their friends?)
  • How many leads did we get?

But we can’t (and don’t) just focus on the event itself. We also look at ancillary effects that occur after the campaign, or occur in a digital space:

  • Has there been a noticeable uptick in web traffic? (This can be across any brand platform, including website, social media, or other points of contact)
  • Are we seeing our message more often in social channels?

Creating these KPIs, these benchmarks for success, help us measure the impact of a brand event. And the insights we pull from this data later on (or even literally as the event is taking place) can help us make adjustments that lead to not only greater success and ROI on our part, but just a more fulfilling emotional connection with a potential customer.

The Technology that Collects Data Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Data collection is a multi-headed hydra, and that’s a good thing. Especially during such a connected time.

First off, before we get into the tech, let’s make one thing clear: a survey is still a great way to collect data. Asking people who came to your event how they felt about it is still a strong play. This can happen during the event, when they leave, or by email in the following days if you got them to sign up for something.

Taking a measurement of how experiencers felt after your event will give you useful insights.

QR codes are still effective. It may not be the newest, shiniest technology, but QR codes are reliable, ubiquitous, and most importantly easy to use.

KIND recently used QR codes during an event to help support Ukraine. They created a wall of sunflowers, and had QR codes available where visitors could contribute personal messages to those most impacted by the war. Not only were the messages helpful, but each QR scan added to a donation from the World Central Kitchen to feed displaced and hungry Ukrainians.

We employed QR codes for our own Save the Children “Summer’s Better with Books” event in Santa Monica. Consumers could quickly engage with and contribute to the effort to get more books in more hands. Every QR code that got scanned would increase the donations of books and other materials and resources to disadvantaged kids everywhere in America.

So, consumers were engaging, we were collecting data, and the people who needed help the most received it. That’s a win-win-win not only for an experiential marketing event, but for people who really needed aid.

Data Makes a Brand Story Stronger

We’ll leave you with our expert’s words on why event marketing needs to focus on collecting and analyzing data:

“Whether it’s primary research, syndicated trend reports or as we engage with consumers 1-to-1 at a brand experience we have created, data nourishes our empathetic understanding of consumer behavior and enables us to develop a deeper, more meaningful connection between the brand and its audience.” – Ross Cooper

To learn more about how Inspira integrates EQ and IQ in our marketing strategies, and how we can do the same for you, contact us today.

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