Event marketing has long been a key tactic in the promotional marketer’s tool kit, but tying the event execution into sales or other success metrics has been difficult to measure. Thus, marketers often resort to giving out free product to incent engagement or to collect consumer information. While both of these methods are common it doesn’t inherently lead to more engaged customers.
In working with our clients, we have found success with several types of events that tie in the use of purchase incentive-based tactics:
- Onsite engagements – Fairs, festivals, and concerts
- Store openings – Grand openings and anniversaries
- Special events – Black Friday and major holidays
When executing event-based promotions using purchase incentives conversion rates are typically strong with YA seeing nearly 50% conversion for onsite engagements to over 90% conversion for special events. Large-scale and localized events have different objectives, which leads to different experiences.
Large-scale promotions typically have objectives such as driving traffic to physical storefronts or online retail sites. Using an online game with a reward reveal that can only be redeemed in-store during a short time frame eliminates materials that store personnel need to manage and distribute while also limiting fraud by ensuring only one reward can be redeemed per customer. By using a gift card, each reward can be tied directly to consumer spend allowing the marketer to determine conversion rates and overspend.
Localized promotions, such as onsite engagements and store openings, require a more targeted approach. They have a specific objective to deliver and convert new customers and deliver an ROI. Using a game is still a great way to drive engagement, but consider geo-fencing the online experience to limit it to only people in or close to the event. Depending on the goal, the promotion could be a reward for a future purchase or a limited-time offer that expires the same day. Whatever the reward, all the promotion distribution should be tied to conversion in order to determine ROI.
Lastly, remember to continue to engage consumers after the event. Collect opt-ins and communicate with the consumers to use their rewards. Event-based offers are a great way to deliver sales and drive engagement when executed in a measurable, consumer-first way.
Andy Dickhausen is a Vice President of Client Services at YA. He works with clients every day to create consumer engagement programs for promotional marketers.