What you measure matters. Event marketing ROI should be easy to measure, but it can be complex. It has certain rules to follow, specifically in terms of tracking and valuing engagement. That's why we suggest you approach event marketing and ROI with a new strategy: engagement marketing.
What Is Engagement Marketing?
Engagement marketing replaced the outdated "awareness, consideration, decision, and evangelism" approach to the sales and marketing funnel with a human-centric, empathetic strategy. It targets the people at the center of each purchasing decision, whether they represent themselves (B2C) or a business (B2B).
Engagement marketing introduces customer-centric strategies designed to help marketers better engage their clients through empathy, understanding, and effective problem-solving. Its new funnel looks like this:
- Frustration — Clients feel their frustrations are understood as businesses show them solutions to achieve their desired outcomes.
- Optimism — Clients are introduced to the resources that can help them.
- Confidence — Clients witness and experience positive transformations.
- Gratitude — With their old frustrations eliminated, clients experience gratitude, develop brand trust, and form long-lasting partnerships with brands.
With an engagement marketing approach, you actively listen to, educate, and interact with customers in a way that feels highly personal. This provides clients with a white-glove service rather than a one-size-fits-all, bargain-bin sales pitch.
Focus on Engagement Marketing Metrics To Drive Event ROI
To measure event marketing ROI, take an engagement-driven approach to scoring instead of the traditional lead-driven method. Event marketing should focus on interaction and engaging both potential clients and existing customers with your content. This content should be explicitly geared toward meeting their unique needs, answering their questions, and piquing their interest using an engagement marketing perspective rather than an outdated sales-driven funnel.
To focus on engagement-driven scoring when measuring your event marketing ROI, consider tracking the following data and metrics:
- Company name
- Event name
- Event venue
- Topics related to your event
- Event RSVPs
- Direct messages
- Click-throughs to website
- Registration sources
- Attendance (duration of attendance)
- Session attendance
- Live poll responses
- Chat interactions
- Questions asked
- Event app downloads
Follow-up survey responses
Calculate the cost of each of these items by adding up event costs and dividing it by the number of registrations, attendees, or social media mentions. Then, weigh and rank types of engagement from most to least valuable to determine their value to calculate ROI.
Assigning value to engagement is highly subjective because every business has different event marketing goals, and the type of engagement that’s most valuable to one company might carry less weight for another. Despite this, you still need to determine your company's event marketing goals to establish which types of engagement are most valuable to you. Then, you can start measuring the ROI of your event marketing campaigns (and the events themselves).
How To Measure Event (and Event Marketing) ROI
1. Set goals
Goals are essential to every business decision and action, including event marketing. Before you begin planning, establish what success looks like for your event marketing and the event itself. Define what you want to achieve by setting clear and measurable goals, such as:
- Obtaining a certain number of event registrations
- Boosting attendance
- Improving the duration of attendance
- Hitting a benchmark for contact information collection and lead generation
- Attracting media attention and press coverage
- Increasing sales
- Launching a new product
- Driving brand awareness
- Cultivating relationships with influencers
- Building your social media presence and engagement
- Driving traffic to your website
Define five to eight goals for your event marketing strategy to ensure you're able to tailor your campaign to those objectives while also collecting the data necessary to measure your success.
2. Hatch a plan and execute It
Once you've established goals, you need to determine the data to collect to track relevant metrics and measure your achievements. Then, outline processes and implement tools like Demio, which can help you create a streamlined webinar event with built-in data collection. You’ll also have to define the processes you’ll use to collect data. With this prep work complete, you can start marketing your event, produce it, and collect data throughout this period.
3. Follow through by following up
When one event finishes, it's natural to want to move on to the next one immediately. However, follow-up surveys sent after an event can provide you with even more valuable data on your engagement marketing metrics.
The responses to follow-up surveys can help you improve your future event marketing efforts, become better acquainted with your target market, and create customer-centric events in the future.
4. Calculate costs and do the metric math
When your event is over and you’ve collected and organized your data, calculate ROI by adding up all of your costs (i.e., direct event expenses and even an allocated portion of your indirect/overhead expenses) to determine the total cost of the event. You can then determine the cost per attendee (or another unit) by dividing the number of attendees by the total event cost.
5. Evaluate and enhance
Tracking ROI is a valuable measurement of your event marketing success that can be used to improve future event marketing and maximize your ROI. Once you’ve calculated your metrics, analyze them and determine what you can change in the future to improve ROI for your next event.
From Event Marketer to Engagement Marketer
Now that you’ve got your metrics and KPIs down, it’s time to make sure that your event is great! That’s why we have developed The Engagement Marketing Assessment. We’ll help you have an event that is compelling, engages your customers, and converts.