Don’t Start an Experiential Marketing Campaign Without Asking Yourself These Questions

 Are You Making a Profit or Building a Strong Customer Base With Your Current Methods?

 What is your current marketing plan? Print out a copy or open a new spreadsheet on your computer. Take each point from your current plan and consider the effectiveness of that measure. Is it working as well as you’d planned?

 Suppose you’re using free samples to get customers to try your new tea blend. You’re spending the money on postage, packaging, website form for potential customers to fill out, and staff that is filling the requests. Through this campaign, your sales have only increased 2%, falling short of the 10% increase your marketing team forecasted. You’re spending more sending out the samples than you gained in revenue. It’s not working.

 Each time you find a marketing technique that’s not working, make a note of it. Those are the areas of your marketing plan that you want to change.

 What Metrics Do You Use to Measure Success?

 Make sure that you have considered metrics for success. You’ll only know if an approach is working if you have a realistic way to measure that it’s working. If you offer a discount to first-time customers who buy something in your online store, you’d use how many times the coupon code is used as your metric. You might think that getting new customers to visit your site, even if they don’t buy anything right now, is a big success.

 Some of the most common marketing metrics are:

  • Amount of time spent on the site
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion rate
  • Leads/Cost per lead (CPL)
  • Newsletter/email sign-ups
  • Return on ads spent (ROAS)
  • Return on investment (ROI)
  • Sales growth or revenue
  • Social media likes, shares, or comments
  • Web traffic

This list is just a sample of the different metrics you could use to track customer engagement. It all comes down to your product or service. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve with your marketing campaign. If your answer is to increase sales, sales growth or increased revenues is a good metric. If it’s to draw awareness to your brand, email or newsletter sign-ups or social media likes and comments are ideal.

 Who Is Your Dream Customer? Where Are They Located or Spending Time?

 If you could build your ideal customer, what would that person do, say, and be like? How would you connect with that consumer? To draw ideal consumers, you need to ensure you’re building a marketing campaign that draws your target audience.

 At the same time, make sure you’re targeting your campaign to the places your dream customers hang out. Are they on Facebook or Instagram? Do they watch traditional TV or streaming channels? Pew Research looked at household habits in 2021.

  • 81% of U.S. adults use YouTube
  • 69% use Facebook
  • 40% use Instagram
  • 31% use Pinterest
  • 25% use Snapchat

Age and gender are also worth considering.

  • More women (77%) use Facebook than men (61%).
  • More men (31%) use LinkedIn than women (26%).
  • More 18-to-29-year olds use Instagram (71%) than Facebook (70%)
  • Most age groups use YouTube more than any other social media site, with the exception of the 65+ crowd that uses Facebook (50%) more than YouTube (49%)

Think about the ages, genders, and interests of your target audience. You should match your experiential marketing campaign so that you’re reaching them where they hang out. If you know they’re on Instagram more than Twitter, spend more time on Instagram. You might need to try different approaches to see where they interact with you more. As you narrow it down, focus on those platforms.

 What Tone or Message Do You Want to Be Known For? Does It Match Your Current Marketing Plan?

 Stop and consider your brand’s tone or message. You need to have a clear idea of what message you want to convey. If your current marketing plan isn’t focused on that, it’s time to switch your strategy.

 Take Burger King UK for example. In 2021, the company meant to celebrate International Women’s Day, by raising awareness of the fact that only 20% of UK’s chefs were women, but they never stopped to consider how the message sounded to others. The tweeted message, “Women belong in the kitchen,” was a huge failure. Consumers were so taken aback by the sexist comment that they never read the follow-up tweets celebrating women’s achievements.

 What Does Your Competition Do Differently? Is It Successful?

 Research your competition. See what techniques they use in their marketing campaigns. What works for them and what doesn’t? Check their social media accounts, ad campaigns, and website design and message. Analyze their statistics like revenues, customer base, etc. Is there anything that they’re doing that you could incorporate into your own marketing strategies?

 How Does the Community Perceive You? What Steps Do You Take to Connect With Them?

 Go read reviews of your own company or brand. The positive reviews will please you, but you want to focus on the negatives. How do those consumers perceive you? What can your brand or company do to make them happier?

 For example, you might see a review stating that your customer service team never responds. That’s something to take to the customer service department and find out what’s happening. Your marketing campaigns can only be successful if other areas of the brand or company are doing their part.

 Once you’ve narrowed down issues, come up with solutions and share them with consumers. Apologize and promise to be better or do better. Going back to Burger King UK, once they realized how poorly their message sounded, they apologized and clarified the message they were trying to share.

 Did You Experience Any Changes During the Pandemic?

 You’ve weighed other areas of your marketing plan. Now is a good time to stop and reflect on the pandemic. It changed everyone. You can’t ignore that the pandemic changed your audience. If they used to interact with you at trade shows, concerts, and expos, some still won’t be comfortable in large gatherings. Many found that online interactions, such as virtual expos, were safer for many reasons, and that made them appealing.

 You don’t have to give up in-person events, but it can pay off to also include the rest of your audience with virtual interactions. Create experiential marketing campaigns that cover everyone’s needs, and you become appealing to a wider group of people.

 Finally, How Much Are You Budgeting for Experiential Marketing?

 What is your budget for your experiential marketing plan? There’s no perfect answer as it depends on your business expenses, profits, and goals. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports small businesses spend between 1.08% to around 4% on advertising campaigns. Retailers spend more than restaurants in general.

 In 2018, the average marketing expenditure was around 7.9% of a company’s total revenues. The type of business makes a difference. Business-to-Business products and services fall in the 6.3% to 6.9% range. Business-to-Consumer products and services range from 9.6% to 11.8%.

 You might hesitate to put a large proportion of your revenues towards an experiential campaign that you’re not sure will work. With research and planning, your marketing plan can be a huge success.

 Sometimes, you just don’t have the bandwidth to plan, arrange, and pull off a marketing campaign. Don’t worry. The marketing experts at Factory 360 are here to help. We work with you to implement strategies that achieve your goals. Contact our office to discuss your goals for your brand’s growth.