What ROI is good ROI at events?


Measurement in terms of engagement and sales is essential for brands when they invest in experiential marketing. As consumers we hear about an event, participate in it and move on. But what goes on in the mind of the brands when they put in cash in these events? There are three things that a brand needs to focus on while investing in events, they should have a clear strategy; focus on collecting, monitoring and activating information and finally have a commitment to improve with each campaign.

According to Mr. Aditya Swamy, EVP and Business Head, MTV India, there are four parameters against which the return on investment on an event is judged. First, the impact a said event or campaign has created on the target audience and how successful the brand was in their effort to engage the consumers.

Secondly MTV focuses on being unique, on standing out and differentiating themselves from the crowd. “All the brands are carrying out music and dance concerts, how MTV stands apart from them is by hosting a block party. Innovation is what leaves an impact on the mind on the consumers and we focus on that”, says Aditya.

Finally, the number of people a brand reaches out to in terms of direct and indirect engagement. The indirect engagement involves the number of people who hear about your event and are aware of it. The direct engagement on the other hand involves the people who were present and who actively participated in your event. Direct engagement is extended to the traction gathered from social media including the number people who shared pictures of your event, the number of tweets and the number of likes generated. Brands are focused on enhancing active conversations on social media, which also act as a parameter for judging the return that a particular event has generated.

Lastly, the brand sets a numerical benchmark in terms of either the number of people that the event has to reach out to or the percentage of sales that the event is required to impact. “At an IPL for example, Pepsi sets a target for the number of cans or bottles that are required to be sold at each game. When such a target it given to us by the brand, our focus is on that”, says Aditya.

“New and upcoming brands target experiential marketing in order to gather notice and be a part of the conversation of the consumers and this is the benchmark set for en event to achieve”, finishes Aditya.

The norms of ROI are very different when it comes to experiential marketing. The return on an event is different from that generated from an ad campaign and cannot be quantified. “The return cannot be calculated on sales or judged numerically. When a launch event or activation is done for a product, the focus is on generating maximum visibility and excitement. These are the two main parameters against which the return is judged”, shares Mr. Ramanujam Sridhar, a brand expert.

The aim of an event is to highlight its major attractions, during and even after it, so that it remains in focus of the target audience and is part of their conversation. “Media plays a key role in highlighting the celebrities or artists that were present at an event which leads to an increased traction. They highlight the celebrities at an event rather than the product, which sometimes works in the favor of the brand as the event gathers more visibility”, adds Ramanujam.

In order to maximize the return after an event, the conversation is kept on going through the use of social media. “In order to keep the audience engaged, social media plays an important role since the brands can market their products whichever way they want. They can share pictures with their logos on Facebook and tweet about the event to maximize engagement”, finishes off Ramanujam.

According to Mr. Giridhar Kumar, a spokesperson for Showman Entertainment Private Limited, a Chennai based event management company, any investment in events is worthwhile as long as they create an impact, however brief, on the minds of the audience. “Events allow brands to connect with their consumers directly and return on investment in such campaigns is almost always positive because of the scale of the events and the massive audience that it generates”, shares Giridhar.

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