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The Offline Buyer’s Journey Part 2: Tracking the Metrics That Matter

Steven Yellen |

Aventri W.I.N. (What I Need) Series - MetricsWelcome back to the Aventri W.I.N. (What I Need) Series — a collection of multi-part posts that provide actionable tips to improve your experiential marketing. This is the second part of the offline buyer’s journey series. If you missed Part 1, you can read the post here: The Offline Buyer’s Journey: What’s Missing?

“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” It’s almost cliché, but it is true, and this is going to be the focus of the second part of our Offline Buyer’s Journey Series.

Tracking and measuring the performance of offline marketing activities vis-a-vis the buyer’s journey is like a puzzle with a lot of missing pieces.

This is surprising considering that 38% of marketers believe offline experiential activities are the most effective marketing tactics that they use. However, when marketers track their offline buyer’s journey, 80% do agree that they gain valuable insights from the data they gather.

Obviously, there is a gap here that needs to be bridged. If you want to grow your numbers (a.k.a. revenue from your offline marketing), you have to know your numbers.

Aventri Success Tip: If you want to grow your numbers you have to know your numbers

Not Just Tracking, But Intelligent Tracking

If you’re reading this and thinking: “Well, this doesn’t relate to me. I do track the performance of my offline marketing activities.”

First, allow us to say, kudos to you for having tracking in place. However, we want you to evaluate the tracking that you have right now by answering the following questions:

  • Does your current tracking allow you to identify which specific actions your customers take on each step of the buyer’s offline journey?
  • Do you know which specific elements in your offline marketing activities generate the most conversions?
  • Are you capturing information from your attendee’s activities and proactively using that intelligence in your sales and marketing efforts?
  • Do you know how the different tactics in your offline activities interact with one another to move your customers from one stage of the buyer’s journey to the next?
  • Does it allow you to establish benchmarks, patterns, and trends that can be used for projections for future projects?
  • Does your current tracking allow you to identify “leaks” in your offline buyer’s journey?
  • Does it empower you to request for more budget by clearly demonstrating ROI?

This may sound like a lot, but as discussed in Part 1 of this series, this is something marketers know for their online marketing funnels.

When it comes to the online buyer’s journey, everyone is familiar with assisted conversions, last click conversions, multi-channel attributions, and so on and so forth. This is the kind of in-depth tracking that you need for your offline buyer’s journey to truly make offline experiential marketing a profit center for your business.

The reality is, every business owner can measure the performance of their offline buyer’s journey in a number of ways. However, if you want an initial measurement plan that you can model after, consider using the following framework.

The Offline Experiential Marketing Buyer’s Journey

Below is the framework that we will use in defining what metrics matter in each stage of the offline buyer’s journey:

Offline Experiential Marketing Buyer’s Journey

Pre-event Intelligence Gathering

Pre-event Intelligence GatheringPre-event metrics show how good your promotional tactics and strategies are in drumming up excitement for your offline marketing activities even before you begin registration.

Here are some of the KPIs that you should track:

1. Pre-event Interest

What to measure: The level of interest your audience is showing during the teaser phase of your offline campaign.

How to measure: This will depend on the pre-event channel you’re using. For example, if you’re doing a teaser campaign on social media, try using social metrics such as Likes, Comments, Re-posts, etc. to measure this performance indicator.

2. Pre-event Brand Awareness (PeBA)

What to measure: The number of those who are showing interest in your offline marketing activities who know your brand. You should also take note who among those showing interest in your event are your past customers/clients.

How to measure: Survey/polls

Registration Intelligence Gathering

Registration Intelligence Gathering

Registration metrics show you the effectiveness of your strategies and tactics in driving registrations for your offline marketing activities and experiential events.

You can use the following metrics to track and measure the performance of your offline marketing events at this stage:

1. Number of Registrants

What to measure: The number of people who are registering for your event.

How to measure: Using your registration platform’s automatic tallying feature.

2. Brand Awareness On Registration (BAOR)

What to measure: The number of those registering for your offline experiential activities who already know about your brand.

How to measure: In your registration form, include a question asking registrants if they know your brand. Get a final tally once your registration period is over (if you’re going to have on-going registration during the event/activity itself, then you may have to wait until the event is over).

3. Reasons for Registration

What to measure: The intention that your prospects have for registering to your offline marketing activities. This will give you an idea of the possible needs and wants that your offline events can fulfill for your potential customers.

How to measure: In your registration form, include a question asking registrants if they’re planning to go to your event for a specific reason. Get a final tally once your registration period is over and analyze whether there are common themes in the answers of registrants.

4. Form Views/Interest to Register to Registration Percentage

What to measure: The percentage of users who saw your registration form or have expressed interest to register to the number of actual registrants. This will give you an idea of whether there’s something in the actual registration form itself that could be deterring potential participants from registering (i.e. ease of use of registrations forms).

How to measure: If you have an online registration form, this could be the number of form views. For offline registration, this could be the number of people who approached your booth and expressed interest to register. Sample computation: 10 registrants, 100 form views/booth approaches; 10/100 = 10%.

5. Number of Registration Further Inquiries

What to measure: The number of questions that you or your customer service team receives from potential participants to request more details or clarify questions about your event. This will give you an idea of whether your communication materials are clear enough that your target audience understands what the event is for and why they should join.

How to measure: If your registration is hosted in an online platform, tracking the number of support emails that you get or social media direct messages would fall under this metric. If you have offline registration, give specific instructions to those manning your registration booths. Ask them to note the questions that they are getting prior to people registering for the event.

Onsite Engagement/Interaction Intelligence Gathering

Onsite Engagement/Interaction Intelligence GatheringThis is probably one of the areas where there are big gaps when it comes to tracking and measuring. At the same time, this is the area where there are a lot of opportunities in terms of optimizing your offline marketing activities if you can gather data that can be used to generate insights. During your event, one of your main priorities is to measure the level of engagement that the different activities, booths, and other event content are getting. Zooming in on these details will give your marketing and sales teams the ability to maximize on-site opportunities.

1. Number of Attendees

What to measure: The number of people who participated/attended your activity. This is probably the only thing that most marketers measure for their offline activities.

How to measure: The easiest way is to have sign-up technology in place during your event in order to electronically tally at the end of your event.

2. Time Spent on the Event

What to measure: The length of time your attendees spent in your event. Typically, the more time they spend on your event, the more engaged they are.

How to measure: Have designated exit points at your event venue and require your attendees to log out. Make sure you’re recording time stamps, both when your event attendees sign-up on arrival and when they check out while leaving.

3. Booths Visited/Activities Joined & Time Spent on Each Booth/Activity

What to measure: The specific booths/stations your attendees visited or the specific activities they did. This will allow you to identify which specific event content resonates with the different segments of your attendees.

Another important metric you need to track is the amount of time that your attendees spend when they visit specific booths. This is indicative of the level of interest and engagement for specific event content.

How to measure: Setup a method of tracking at every booth/activity during your event. Make sure that someone is manning the registration system to ensure people are registering. An easier way is to have an automated tracking system (there are many technologies available) in place to electronically tag your attendees as they participate in the different activities during your event.

4. Quality of Connections and Conversations

What to measure: A highly-neglected qualitative data, keeping track of the conversations between your on-ground staff and event attendees could reveal a number of optimization opportunities for future events. This will also enable your sales to engage with your event attendees in their “voice” and deliver personalized sales/product messages.

How to measure: Train your staff to identify key conversation elements such as: questions attendees asked, objections/hesitations raised, personal motivations, and other solutions/providers being considered. Record these conversation notes in the attendees’ profiles using an automated tracking system. Also, make sure that your sales team can use this information when engaging attendees.

Onsite Conversion/Action Intelligence Gathering

Onsite Conversion/Action Intelligence Gathering

When planning your events and other offline marketing activities, set specific objectives, some of which are achieved during the event itself. You should measure whether you achieve your targets against these key performance indicators. Further, ensure that your sales team is made aware in real-time when key prospect activities (such as session attendance, significant booth visits) occur so they can take the appropriate actions and directly engage prospects.

1. Number of Onsite Sales

What to measure: Arguably the holy grail of all offline marketing metrics, especially if your event is specifically created to generate sales. As its name suggests, this is the number of sales that you acquire during the event itself.

How to measure: Collect data through your POS system or any order/purchase processing system you have in place.

2. Number of Leads Acquired

What to measure: The number of marketable and sales-ready leads that you get during your event.

How to measure: If you’re already getting the email addresses of your event attendees at the venue entry (and their consent that they’re allowing you to send them marketing/sales emails), this already qualifies as marketable leads. Sales-ready leads include those who request product demos or sales calls during your event.

If you are doing sampling during your event, and if it’s an objective during your event, you can also include that metric under this section.

Post-Event Actions Intelligence Gathering

Post-Event Actions Intelligence Gathering

Have you ever heard of the fitness term afterburn effect? Basically, it states that by doing certain exercises, you can still burn a significant number of calories after working out.

The same concept applies to your offline marketing activities. You can still get results a few weeks after your event and it’s necessary to properly attribute these results back to your offline marketing. It is critical that you capture the intelligence gathered at your events and add it to you current system(s) of record such as your CRM and marketing automation platforms.

Below are some metrics you can track and measure:

1. Post-Event Brand Awareness

What to measure: The change in the level of brand awareness after your event.

How to measure: Send a survey to your event attendees and compare their awareness about your brand before and after they attend your offline marketing activity. You can also track any change in online social mentions that can be attributed to your event.

2. Post-Event Leads Acquisition

What to measure: The number of leads that you acquire after the event.

How to measure: Include a “How did you hear about us?” question in your lead generation tactics so you can properly attribute from which offline activity a certain lead came from.

3. Post-Event Sales

What to measure: The number of attendees that didn’t purchase outright during the event, but did so after.

How to measure: Similar to how you track post-event leads, include a “How did you hear about us?” question in your sales forms/order forms/in-store purchase slips or surveys. You can also follow the leads you received from your events and track if they will eventually purchase.

The Truth Is in the Trend, the Power Is in the Pattern

This has been a long one, but it demonstrates the untapped opportunities in terms of measuring the performance of your offline marketing activities. Opportunities to get insights that will help you become a better offline marketer.

At the end of the day, measuring experiential marketing success is at the core of any successful experiential campaign. It’s the only way to prove to key stakeholders, leaders, and decision makers that experiential marketing could be a revenue driver for a business.

Further, tracking the performance of your offline marketing campaigns using metrics that actually matter will help you optimize your strategies so you can have repeatable tactics in place, and at the same time, create room for innovation.

Read part 3 of this series here.

The Future of Event Marketing_CTA1

This Post was Written by Steven Yellen

Steve Yellen is the vice president of product strategy at Aventri.

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