How To Measure Experiential Marketing ROI: 3 Key Steps

Hamilton Hamilton

In the world of event marketing, Return on Investment (ROI) serves as the gold standard for measuring the effectiveness of your efforts and refining future strategies. Join us as we explain how to measure experimental marketing ROI. For those left wanting more, we share how we can help you increase the ROI for your next event. 

1. Define Your Goals 

Before diving into ROI measurement, clearly defining your goals for the experiential marketing event is crucial. What are your goals? What is the purpose of your experiential marketing event? Do you want to promote a product, build brand awareness, engage with suppliers, recruit new employees, generate leads, or make a concrete number of sales? 

Whatever your objectives, ensure each is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). Defining objectives in this way will determine how you are measuring the R (return) in ROI. If you need specific foot traffic over a certain number of days, define your requirements. To increase your sales, be specific and set a target number. When you set SMART goals, you can build and execute a successful strategy, motivate your team, and meet your ROI goals. 

When setting SMART goals, factor in two major parties: your audience and company leadership. Consider your audience’s desires and expectations from your brand and the goals set forth by company leadership. Understanding these perspectives will help you align your strategy and ensure enthusiasm from all stakeholders.  

2. Total the Expenses

To calculate ROI accurately, you must tally up every expense associated with the experiential marketing event. After including obvious costs such as venue rental and display materials, account for all other expenses that would not have been incurred otherwise. Account for one-time use investments like travel, lodging, setup/teardown, and investments used across multiple experiences like long-term rentals or technology infrastructure. To calculate the cost per event for reusable items, divide the total cost of the asset by the number of times it is used.

3. Calculate the Results

After accounting for all expenses, it is time to determine the outcomes of your experiential marketing efforts. If you're looking to measure dollar-for-dollar ROI, take your total sales figure and subtract the investment calculated in step two to determine your ROI. To convert your ROI into a percentage, divide the ROI by your investment and multiply that result by 100. So, if your ROI was 200,000 and your investment was 125,000, you returned 160% of your investment. 

If you want to measure something other than sales, say email signups, leads, or foot traffic, adopt a cost-per-x model. Determine the cost per desired outcome and evaluate the efficiency of your investments. After spending $40k on an experiential marketing event, obtaining 40 highly qualified leads translates to $1k per lead. Comparing the cost-per-lead for each event can help determine which efforts produce the most cost-efficient results. For a comprehensive understanding of ROI, calculate lead conversion and factor in average customer lifetime value.

Set Your Experiential Marketing Event Up for Success with Hamilton

Hamilton has the tools, techniques, and expertise needed to optimize your experiential marketing endeavors and maximize ROI. In addition to providing advanced capabilities in strategy, creative design, performance measurement, and analytics, we also offer innovative tools to help you make the most of your event. 

For example, Hamilton inSIGHT® is a proprietary lead capture solution that is designed to capture qualifying information from every event attendee regardless of where they are engaged in the experience. The tool features instant lead scoring, interest indicators, VIP alerts, custom qualifiers, lead progress meters, comprehensive summary reports, data export capabilities, and more, helping brands make the most of their connections. 

Learn More

Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency with a 75-year legacy creating immersive brand experiences for companies throughout North America and around the world. We design, produce, and execute integrated experiences – exhibits, events, environments, and digital solutions – that drive meaningful connections between your brand and your audience.

To maximize your experiential marketing ROI, contact Hamilton today!