April 19, 2016
Congratulations! You and your team have just completed a major experiential marketing campaign. Give yourself and your colleagues a pat on the back. Buy them a beer… or a case of beer, depending on how things went. Close down the office or department for a day so everyone can rest, relax and pamper themselves a little. Whatever it is, do something else to reward yourself for a job well done.
Then get right back to work. Just because your campaign is over doesn’t mean the hard work has ended. What happens after a campaign can be almost as important as what happens during a campaign. The close of your experiential marketing extravaganza may be when you take the next tentative step in your relationship with your new fans and followers; finalize deals with new customers; heap praise on all the people who made your campaign possible (which strengthens your relationship with them); and pitch an increase in your budget to your boss.
Here are six things you should do after your company’s experiential marketing campaign is over.
Do any necessary follow-up
Add consumers to your email list and send them a welcome message. Call all the people who dropped off business cards and see if they’re interested in learning more about your company’s products or services. Write a blog post for your company website so consumers can relive how much fun they had at your experiential marketing activations. Gather links to all the influencer blog posts and earned media clips that resulted from the campaign.
There’s always a ton of follow-up that needs to happen after any event. Make sure it gets done, and gets done quickly.
Here’s a tip for ensuring your follow-up is thorough and timely: Before your campaign even kicks off, make a list of any follow-up activities that will need to happen after it’s over. Then create a plan for how everything will get done and who will do it. People are tired and less motivated to work on a big campaign after it ends. Having a plan for post-event wrap-up means these important tasks are more likely to be completed.
Review your goals and outcomes to see if your brand met them
Any good experiential marketing campaign starts with a list of goals and outcomes, and plan for measuring those goals and outcomes. Once your campaign is over, it’s time to look back and see if you accomplished what you set out to do.
If the campaign met its goals, make a list of the things you did well. Was the activation creative enough that it garnered plenty of attention? Were your brand ambassadors particularly effective at drawing consumers into the event? Did all the time you put into influencer outreach pay off? Did a hashtag or video start trending or go viral on social media?
If your campaign didn’t meet its goals, think about why it didn’t do well. Were the goals too ambitious? Did the activation not do a suitable job of meeting the needs of the target audience? Does the next activation need to be more inventive or provide more value to consumers? Don’t point fingers. Determine what you can learn from the experience and how you can do better next time.
Evaluate any feedback you receive from outside stakeholders
Some events draw little feedback other than what you can pick out on social media. For other events, it may be appropriate to send out evaluations or questionnaires to consumers. Participants in your experiential marketing event may also send in comments by email, social media or text message.
If you get any feedback from consumers, record it and review it with your team. These outside observers may provide ideas and suggestions that prove invaluable for your next activation – especially if they’re part of your target market. See if there are ways you can turn consumers with positive feedback into advocates for your next campaign.
Gather feedback from staff or other internal stakeholders
It’s equally important to gather feedback from the people inside the campaign. Ask your staff, brand ambassadors and other stakeholders for their thoughts about your experiential marketing activations. What went well? What could have been better? What ideas do they have for next time?
Even if you don’t use any of these ideas, people appreciate it when you ask their opinion. If they feel valued they’re more likely to be supportive of future experiential marketing campaigns.
Report the information to your superiors
Once you’ve gathered ever shred of information about the experiential marketing campaign, make a report to your boss (and anyone else he/she recommends). Report on everything discussed so far. Did you meet or exceed your goals? If you didn’t, why and what can you do better next time? What type of feedback did you receive? How is the company already benefitting from the event, and how will it benefit in the future?
A report should include a calculation of the company’s return on investment or return on engagement for the event. It should also include some action items. Make a recommendation on whether the company should continue to engage in experiential marketing, and if it should do more or less. Suggest ways the company can improve its advertising, social media presence or other marketing efforts based on what you learned.
This final report to your supervisor may also be the time to ask for an increase in your budget for experiential marketing or to issue an RFP for a new experiential marketing agency.
Create a plan to make future experiential marketing campaigns even better
The goal of all these exercises (except the first one) is to determine how to make your next experiential marketing campaign even better. Don’t rest on your success or wallow in any setbacks. Move on to how you can make future event marketing events bigger, more effective, more fun and more meaningful.
Does your company need help with its experiential marketing campaigns? Whether you’re just beginning to think about experiential marketing; in the middle of a campaign that’s not meeting its goals; or in that space where you want to make the next campaign bigger and better, Factory 360 can help. We have experience with every step in the experiential marketing timeline. Contact us today to learn how we can help.