Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

Experiential Measurement Blog

Can Social Media be a Tangible Tool for Market Research?

We are witnessing an increasing impact of political beliefs affecting consumer behaviors. Of course, boycotts of brands aren’t new, but the speed at which they can occur is. If you follow Twitter, you have probably heard of boycotts and protests against companies like Target, SodaStream, and New Balance.... [Read more...]

Mean, Median, and Mode: Are they Actionable in Research?

As you probably know, I’m not a math-oriented person by nature. I came to research through an innate curiosity about people and what makes them tick. The combination of brand marketing and research is a good spot to land for someone who is driven by a need to understand the intricacies of human behavior... [Read more...]

Why You Should Add a PortMA Analyst to Your Team

There are a lot of great tools available to the event marketer when trying to integrate touch-points and gather data. I was recently reading about Splash which looks like a fantastic event and data-management software tool. You’ve also got the old standards like Eventbrite and the comprehensive (and... [Read more...]

How Consumer Survey Data Can Help Inform Sampling Strategy To Improve Program Impact

We are currently working on a nationwide sampling program that focuses on different liquors. Our recent round of reporting focused on one brand. We looked for differences in consumer reach and impact before, and after, a specific series of events was executed.       Finding The Target Research... [Read more...]

Granularity in Benchmarks for Event Marketing

Benchmarks are a valuable asset for assessing the performance of a program.  At PortMA, we have an internal database which we use when benchmarking data for clients.  It allows us to look at consumer segments, demographic data, and future purchase and recommend intents.  All of this... [Read more...]

How to Clean Your Event Marketing Data

The only thing worse than no data at all is bad or “unclean” data. At PortMA, we take the integrity of our data very seriously. If you are unsure about what steps to take to ensure that your data is clean, look no further. I am here to help. Below are the steps we take at PortMA to clean our data.   1.... [Read more...]

Applying Return-On-Activity Value to Experiential Measurement

We were tasked with measuring the value of a large scale experiential marketing program in the spirits industry, which we continue to work on to this date. The program has clear and concise objectives. However, we were asked to find value in the amount of time brand ambassadors spend facing and not facing... [Read more...]

Simple Technology to Advance Your Event Marketing

Management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, predicts that close to 75% of the worldwide population will have access to mobile and Internet technology by 2030. Harvard Business Review suggests that keeping things simple is the key to building strong customer relationships.... [Read more...]

How to Organize a Team of Remote Knowledge Workers (Article 2 of 2)

Cloud-based tools don’t make the collaborative team, how the team engages those tools does.  Here are some thoughts on how to make sure your team stays on the same page, regardless of where they station their station.     It’s one thing to adopt the right cloud-based tools to a team... [Read more...]

How to Organize a Team of Remote Knowledge Workers (Article 1 of 2)

In this article we share some of our internal methods and designs to managing the remote work we do.  We’ll share with you our project management tools, how we use them, and what we’ve learned.       Work life is changing (or maybe it’s changed and it’s time to drop the “ing”... [Read more...]

Aha Moments: Rewarding for Clients and Researchers Alike

I heard a client refer to our experiential marketing work as is “a gut check”. Let’s face it: research can be intimidating. Words like ‘design,’ ‘methodology,’ ‘statistical significance’…all of these can cause one’s eye to start twitching and the brain to focus elsewhere.       Research... [Read more...]

Master your Trade and Learn by Teaching

Last summer one of the best possible experiences for improving my attention to detail and understanding of the minutia of my workflow occurred.  I was assigned a summer intern.  For 12 weeks, I was going to have someone shadowing me, learning what I do week to week. This helped to improve... [Read more...]

The Value of Top-Line Event Marketing Recap Reporting

A flash report is the periodic, top-line recap report that we utilize frequently. Top-line reports are opportunities to check the performance of the campaign before major reporting periods like the mid-point. Real-time adjustments can be implemented, if needed, based on this report. That... [Read more...]

Secondary Research and Experiential Marketing Analytics

Secondary research sometimes gets a bad rap. I’ve heard it called boring, difficult to find, and somehow “less than” primary in value in experiential marketing. The truth is, it can be all of those things. But it doesn’t have to be, if you know how to use it. Let’s look at both primary and... [Read more...]

The Key to Collecting Consistent Field Staff Data

We see a lot of different techniques used to collect field staff data. We also see a lot of different metrics and questions used to collect that data. Let me take a second to comment on what we see, what works, and what does not.     GETTING FIELD STAFF RECAP DATA First thing’s first, you... [Read more...]

Taking A Comprehensive Approach to Measurement

One of our primary goals is to make the metrics for our clients’ experiential marketing programs as comprehensive as possible. We often include data from multiple sources to our analysis. This indicates how the program performs against various levels of reach and impact. The Assessment: One thing... [Read more...]

Tips to Keep You on Schedule While Working From Home

I do not work a regular nine to five schedule.  At all.  Most days, I get up around seven and check my email. This serves as a quick, “is anything burning down that I need to deal with right now” check.  If so, I have at least an hour to get in front of it before most people... [Read more...]

Couponing at an Experiential Marketing Event

Many studies have shown that when a brand offers a coupon it has an positive impact on brand marketing. Offering coupons is a tried and true method of increasing short-term sales. It drives trial purchases among non-customers and also rewards loyal customers.       Surprisingly,... [Read more...]

Better Visualization for Event Marketing Data

My colleagues and I have written about data visualization in the past and I have more to say about it. Coming from someone who churns out several event marketing recaps in a given month, I’m always learning new data visualization techniques. My goal is to improve ease of understanding, partly due... [Read more...]

Psychographics: Understanding Your Consumers on a Whole New Level

In one of our previous blogs, we shared the story of how a client used psychographics to develop a target consumer profile. But, what does psychographics mean? Sometimes, people confuse psychographics with demographics, like age, gender, household income, and education. Rather, psychographics is about... [Read more...]

Why Deliver an Event Marketing Status Report (and How to Make Your Next One Great)

When was the last time you did a status report for your experiential marketing campaign? Ohhhh the lowly status report, they are so easy to forget and are sometimes removed from the project completely. You get your event marketing program up and running, field staff are showing up. Your consumers... [Read more...]

The Importance of Alignment: Coordinating Consumer Segmentation, Reach and Brand Interests in Experiential Marketing

One of our key objectives in marketing analytics is to show the campaign “reach.” “Reach” is how often the target consumer is reached at experiential events. Measuring “reach” ensures the field team is interacting with the right customer. If your brand is geared for... [Read more...]

Simple Steps to Formatting Your Next Survey

Making sure you properly program and format a survey is relatively straightforward. You’ll save yourself a ton of trouble if you make sure you approached it in the right manner. The look, feel, and function of your survey are a vital part of data collection. Formatting, or programming, the survey... [Read more...]

Qualitative Metrics You Should Collect from Field Staff

Experiential or event marketing programs rely heavily on their field staff for event data and reporting. This data is usually captured during the event and is made up of two major metrics, quantitative and qualitative.       Quantitative metrics are the numerical count of engagements... [Read more...]

Good Deeds Pay and Word of Mouth Spreads Quickly

We do a lot of work that relates to customer experience, looking at how those experiences translate to loyalty. We use various metrics to gauge the results of the consumer experiences and translate them to purchase and recommend intent. Most of the time our clients have launched a targeted campaign... [Read more...]

The Purpose Behind Consumer Targeting in Event Marketing

Almost every brand has what our team calls a “consumer target.”  This is the type of man, woman, boy, or girl, that they want their marketing efforts to reach most directly. These targets are made up of multiple demographic categories including (but not limited to): age, gender,... [Read more...]

Events Engagement: What is the Target Reach Rate Really Showing?

In a recent conversation with a client, the topic of the target consumer was raised. In general, brands have a target, or ideal, consumer in mind for their product. While our consumer exit surveys aren’t designed to capture the in-depth psychographics often found when building a target profile,... [Read more...]

Three tips for Project Review and Evaluation

Reviewing a project a few weeks after it ends can offer some great insight into areas of improvement, either as a company or an employee. By taking the time to understand the successes and failures of a project you give yourself the opportunity to improve your work. It also gives an opportunity... [Read more...]

For Better or for Worse: Comparison in Experiential Marketing Research

Yesterday I had a quarterly recap review and year-to-year comparison with a client that I have been working with for over five years. I have worked with this client on multiple experiential marketing programs and the one we were working on yesterday was a very large mobile tour (10 plus legs) for a... [Read more...]

Event Marketing Field Staff Metrics That Are Out of the Box

I’ve been doing a lot of work with event marketing field staff data lately. This has given me some new perspective on what metrics help maximize the amount of insight we can derive. We talk a lot about standard field staff metrics like consumer interactions and samples distributed, but if you think... [Read more...]

How to Measure Product Trials

Conducting product trials is a great way to promote and measure brand awareness and perception. Product trials are more effective when followed up with a short survey to measure the value of the interaction. In fact, a study conducted by McKinsey proved that word-of-mouth recommendations are a very... [Read more...]

How to Do a Focus Group at your Next Event (and Why)

A consumer event is great a place for any brand to participate. Where else can you engage consumers around your value proposition where they live, work, and play? Fairs and festivals, NASCAR and the PGA, wine tastings and the mall – all are opportunities to connect with consumers on the level of... [Read more...]

Using Research to Measure Change and Assess Impact

Our experiential marketing research is designed to measure the degree to which the program generated greater purchase intent for a product. However, we recently conducted a program to measure how a publication influenced thinking among a very specific target audience. That’s a lot different than... [Read more...]

Event Sampling and Purchase Intent Metric Improvement

We have an ongoing research project that includes measuring event sampling and purchase intent. During this time, the process has been refined to better match the needs of the brand, and to enhance the feedback for the brand teams. Initially, we scored the teams on the number of event samples they... [Read more...]

Four Key Elements of a Successful Research Methodology

Research methodology must be determined before actually beginning the research. You’ve heard the adage “Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail.” The research methodology is the most crucial step of the research design process. It’s the blueprint for the collection, measurement, and analysis... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing Recap in a Flash-Report

We use a marketing recap in our Flash Reports for our experiential marketing campaigns at PortMA. It’s a regular, frequent, bird’s-eye overview that indicates our progress toward our predetermined goals. While enterprise Flash Reports are typically issued daily, we publish experiential marketing... [Read more...]

What’s in a Word? A Single Word Can Make or Break Your Campaign.

What’s in a word? During my work on a recent PortMA project, the word “sustainable” came up a number of times. I have thought about the word ever since. It is significant in my approach to the footprint I leave on this earth. How respondents interpret a single word like “sustainable”... [Read more...]

How To Prove The Importance of Incorporating Research

Last week I delivered a recap for a popular consumer foods company. It was a pilot program that could potentially be much bigger in the future. My Client wanted to use the recap for the pilot program to sell the importance of incorporating research into the larger program. I thought I would share what... [Read more...]

Event Marketing Insights May Come Down to the Finest Detail

PortMA measured an event marketing program for a spirits brand in 2015 that covered several markets in the US. The brand team executed more than 3,000 events over the course of a year, so needless to say, it was challenging to analyze the program’s performance on a per activation basis. That being... [Read more...]

How Many Samples per Hour?

We wrapped up measurement on a 10-month sampling campaign for an adult beverage brand today. The program spanned 9 markets and distributed over 80,000 samples to more than 65,000 consumers.     Major Metric Categories We favor three categories of metrics in most of our experiential measurement... [Read more...]

Examining a Smaller Scope: Market Analysis for the Smaller Events

Typically, analysis for experiential marketing programs happens in one of two different ways, by overall date or by individual market. Overall is clearly an evaluation of all available data. Market Analysis looks at data unique to specific locations. The object of Market Analysis is to determine if... [Read more...]

Two Event Marketing Measurement Ideas to Consider

At the time of writing this post, I just finished reviewing an Event Recap Report Template with a wine industry client. We like to send Recap Report Templates in advance of actually conducting analysis so that our clients get a chance to review the reporting plan and offer feedback. This recap report... [Read more...]

Event Marketing ROI Measurement Model and Benchmarks (Article 2 of 2)

In this article we outline how to value impressions and the role impression value plays in measuring event marketing ROI. You’ve done the hard work, collecting accurate data from each of the five categories of event marketing impressions that we listed on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 (Article).   Now... [Read more...]

Event Marketing ROI Measurement Model and Benchmarks (Article 1 of 2)

Learn how we’ve modeled experiential marketing ROI for more than 130 brand engagements over the past six years. Read the details on how to do it yourself with our event measurement coaching tools.     We base the return-on-investment model for experiential marketing on the simple division... [Read more...]

Segmenting Your ROI – Why You Should do it Every Time

The segmenting ROI model created by PortMA may be the most important metric of an experiential marketing campaign. It is a means of measuring the value of the results of multiple aspects of a campaign that experiential marketing generates for a brand. It is the evidence that a campaign has produced,... [Read more...]

What Exactly is Brand Advocacy in Experiential Marketing?

An experiential marketing metric that we include in almost every measurement strategy is called recommend intent. It’s an often underrated metric because we so often focus on purchase intent, and rightfully so, since it’s a major predictor of new customer value. However, recommend intent is also... [Read more...]

How to Measure the Influence of Your Communication

All communication is an attempt to exert influence. We communicate verbally and non-verbally in a hundred different ways every day to help navigate the world we live in by exerting pressure on our environment to bend one way or another. Whether we are requesting a better deal from a vendor or saying... [Read more...]

The Science Behind Market Research

Research.  It’s a word with so much meaning and so much variation. There are different forms of research (e.g., basic, applied) and different approaches (e.g., scientific, artistic) and because of this, there are numerous ways to define the word. In the broadest sense, “research is a process of... [Read more...]

What You Need to Collect to Run PortMA’s ROI Model

I would say roughly half of PortMA’s clients are attracted to our company because we have developed a tried and true Return-On-Investment model that puts the estimated value generated for a brand from an experiential program into a language we all speak, and speak loudly: dollars and cents. Our model... [Read more...]

What is an Event Marketing Impression?

Impressions are a common and important field staff reporting metric in the event marketing industry. Event marketing impressions are essentially how many individuals saw your brand’s advertising at an event. There are multiple channels from which you can measure event marketing impressions, and the... [Read more...]

Data Speaks: Tell the Best Story With the Data That was Collected

The other day I proudly bought a book about how to display data in a way that is visually pleasing and enables readers to quickly understand what they are looking at. Data visualization is the buzzword, but for me it’s kind of like dissecting pieces of math until I understand and can paraphrase it... [Read more...]

Measuring Event Impact Through Post-Event Surveys

We manage several programs that include a post-event survey to help determine changes in consumer behavior or perception of the brand. For example, we may survey consumers 30 post-event to see if they have purchased the brand or product promoted at the event. This allows us to measure rates of purchase... [Read more...]

Data Cleaning in Event Marketing

Data cleaning is probably the most important part of my job. Clean data ensures the validity of our analysis. Defining what data is considered clean, and what is not, varies from program to program and survey to survey. Determining what you will qualify as clean data, and strictly maintaining those... [Read more...]

Collecting Consumer Insights with Experiential

March and April are busy month at PortMA. While many experiential programs don’t hit the road until the weather gets better in May, account managers all over the world are getting their ducks in a row during these two months. That includes the research. We are busy planning research strategies,... [Read more...]

Focus Group Recruiting Tips and Event Marketing

 On occasion, we do some traditional market research projects. I’ve been managing the focus group projects at PortMA for more than a year now, and I’ve learned some helpful tips along the way about focus group recruiting that can serve as best practices for readers in research, marketing, or event... [Read more...]

Key Performance Indicators for an Experiential Marketing Firm

We’re in the business of measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of other people’s experiential marketing. That’s everything from research design to data collection, and from initial analysis to final reporting on the clients’ campaigns. But once a quarter, we take a step back to reflect on... [Read more...]

Watch Event Marketing Event Marketing Performance: How to Report It

There are a lot of ways to count. There are as many tools, apps, and consultants available with different ways to count the activities of your event marketing campaign. However, if you don’t have a solid reporting plan in mind, you’ll be stuck with a spreadsheet of data and a blank PowerPoint template... [Read more...]

Event Marketing Event Marketing Data Collection Can Make You or Break You

We have been monitoring an event marketing program’s data collection efforts for about six months. It is activating across more than a dozen different markets. To date, we have received fewer than 300 completed surveys. This is dramatically short of our goal of 350 completed surveys per market. What... [Read more...]

Breaking Down Experiential Marketing Field Staff Data

Examining field staff data from a top-line level permits a good understanding of how your experiential marketing program performed. Simple things, like total interactions or samples distributed, do a good job of conveying what you accomplished. You might say that they are an impressive first impression... [Read more...]

What to Ask in Event Marketing Post-event Surveys

I recently wrote about what you need to field a post-event research initiative. This blog will focus on the types of questions to ask in an event marketing post-event survey If you are interested in what you need in place before you field a post-event survey, read this first. I want to make it clear... [Read more...]

Collecting Event Marketing Data in Many Markets

Many of the event marketing campaigns we measure activate in several markets, primarily in the US. Helping agency clients understand why teams in certain markets are generating greater impact than others is a key measurement initiative we undertake. In order to compare metrics between activating markets,... [Read more...]

Scheduling In-depth Interviews for Market Research

I distinctly remember a response former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gave at a briefing back in 2002 about the evidence, or lack of it, the United States had linking Iraq to weapons of mass destruction: Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because... [Read more...]

Integrating Experiential Marketing with Impressive Results

The more recognizable a brand, and the more positively consumers perceive the brand, the more likely they will purchase it when need that particular product. As an example, let’s use an exceptionally successful, very well-known, marketing campaign that has integrated an experiential marketing... [Read more...]

Framing Event Marketing Value for Client and Brand Teams

There are three, simple questions that, when answered properly, allow for the full management and assessment of an event marketing campaign’s value or ROI. You (your team, client, or manager) would like to better understand the overall program ROI, what drives it, and when. This enables them to do... [Read more...]

Defining a Good Experiential Marketing Analytics Team

As we were looking for a new Research Manager, I was giving a lot of thought to what makes a good team in experiential marketing analytics. How does one define “good team?” Is a good team one that is successful? Productive? Cohesive? And, how does one go about building a good team, fostering it... [Read more...]

Accounting for Shifts in Event Marketing Data

When reviewing data for event marketing, we typically look at it in two different formats: tour-to-date and the most recent biweekly period. Tour-to-date gives a good summary of how a program is performing overall. Biweekly provides a snapshot of what is going on right now in the program.   Typically,... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing and Retail Associate Surveys

I would say that for 85% of experiential marketing programs in retail, we do research that involves some sort of sampling geared at targeting a specific consumer to build affinity for the brand and drive purchase. Well, PortMA has a couple of programs that we have added to the books where the goals... [Read more...]

Event Marketing and Venue Selection

PortMA has been measuring a national event marketing campaign for a large spirits brand since February 2015. Brand teams activate at off-premise grocery and liquor accounts in several markets. We help evaluate their account selection by reviewing market-level field staff metrics like samples and bottle... [Read more...]

Event Marketing Data Collection and Materials Management

I don’t think its unfair to say that materials management often gets second or third billing to the big name objectives of event marketing. Because really, who has ever said that’s sexy? Materials management may be a hard pass at Thirsty Thursdays, but that office wallflower is what mobilizes inventory... [Read more...]

Event Marketing and Innovative Consumer Touch Points

Management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, predicts that close to 75% of the worldwide population will have access to mobile and Internet technology by 2030. Harvard Business Review suggests that keeping things simple is the key to building strong customer relationships so that they are... [Read more...]

Event Marketing Consumer and the Purchase Cycle

We can help you learn how to apply an understanding of consumer purchase cycles to event marketing measurement to understand exactly why your marketing is working (or not). We’re assuming you’ve watched training video #2. If you haven’t, the first thing you need to do is sign-up for a free “bronze”... [Read more...]

Synthesizing Experiential Marketing Data for Actionable Insights

We are working with a client on a long-term experiential marketing program in the spirits industry. This program is a bit different than is typical: it is a sales program rather than consumer-facing one whereby brand ambassadors are charged with increasing sales in assigned markets and accounts. They... [Read more...]

Treating Likert Scales in Event Marketing Research

Likert scales are a great tool for event marketing research. Giving a range of response options lets you probe into exactly how people feel about your product. That being said, Likert scales do have their troubles and drawbacks to take into account. So long as you remain aware of these and set them up... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing and Fielding Post-Event Research

The on-site survey indicates the immediate effect of your experiential marketing campaign. But, what do you do when you want to showcase the long-term impact of a program? Survey them again in the future, of course! This blog is the first of two on post-event measurement best practices. It focuses... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing, Sample Type and Consumer Reach

A tequila brand that PortMA has been measuring at experiential marketing activations for a couple of years consistently has a low target consumer reach relative to other brands. The first time I reported this finding, we thought it could be a data anomaly. However, target demographic reach barely improved... [Read more...]

Supporting the Experiential Marketing Analytics Team

My role at PortMA is functionally separate from the rest of the team. You’ll notice my colleagues blog about the intersections of experiential marketing with analytical reporting, data collection, project design, and interesting cases they’ve seen. I, on the other hand, work in the day-to-day management... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing and On-premise Depletion Data

Not too long ago, an agency partner came to me and asked about an analysis completed by the brand team. It showed their program didn’t drive sales. They asked me to take a closer look. We found the problem. It had nothing to do with the experiential marketing program.   The Best On-premise Depletion... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing Measurement Road Map

“We’re all pilgrims on the same journey – but some pilgrims have better road maps.” ~ Nelson DeMille As researchers, it’s easy to navigate each experiential marketing research project because it’s our job to set up and execute measurement strategies. However, we frequently work with clients... [Read more...]

Multi-brand Surveys in Event Marketing Data Collection

Surveying just one brand at events is easy, but you’ll frequently want to sample multiple brands, or different versions of the same brand in your event marketing program,  However, multiple brands can complicate things significantly. You’ll want to make sure you are asking people only about a brand... [Read more...]

Impact of A Full Experience in Event Marketing – Part II

IMPORTANT: If you are involved in any way with an event marketing food sampling program, you will want to read this story about an exciting eight-week event marketing program for a health food product distributed on the west coast. I recently wrote about the impact different levels of engagement had... [Read more...]

Event Marketing and Customer Lifetime Value

When invited to ask us anything, one of our blog readers asked: “What do you think is the best way to calculate customer lifetime value?” Read on for my response and a deeper understanding of how to valuate the customers created by your event marketing. Hi Chris, What do you think is the best... [Read more...]

Going Beyond Experiential Marketing Analytics

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” — Duke Ellington We take a partnership approach with our clients, offering research strategies and solutions that help them see the value of their experiential marketing campaigns. Recently, we’ve begun to take a broader look at how we... [Read more...]

Assessing On-site Sales from your Event Marketing

I have a love-hate relationship with on-site sales data. On the one hand, it can provide great insight into what and where your event marketing program success is having in the field. On the other hand, the data is not always irrefutable evidence for how the program is performing. The data is only... [Read more...]

Impact of A Full Experience in Event Marketing – Part I

IMPORTANT: If you are involved in any way with an event marketing food sampling program, you will want to read this story about an exciting eight-week event marketing program for a health food product distributed on the west coast. Some of the results were absolutely unexpected and amazing! The program’s... [Read more...]

Going for Deep Segmentation in Spirits Event Marketing

If you read my blog posts regularly (okay, semi-regularly… once in a blue moon?) you know that much of my research is in the spirits industry. Whiskey, vodka, liqueur, you name it. Almost all spirits brand teams want to know how certain metrics differ by events at on-premise and off-premise accounts.... [Read more...]

Auditing Sampling Staff in Event Marketing

Over the past decade, I’ve seen hundreds of event marketing campaigns. For most of them, I have been in the unique position of measuring the reach, impact, and ROI of the campaign itself. I’ve found that, regardless of how impressive the footprint or how spectacular the creative, at the end of the... [Read more...]

“Analysis Paralysis” in Experiential Marketing

  “This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read.” – Winston Churchill       Researchers always look for statistically significant differences in the data we collect. In most of our experiential marketing analytics work, the analyses we conduct and... [Read more...]

Organizing and Sorting Experiential Marketing Data

Organizing your experiential marketing data systematically within your data files can help you find issues quickly, should any problems arise during your analysis. While most issues should be discovered during the data cleaning processes, the ability to retrieve records and quickly identify anything... [Read more...]

Impact of Couponing in Experiential Marketing

We all know that offering coupons has an impact on brand marketing. Offering coupons is a tried and true method of increasing short-term sales. It drives trial purchases among non-customers and rewards loyal customers. Using coupons as part of an experiential marketing strategy is not as common... [Read more...]

Predictive Sales Modeling in Experiential Marketing

I like to use predictive analysis when doing research. I like to create a model that predicts which factors will have the strongest impact on research objectives. I recently developed a predictive model to help a client see which activities by a brand sales team best help to maximize product buy-in by... [Read more...]

The One Reason to Not Report Event Marketing ROI

Brands want to know their ROI on event marketing. Agencies want to provide it. And this is usually a great idea. However, there is one situation where you might want to think twice. At PortMA, we specialize in working with event marketing agencies to develop measurement and reporting solutions for the... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing Research & Proactive Communication

“Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.” – Rollo May There are a number of factors that contribute to building a cohesive, effective team – a group of people who can, and do, work well together. One of the most important factors is the... [Read more...]

Contingency Planning in Experiential Marketing

Contingency planning is important in experiential marketing data collection. Having some insurance in your process to prevent the unforeseen from stopping you from collecting data can make all the difference in your program. I’ve previously discussed how to best equip ethnographers for data collection.... [Read more...]

Secondary Resources & Experiential Marketing Research

We take pride in delivering actionable insights, not just observations, to our clients. Sometimes this is easier said than done. There are times the experiential marketing data tells a story, but we don’t understand why it is telling us what it is telling us. When that happens, we conduct secondary... [Read more...]

Drafting Experiential Marketing Qualitative Discussion Guides

I don’t always write discussion guides. But when I do, they’re supposed to take 30 minutes, but they actually take 45. In-depth interviews are fun experience for experiential marketing researchers. It gives the opportunity to have an engaging conversation with a respondent without the rigidness... [Read more...]

Sampling and On-site Sales in Experiential Marketing

Not all product categories, brands, activation times, and campaigns are equal. There is a lot that goes into retail sampling in experiential marketing. We’ve seen hand-selling reach 50% of engagements and we’ve seen it at zero. So, what it is about retail sampling that drives on-site sales? Let’s... [Read more...]

Finding Work-Life Balance in Experiential Marketing Analytics

I don’t have the best time management skills in the world. This is exacerbated by the fact that I can work from home. While it has done wonders for my productivity in experiential marketing analytics, it does come with some drawbacks. Here are some you should keep in mind should the work-at-home... [Read more...]

Research Terminology in Experiential Marketing Analytics

Experiential marketing research is a powerful tool. But, it is often misunderstood. It can be sought and embraced, but it can also be approached with skepticism and trepidation. It even can return misinformation. Unless you’re a researcher (or a research junkie), your eyes may likely glaze over when... [Read more...]

Tools to Write Frequent Experiential Marketing Reports

PortMA has a variety of reporting strategies and delivery frequencies. Some clients like to check their performance at the mid-point and end of the programs. Others like to check more often. Some prefer weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. When reports are delivered frequently, writer’s block can occur.... [Read more...]

How Leading Questions Lead to Biased Market Research

Market researchers need to be critical of survey design, because we’re knee-deep in it every day. DIY survey solutions have emerged as a cost-effective solution for companies to obtain consumer feedback. However these solutions lack the expertise of market research professionals. They tend to allow... [Read more...]

Experiential Marketing Impressions, Interactions, and Immersions

When deciding what you want your experiential marketing field staff to report, it’s easy and common to get caught up in the matter of what means what. If the meaning is not clear to you, it is not clear to your field staff either. Using standard definitions can keep reporting and analysis consistent. Consistency... [Read more...]

Ensuring Data Integrity – Part Two

In my last post on data integrity, I spent some time talking about how to ensure quality when reviewing panel data. In this post, I expand on that and share some tips that are useful for shorter surveys. While straight-lining can help you identify suspect results in long surveys, it doesn’t really... [Read more...]

Event Marketing Reporting: Delivering Impactful Results

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a researcher is running analyses of event marketing reporting and converting the output into meaningful, actionable results that can be used by non-researchers. This is a challenge in both mathematics and composition. It’s one I enjoy a great deal. What... [Read more...]

event marketing Ethnography Training for Experiential Marketing Event Staff

At PortMA, we like to be involved in the training of survey administration at experiential marketing events where we collect data. Clients are typically happy for the help and appreciate the fact that we make their jobs just a bit easier. We have done it thousands of times and have it down to a science.... [Read more...]

event impressions How to Obtain a Full Count of Your Event Impressions

Event impressions have real monetary value. You do a lot to generate meaningful event impressions of the brands you serve. However, it can be difficult to demonstrate, or otherwise prove, that those event impressions had some sort of actual value. Let me tell you how to do it. At PortMA, we work with... [Read more...]

Equipping Experiential Marketing Event Staff With Measurement Tools

Getting experiential marketing event staff set-up in the field is relatively simple. There are a few steps you can take to ensure that your execution  goes off without a hitch. The easiest way is also the most expensive. However, it helps to create an environment with the least number of obstacles... [Read more...]

experiential marketing Taking Experiential Marketing to a New Level With Outdoor Activities

Earlier this year, I discussed an experiential marketing program we measured for an outdoor sports retailer. I spoke to the importance of measuring attitude and behavior of retail club members versus non-members. At program’s end, we had a clearer understanding of how impact differed between the... [Read more...]

Gathering Experiential Marketing Intelligence That Makes You Competitive

At PortMA, we collect and analyze experiential marketing data from a variety of sources, the primary ones being field staff recap reports, consumer exit surveys and sales data. Generally, these data points allow us to meet the three main objectives of any experiential measurement effort:   Determining... [Read more...]

event marketing research Presenting Event Marketing Research

Believe me when I tell you that when most people who know me find out I am TERRIFIED of public speaking, they are shocked…not tooting my own horn, but I’m a pretty outspoken, friendly, comfortable-with-myself kind of person. I’m talking jitters, blank mind, speech so slurred people think I’m... [Read more...]

event marketing benchmarks How to Use Event Marketing Benchmarks to Predict Experiential ROI

What if you could accurately predict Experiential or Event Marketing return on investment in response to a client’s RFP? Would that be helpful? Of course! We work with Agencies to develop custom, predictive, return-on-investment models for their campaigns. When delivered to the brand team as... [Read more...]

experiential marketing data Managing Historical Experiential Marketing Data

Multi-year, experiential marketing programs have an interesting, inherent problem. The benchmark data from previous years can be incredibly useful when scheduling your program for the next year or when predicting the outcome the year to come. By looking at averages year-to-year, you can gain valuable... [Read more...]

event marketing Venue Selection in Event Marketing – A Case for State Fairs

Not long ago, a colleague wrote a blog post about venue selection for event marketing mobile tours – the kind of tours with big trucks, elaborate footprints, and plenty of on-site activities. She discussed the merits of activating at state fairs compared to retail events, and made a strong case... [Read more...]

event marketing impact Measuring Event Marketing Impact Through Post-Event Surveys

We manage several programs that include a post-event survey as part of the research to help determine changes in consumer behavior or perception of the brand. For example, we ask consumers if they purchased a product or brand promoted at the event 30 days later, which allows us to measure rates of purchase... [Read more...]

event marketing data Collecting Clean and Quality Event Marketing Data

In my opinion, the only thing worse than no data is bad or “unclean” data. At PortMA, we take the integrity of our data very seriously. If you are unsure about what steps to take to ensure that your data is clean, look no further. I am here to help. Below are the steps we take at PortMA to clean... [Read more...]

experiential marketing Using Experiential Marketing Benchmarks

We’re excited to make our benchmarking database base available to agencies, brands, and industry vendors. This database is comprised of over 200,000 consumer interviews as they exit the event sets from over 75 brands. It tells you exactly how different industries trend, how venues differ, and what... [Read more...]

event marketing Point A to Point B in Event Marketing Measurement

Tracking users between exit and post-event surveys can serve as a great way to learn more about exactly what impact your event marketing programs are having in the long term. Looking at overall survey results can be helpful for this, but once you start tracking those users that responded to both your... [Read more...]

event footprint Event Footprint Placement Makes a Difference in Experiential

Last year we began measuring an off-premise experiential marketing program for a ready-to-serve (RTS) spirits brand. Activations occurred in only four markets, so the program was smaller in scope than what we typically measure. This made it behave more like a pilot than a full-scale experiential marketing... [Read more...]

experiential marketing How to Write Experiential Marketing Recaps in Little Time

We have an experiential marketing client that manages a lot of sampling events for multiple brands for one large company. They started out managing only the events for one brand, but because they do an awesome job (in every sense), they keep winning more and more work with their client, and of course,... [Read more...]

event marketing Collecting Event Marketing Field Staff Data

We see a lot of different techniques used to collect field staff data. And we see a lot of different metrics and questions used. Let me take a second to comment on what we see, what works, and what does not.     Getting Field Staff Recap Data First thing’s first, you need to get the data... [Read more...]

event marketing Dealing With Survey Length in Event Marketing

Survey length is a constant struggle for event marketing research. If your survey is too long, participants will be reluctant to finish the survey, or even start it in the first place. You may be forced to offer an incentive to get consistent responses. Additionally, consumers may become complacent and... [Read more...]

experiential marketing How Unique Venues Could Bolster Experiential Marketing

One facet of measuring experiential marketing programs in the spirits industry is seeing the different venues at which brand teams activate. The industry primarily distinguishes between on and off-premise venues when reviewing analytics, but there are opportunities to go into more detail within those... [Read more...]

event marketing Questions to Include in Every Event Marketing Survey

Researchers use surveys to enter the mind of the consumer. They should be clear, concise, and provide the information necessary to provide relevant and impactful data. Survey design is definitely not a process you want to rush — it is imperative that every question included in a survey be well... [Read more...]

event measurement How to Launch an Event Measurement Effort

There is typically a lot of anxiety around the launch of an event measurement project. Typically the stakeholders have… well… a lot at stake. They’re embarking on a process that they probably don’t entirely understand that will result directly in an evaluation of how well they’re doing their... [Read more...]

event marketing How to Follow Up With Consumers in Event Marketing

Event Marketers utilize post-event online surveys for a number of reasons: They can follow-up with event marketing attendees to find out how they feel and have acted about your event months later They can serve as a precursor to future field work, to give you perspective on what you should expect from... [Read more...]

cause marketing Understanding the Impact of Cause Marketing in Experiential

A spirits brand for whom we have been conducting research during the past year-and-a-half has lately undertaken a unique experiential strategy: Cause Marketing. The brand is being promoted at events primarily designed to benefit a particular cause. I’d like to share an example of how pairing the... [Read more...]

event marketing research How to Define Event Marketing Research Objectives

The most important part of any research project is to clearly and accurately define objectives, because they provide the framework for the entire project and will guide each step of the research process from survey design to final reporting. Before defining research objectives, you need to know three... [Read more...]

ROI Modeling Return-on-Investment of In-Store Demos

I had the pleasure of speaking with the team at Shopper Events about strategies for modeling return-on-investment (ROI) for retail product demos. One of the things we discussed was how to think about ROI and the role it plays in business. We also talked about making it simple – something everyone... [Read more...]

marketing report Facing Event Marketing Report Writing Anxieties: Part 3

This is the third post in a series designed to help you overcome challenges inherent in writing. While the focus of these posts is on marketing report writing, these techniques can be adapted to writing almost anything. To that end, some of what I say here may seem unorthodox in a professional setting,... [Read more...]

consumer feedback Gathering Consumer Feedback at Events

A lot goes into making sure gathering consumer feedback happens for a project. For field work, getting staff in field with a way to administer the survey quickly and efficiently takes substantial setup. For online research, getting an accurate list to contact is such an important job it’s its own... [Read more...]

consumer attitudes Discovering Consumer Attitudes Can Identify Prospective Customers

PortMA conducted a national online survey in 2014 to help a client update their marketing strategy with their website and other promotional materials. The client was beginning to see a nationwide decrease in their organization’s membership, so they wanted to learn about the attitudes of potential... [Read more...]

research methodology Best Practices for Event Research Methodology (Part 2)

Earlier in the year, I posted a blog about methodologies and the best practices Research Managers at PortMA employ when drafting one. At the end of that post I mentioned that I would be following up with more information on methodologies. If you have been anxiously awaiting Part II, your wait is over!... [Read more...]

Event Measurement Why Should You Outsource Your Event Measurement?

There are a lot of great tools available to the event marketer when trying to integrate touch-points and gather data. I was recently reading about Splash which looks like a fantastic event and data-management software tool. You’ve also got the old standards like Eventbrite and the comprehensive (and... [Read more...]

report writing Facing Event Marketing Report Writing Anxieties: Part 2

This is the second post in a series designed to help you overcome challenges inherent in writing. While the focus of these posts is on report writing, the techniques can be adapted to writing almost anything (like event marketing reports). To that end, some of what I have put here may seem unorthodox... [Read more...]

event marketing Managing Event Marketing Field Staff Data

Managing event marketing field staff data is one of those tasks where the more you do it, the easier it seems. By that, I don’t mean practice makes managing it easier. The more quickly and frequently you respond to problems, the less likely you are to end up with a mountain of work to finalize at the... [Read more...]

event ROI What to do When Event ROI and Consumer Insights Differ

We measured an experiential marketing program that activated at volunteer events across the country for a brand of over-the-counter (OTC) medication. The client was relying on us to provide actionable insights from the research to use in their plan for 2015. We surveyed consumers at the events to measure... [Read more...]

research methodology Best Practices for Event Research Methodology (Part 1)

Winter is drawing to a close, and I know what you are all thinking now, “It’s too cold for festivals and fairs. The experiential world is on vacation!” If that’s what you think, you would be partially right. Most experiential programs have not launched yet. They are waiting for the crowds... [Read more...]

marketing insights Where do Experiential Marketing Insights Come From?

Ask three people in the industry what constitutes a “consumer insight” and you’ll get three different answers, if you get any answer at all. I used to believe that consumer insights were some definitive thing that would always “wow” the room, and create value in its wake. It was the... [Read more...]

Report Writing Facing Event Marketing Report Writing Anxieties: Part 1

Writing can be a laborious task. Even if you have an innate talent, report writing is a skill that requires nurturing, refinement and constant practice. You might be one of many who find writing to be a daunting task, something that is difficult or tedious regardless of how many reports you’ve authored.... [Read more...]

survey participants Survey Participants Playing Hopscotch

As surveys get more complicated, with skip patterns and more questions in general, the risk of survey participants making mistakes increases. Planning ahead can help to mitigate some of that risk, mistakes will always happen. What is most important is that you have a clear understanding of how to deal... [Read more...]

data visualization Data Visualization With Tables

It’s almost a certainty that market research reports will be filled with charts, graphs, and tables. Data is presented in these formats because it’s easier to understand when you can visualize it. However, filling a table with data, but without any thought as to what you want the reader to... [Read more...]

samples How to Determine What Samples are Giving Your Brand the Biggest Impact

I have had several clients over the past couple of years execute retail- focused national sampling programs. Activations at retail events are usually about one thing: Sales! When multiple SKUs of a brand are available for sampling, nine times out of ten, the Account Manager wants to know what SKUs will... [Read more...]

Customer Value Calculating Customer Value In Event ROI Models

There are several different ways to calculate customer value when modeling your event return-on-investment. Customer value as a dollar figure is used to identify how much revenue was generated by the event. When divided by costs, the result is a simple Return-on-Investment (ROI) calculation. Annualized... [Read more...]

moderating success Moderating Success

While much of the work we do at PortMA is quantitative, we also conduct qualitative research from time to time. These qualitative research efforts most often take the form of in-depth interviews, primarily, though not exclusively, with consumers. For more information on our qualitative work, click here.   What... [Read more...]

open-ended feedback Incorporating Open-Ended Feedback

Open-ended feedback from survey questions can be important for a number of reasons. The most obvious one being that you don’t know enough about consumers to give them a complete set of response options. This is particularly true of new products. Last year we had a product that was being introduced... [Read more...]

bias Avoiding Bias When Projecting Event Recap Metrics

One component of experiential marketing we frequently measure is projected event metrics. Our agency clients usually have key performance indicators (KPI) that they need to reach during the program. Knowing how close the brand teams are to their KPI is valuable for projecting a program’s outcome... [Read more...]

brand sales How To Distinguish Between Category Sales and Brand Sales

It’s not uncommon for a brand team to turn to experiential sampling when they are trying to stem the flow of customers away from the brand. Churn scares everyone and, when it spikes, we all take notice. To understand the performance of your marketing, it’s important to separate between churn... [Read more...]

research manager The Value of Employing a Research Manager Seasoned in Your Event Marketing Product’s Category

Research managers at agencies are sometimes assigned to lead the research efforts for a variety of products and services in multiple industries. It’s actually one of the reasons I love working at PortMA. I get to work on a variety of programs that assist with the marketing efforts of everything... [Read more...]

survey design Quick Guidelines for Making Your Survey Design Cleaner

Personally, I find that survey data becomes burdensome somewhere around the 20th question. That applies to both paper and online surveys, though for different reasons. The first steps to making these large data sets manageable start all the way back to programming and setting up the survey. In this... [Read more...]

retail Understanding the Behavior of Retail Consumer Groups

This summer we began a new project for an outdoor products retailer. Their primary marketing objectives are to acquire new club members and to generate interest in outdoor classes or adventure trips. Data from the first half of the program showed some early trends for us to monitor . Let’s start with... [Read more...]

actual purchase Why ‘Actual Purchase’ Is The Wrong Event Marketing Metric

At PortMA we design data collection plans, collect data, analyze, and report for 30 to 40 brands/event marketing campaigns a year. In almost every case, the goal is to generate sales, service adoption, or some revenue generating behavior. Therefore, one of our primary objectives as the analysts on the... [Read more...]

field staff reporting The Importance of Clean Field Staff Reporting

I know several of my co-workers have recently posted blogs about field staff reporting and the importance of keeping it clean and up-to-date. So why am I writing about it now? Because it is one of the main problems I run into with clients when it comes to reporting. Plain and simple, numbers need to... [Read more...]

infographics Holy Infographics, Batman!

Superheroes are a big deal in my house, but I never thought they would (or could) collide with my professional life. On one fateful day, however, I witnessed the communicative power of infographics through none other than the Caped Crusader himself, Batman.   Batman and Infographics While attending... [Read more...]

ethnographer On the Road Again With Survey Ethnographers

There are a number of ways to improve field staff data collection. Weekly training calls are a great start. The calls don’t need to be more than 15 or 20 minutes, but, by covering the basics, you can ensure that common mistakes are avoided. Additionally, by simply having the call, you can increase... [Read more...]

ROI Measuring ROI With On-Site Purchases

Normally, any project where we calculate return-on-investment (ROI) includes an essential component from the survey: purchase intent. However, on rare occasions, we employ a survey for an experiential program where we do not measure purchase intent. Here is an example of a program we measured earlier... [Read more...]

Good Event Measurement The Path to Good Event Measurement

I enjoyed presenting to a group of Meeting and Event industry leaders today. The guest list included senior management from Fortune 100 IT, Pharma, and Direct Sales companies. All of them believed that events are a key part of the future marketing mix for their company. However, only some believed they... [Read more...]

The Value of Measuring Event Marketing Data Year Over Year The Value of Measuring Event Marketing Data Year Over Year

At PortMA, we have great client retention. Why? Because we do great research. I have been with PortMA for four years. From day one I have been managing the two event marketing projects I will be referring to today. Both projects are large, national mobile tours that activate primarily at large events... [Read more...]

With Great Market Research Data Comes Great Responsibility With Great Market Research Data Comes Great Responsibility

A previous post outlined key considerations for designing a “perfect” survey and described the impact survey design can have on data quality. But ensuring actionable data is not guaranteed simply by deploying the perfect survey. The next step to ensuring great market research data involves cleaning... [Read more...]

Tips for Managing Paper Surveys Tips for Managing Paper Surveys

Paper surveys end up being a part of many programs. Managing the influx of paper surveys is a key to making sure they do not bog down your ability to do analysis, though. There is nothing worse than entering 500 surveys in two days before a project closes. There are a number of steps that can be taken... [Read more...]

Market Research Presentation Presentation Format Can Make or Break a Market Research Report

I’ve written before about the importance of catering your market research reports to your audience. This post is a continuation of that, with attention given to presentation formatting. One of my biggest challenges as a market research manager is how to communicate quantitative data in a way that... [Read more...]

Six Things You Can Do to Increase Event Marketing Response Six Things You Can Do In Event Marketing to Increase Response

This post contains a magnificent set of six, scientifically-proven principles that, when combined, can create a road map to improved experiental marketing success. Each idea can be used ethically and, often without cost, to radically increase the impact of your event marketing. All you have to do is... [Read more...]

My Awesome Experience Building a Predictive Model My Awesome Experience Building a Predictive Model

Recently, I had the chance to build an awesome predictive model for a client who wants to showcase the expected inquiries and new business their client can expect to see before actual data comes in. It’s kind of like peeking at a corner of a wrapped present at Christmas for us researchers.   We... [Read more...]

Viral Marketing The Cold, Hard Facts Behind Creating a Successful Viral Marketing Campaign

Several years ago, I worked on a research study that focused on sports fans and social media. The goal was to help the client get a stronger, more nuanced understanding about how their target consumer uses social media. Overall, social media was seen as a tool to create and maintain connections, with... [Read more...]

Getting Some Help With Panel Research Getting Some Help with Panel Research

My work is primarily based around measuring event marketing, but every once in awhile, the need for panel research arises. Panel research studies are interesting because they are essentially a three-month-long project condensed into a couple of weeks. This can be fun, but it can also be hectic. It quickly... [Read more...]

Psychographic Targeting in Event Marketing Psychographic Targeting in Event Marketing

One industry that was new to me in measuring event marketing is pet food. This summer we measured a mobile tour promoting dog treats. Often times I talk about target consumers in terms of a demographic profile. However, the goal of this program was to engage consumers who share the same values as the... [Read more...]

Event ROI Industry Trends: Event ROI Measurement 2013 vs 2014

I recently spoke with an executive team at an event marketing agency about how to measure events. We’re preparing for a conference at which PortMA was hired to provide a workshop on event and meeting return-on-investment (ROI) measurement methods.     Event ROI Measurement: 2013 versus... [Read more...]

dashboards A Couple of Thoughts on Dashboards

This year I have had a couple of clients implement dashboards into their programs. Dashboards are amazing! They can be expensive, but when you think about the time they will save you, they are quite worth it. A well thought out dashboard can provide a wealth of information in a snap. That can help you... [Read more...]

Creating Professional Goals that Matter Setting Up For Success: Creating Professional Goals that Matter

I recently came across the following quote by Aristotle and I was struck by the timelessness of his wisdom.  “First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means... [Read more...]

Time is a Factor in Event Marketing

We’re in the midst of recapping a national event marketing campaign for a spirits brand. The measurement strategy is fairly standard: increase brand awareness, reach the target consumer, generate purchase behavior where it hadn’t existed before. However, a new question arose during the analysis… At... [Read more...]

Weighting Data The Weighting is the Hardest Part: How to Make Sure Your Event Sampling is Accurately Measured

Recently, we wrote a recap report at the mid-point of a program. One of the things we noticed was that the survey responses were significantly disproportionate to the engagements by event type. To ensure the results were representative (i.e., not over- or under-representing respondents from one type... [Read more...]

Quality Versus Quantity in Event Marketing

I reviewed two recap reports recently in two very different industries. Each had a quality versus quantity issue. And this painted a rich story of performance and value for the brands. First… let me give you some background on how we got to the data for the recaps in the first place.   We... [Read more...]

What Venue Type is Best for Sampling?

I have had the pleasure of working on several well executed, high impact sampling programs for a couple of national food brands (if I were allowed to name drop, I bet you will have eaten at least one of the brands in the past month). That’s not the point. The point is, there has been a huge debate... [Read more...]

Ensuring Data Integrity (Part 1)

Panel research is a wonderful asset to event marketing. It can give you a baseline for your research, or help you to establish what aspects of a project you need to look into in further detail. That being said, panel data is never perfect. There are a number of things to take into account when cleaning... [Read more...]

Statistical Significance Versus Meaningful Significance

Statistical significance – it doesn’t roll off the tongue easily, but it’s a standard component of a market research report. It’s the tool that identifies which differences between consumer segments are meaningful to the research, and which differences are due to random variation. One issue... [Read more...]

The Jack Phillips Method to Measuring Meetings and Events (An Introduction)

Most of the measurement discussions on this website and in the event marketing industry are about measuring mobile tours, sampling programs, and larger experiential footprints. But what about all the employee events? What about the annual pharmaceutical sales rep meetings or the annual users’ conference?... [Read more...]

Constructing the “Perfect” Survey

Survey design can be a challenge, whether your survey has four questions or 40. Here are some tips to guide you through the survey construction process.     1. Ask clearly worded  survey questions Setting up questions in as simple and straight-forward a manner as possible is crucial for survey... [Read more...]

Sample Size Is Important

Asking consumers to participate in a short set of questions after an amazing event where they have just experienced the best product they have ever come in contact with (yours) can be a downer sometimes. Why can’t we just have a great time with our consumer, show them we love them, hand them some... [Read more...]

Open-Ended Responses: Tell Me What You Think

Open-ended responses have a lot of inherent utility in a survey. To start, they can be used when you don’t know enough about consumer tendencies to prepopulate a response with options. We had a survey looking at brand loyalty, but were unclear on what the fundamental reason for brand loyalty was. As... [Read more...]

Reviewing Past Research: What Didn’t Work Last Time?

Now that we have discovered what worked last year, it’s time to research the second key question: What can we do to improve upon last year? There were some important learning experiences from this program that can be applied not only to this year’s program, but other experiential research... [Read more...]

Marrying Your Survey Data Collection Sources

Receiving information from multiple sources can be both a blessing and curse. Multiple sources lets you get data faster, and be more confident you will hit your desired sample size, something clearly pivotal to research. That being said, it is important to be careful when working with multiple sources,... [Read more...]

Reviewing Past Research: What Worked Last Time?

We’re gearing up to launch an experiential research project on a spirits brand for which we’ve researched for the past couple of years. One of the areas we emphasize in the project launch process is how to add more value to the analysis than in years past, so content stays fresh year after... [Read more...]

Using Event Marketing Field Reports to Develop Actionable Insights

We just finished reviewing a recap report internally that will go to our agency client, and then the brand team, in the next couple days. We really dug into the data provided by field staff  and found some interesting stories. However, the stories weren’t all readily apparent at first. We had... [Read more...]

Making the Stretch With Survey Data Collection

You can only find out so much about a consumer within a single survey. It is simply a matter of time available. If you are asking someone a 25 question survey in person, not only will you have people dropping out part way through, but you’ll only get to so many people to begin with. In order... [Read more...]

Measuring Member Satisfaction Goes a Long Way

When we’re not conducting research on experiential marketing programs, we’re directing our resources toward traditional market research. I periodically write research reports for different professional organizations. The most recent one drew some interesting conclusions.     We were... [Read more...]

Event Marketing ROI Versus Predicting Event Marketing ROI

Event marketing ROI (return-on-investment) comes in two forms in most of our work. And unfortunately, the two forms are often confused. The first is a planning tool and the second is a outcome estimate. Let me see if I can clarify the two in this brief blog update. If you’re looking for information... [Read more...]

How to Deal With Limited Demographics in Your Sample

Dealing with a limited demographic focus is to be expected when you conduct research. After all, no one is interested in everyone’s opinion on a product. Generally, you have a target consumer, whether that is an age range, gender, or household income. The issue arises when that demographic becomes... [Read more...]

Surveying the Target Consumer: How Many is Enough?

Our team presented a comprehensive experiential marketing program recap to a spirits industry client recently. The program had three major research objectives that I’ve outlined in a previous post. The objective that caught the most attention was “reach the right consumer.” Each brand... [Read more...]

How to Build a Story in an Event Recap Report

All reporting is a story telling process. You need to bring your reading audience through an experience that helps them not only relive the activation but also understand the impact and value from the consumers’ point of view. You’re successful when the account team and brand manager understand... [Read more...]

Elevating Traditional Qualitative Methods with Technology

Technology has helped us to come a long way in how we conduct research – panel companies, online surveys, geocaching, etc. Researchers seem to have fully embraced elevating quantitative methods through technology. That same fervor and passion seems to be lacking on the qualitative side of things, however,... [Read more...]

Defining Language to Find Actionable Insights

Defining language can be surprisingly difficult. We all have our own vocabulary and can clearly communicate with one another, but if you look deeper, you might realize that sometimes some of us are saying the same thing, but talking about different things. While I’m sitting here enjoying my cup... [Read more...]

Judging the Relevance of Survey Results

A slightly less-thought-about topic when it comes to survey data is “Whose opinion matters?” Not that it isn’t a focus during analysis, but target consumers are a part of all marketing, and are inevitably a topic of discussion during recaps. I’m talking about who you should be excluding... [Read more...]

How Post-Event Surveys Inform Marketing Strategy

Recently, we recapped survey results for a mobile tour we measured last summer into the fall.  The measurement strategy utilized independent ethnographers surveying event attendees who visited the organization’s footprint, asking the attendees what they had learned and how likely they would be... [Read more...]

Tactical Versus Strategic Data and Reporting

I recently met with a large NGO Bank in Washington DC. We had a great conversation with one of their data and analytic teams talking about how to organize 1,500 writers under a standardized blogging initiative. Their challenge was: How do we convince so many professional, subject-matter experts that... [Read more...]

At the Intersection of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

In recent years, I’ve noticed considerably more blended approaches to research than when I first started in this industry. Back then, it was very clear which clients preferred qualitative and which clients viewed quantitative research as superior. It seemed to be that you were either in the qualitative... [Read more...]

How Last Year’s Data Collection Informs Strategy

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. I quickly learned this lesson my second year working on a project. Last year’s data was proving necessary not only to help define how this year would proceed, but also set a precedent for how this year would perform. More importantly, last year’s... [Read more...]

Three Market Research Report Writing Tips

The first quarter of 2014 was crunch time for recap reporting. Many experiential programs come to an end right around the holidays. Some extend into the new year, but traditional market research projects usually wrap up by year’s end for clients to present results to senior management. Luckily,... [Read more...]

Consumer Purchase Cycles and Event Marketing Return-on-Investment

There are many theories of consumer purchase cycles. Some are overly complicated and others overly simple. As a team of market researchers specializing in the measurement of event marketing, we find it our business to study these cycles and see how they prove out in practice. (And we’ve had a fair... [Read more...]

Defining a Market in Experiential Measurement

Defining a market in experiential marketing research is typically a simple task, especially in the United States. Offering insights at the state level is usually the “Goldilocks” of insight. Markets aren’t so small that data collection is too low, and range isn’t so big that you are... [Read more...]

Pilot Study – Luxury or Necessity?

We recently conducted a pilot study for a national program involving 12 brands. We worked with one of those brands for our pilot phase, to determine the data collection and measurement strategy. Although it went relatively smoothly, it was the reporting portion of that phase that required the most work.... [Read more...]

How Data Trends Uncover New Insights

Since 2012, we have been measuring the impact of a long-term experiential marketing program for a brand of pasta and sauce. In the summer of 2013, we discovered a peculiar trend with sauce. Even though consumers were sampling both pasta and sauce at store events, their likelihood to purchase sauce the... [Read more...]

Measuring a Sales Funnel

We are currently in the process of launching a program for a Mobile Tour we have been working with for four years. In the past, the goal of the program has been education. This year the client wants to see sales-based results. This means a lot of changes to the current research objectives and strategy.... [Read more...]

Building Communication Strategies that Drive Behavioral Change

I delivered research results to a dozen education professionals recently who wanted to develop a stronger alignment between how they communicate value and what the community they serve finds valuable. It was an amazing process, from which a great set of actionable data was gleaned. Many assumptions were... [Read more...]

Ways to Streamline Data Collection Training

Training is an interesting challenge. In an ideal world, I would get twenty minutes with each person to explain how our data collection process works and what they should or should not do while collecting data. Occasionally, I even get to do this. When a project has individually hired ethnographers... [Read more...]

Turning Bad News Into an Opportunity

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill Bad news – it’s one of those things that is universally disliked, whether you are delivering it or you are receiving it. In research, bad news can take... [Read more...]

The Importance of Post-Event Research

On-site research is great. (Obviously I’m biased.) It lets you learn about customer disposition and how in line your targeting is with your objectives. But this is in the heat of the moment. How does someone feel about the product a week later, or a month later? Is the person who said they would... [Read more...]

Methodology Brief: Why is it Important To Your Event Measurement Strategy?

You never know who’s going to read a market research report. Perhaps it’s your client’s insights team, or it may be folks who work in finance or marketing who will be reading it. If you’re not sure, it’s probably all of them, and not everyone will understand the purpose... [Read more...]

Recap Reporting, Brand Strategy, and Event Marketing Measurement (Part 5 of 5)

In the first four parts of this five part series we talked about measuring event marketing, capturing the reach of your events, understanding event marketing impact, and event marketing ROI. This last post in the series is about reporting. All of your hard work is for nothing, if you don’t deliver... [Read more...]

Perceptual Mapping Pitfalls

 I always enjoy studying  perceptual maps. At the same time am, I am sometimes bothered by some of the data. There always seems to be one or two variables in the top right corner that clients love to see – that’s the quadrant where you’re hitting on what customers care about most. While... [Read more...]

Recap Reporting, Brand Strategy, and Event Marketing Measurement (Part 4 of 5)

In this five part series, we discussed the overall measurement strategy we recommend when you’re challenged with how to measure event marketing. It starts with getting a clear understanding of the consumers your event is reaching and following this by how your sampling is impacting their future... [Read more...]

When a Picture is Really Worth a Thousand Words

One of the biggest challenges researchers face is finding a way to present results in a way that is both meaningful and easily understood by non-researchers. A popular solution to this challenge is data visualization, the method for representing data in graphic form. Traditionally, data visualization... [Read more...]

Recap Reporting, Brand Strategy, and Event Marketing Measurement (Part 3 of 5)

In part two of this five part series we talked about the idea of reach in event-based marketing measurement. We reported on standard benchmarks for average samples her hour. We also addressed the idea that the volume of consumers reached is irrelevant, if you’re not reaching the right consumer.... [Read more...]

Monitoring Data Collection for Accuracy

Arguably, the most important aspect of my job is monitoring data collection. How much data you finally collect can make or break a project. Early on, I made a few mistakes about data collection that I think are worth being shared. For those more experienced, a reminder of the basics never hurts. Know... [Read more...]

Recap Reporting, Brand Strategy, and Event Marketing Measurement (Part 2 of 5)

Welcome to the second in our five-part series about Recap Reporting, Brand Strategy, and Event Marketing Measurement. In our first article we discussed reaching the right consumer, changing their purchase behavior, and generating a return on investment. In this article we move on to “Reach.” How... [Read more...]

Best Practices for Project Launch

Summary: A lot of the work of a market research manager during the first quarter is consumed with launching new projects for the coming year. Many experiential and traditional market research projects we manage run over the course of several months, so the planning process can get fairly complex and... [Read more...]

Event Presentation Recap Reporting, Brand Strategy, and Event Marketing Measurement (Part 1 of 5)

I started working in the Experiential Marketing Industry in 2005. Since then I’ve seen a lot of recap reports. My first job in the industry was to help a top-notch agency work on their recap reporting and plus them up a notch. So I got to it and started reviewing every past recap report I could... [Read more...]

The Metric Where Opportunity Is Hiding

You’re researching your brand’s market share and you discover that a large portion of the consumers you are reaching have purchased your product before, but not recently enough to be considered a current customer. They’re labeled former, or lapsed, customers. The first thought that... [Read more...]

Case Study: Household Fixtures Tour

When a national household fixtures company wants to introduce a new product line to consumers and builders alike, they have a number of barriers to overcome. Awareness can be addressed through traditional advertising, but trial, hands-on exposure and in-depth explanation of the product’s advantages... [Read more...]

A New Look at Customer Retention

Consumer packaged goods are interesting, specifically because they have such low customer retention rates. With virtually no cost or other apparent downside to changing brands, people have little reluctance to switch. Because this is such a difficult consumer response to measure and understand accurately,... [Read more...]

The Importance of Data Consistency

Summary: Consistency is a key component of any successful endeavor. Consistency is especially important in administering experiential marketing. Questions must be presented with grammatic precision, demographics must be within predetermined parameters, sample distribution (including quantity and mode... [Read more...]

Hitting the Marque With Spirits Sampling

We just delivered a third quarter recap report on a sampling campaign at special events in the spirits industry. Before the second phase of the program began in the fall, the client introduced a new marque to the campaign that we did not previously measure.  The motivation behind the new marque is to... [Read more...]

Year-To-Year Impact Paints a Bigger Picture

This week we presented a recap report to our client measuring the impact of a mobile tour for an organization.  The research strategy was modeled after the previous year so that we would be able to draw comparisons to past results. The changes from one year to the next were the most fascinating part... [Read more...]

Looking Back

I had the opportunity this week to review data from projects conducted over the past three years. The first thing that I noticed was how familiar it all was. Despite being well over a year divorced from some of the data, the intricacies of the project came rushing back to me (Oh, this program had lower... [Read more...]

Message to Market Match in Product Sampling

We presented the findings from a 17-week, 22-market sampling program today. The brand reached over 100,000 consumers over the course of 17 weeks with a message focused on new ways to enjoy the product.     In any experiential program, the primary measurement goals should focus in on three areas: Reach:... [Read more...]

Keeping ROI In Perspective

 We recently finished our research for a very successful mobile tour for a well known, frequently purchased (70% of consumers reported they were current customers) food product. Consumers loved the event experience and the samples that were distributed.   This was really apparent in the data: 93%... [Read more...]

Measuring Program Success With Benchmarks

When I was recapping a short-term experiential marketing program, I decided to add more substance to the impact variables by comparing them across industries. It sounds like this would take several hours of work – and it did. Luckily this is something PortMA has been working on for some time. Over... [Read more...]

Delivering Value in a Program Recap

Reporting on programs already in progress is pretty cut and dried. We know their goals, demographic targets, etc. and it is our job to monitor their progress in regards to those goals. We also know which key metrics will drive value for the program in the long run and we will emphasize the importance... [Read more...]

ROI Outside the Bottle

This week we presented an end-of-program recap report to our client on a mobile tour for laundry detergent. The research was standard and comparable to many experiential programs we measure. Determining the ROI was a different story. One of the components of our ROI model is “projected incremental... [Read more...]

Travel & Leisure Event Marketing Quality vs. Quantity

Yesterday we presented to an agency partner on a travel and leisure industry mobile tour. This is the third year we’ve been called in the help measure this travel and leisure tour. It’s always nice to have the year-over-year comparisons to understand how different activation strategies change... [Read more...]

How to Estimate the Dollar Value of Event Marketing Impressions

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How to Estimate the Dollar Value of Event Marketing Impressions

We know impressions generated from event marketing have a value. If impressions didn’t have value, then the media publishing industry wouldn’t exist. The question is, what is the value of those event marketing impressions? Ad Value Equivalence (AVE) Modeling We start by assuming the value... [Read more...]

How To Estimate the Dollar Value of Event Marketing Impressions

We know impressions generated from event marketing have a value. If impressions didn’t have value, then the media publishing industry wouldn’t exist. The question is, what is the value of those event marketing impressions? Ad Value Equivalence (AVE) Modeling We start by assuming the value... [Read more...]

Field Data Helps Read Between the Lines of Survey Results

Traditional market research utilizes familiar methods like web surveys and focus groups to obtain information, and these studies usually have a formal plan outlined in their original proposals. Experiential marketing research takes on a different approach where not only survey data is collected, but... [Read more...]

Consumers Sampled – Start Collecting It Now!

While reviewing a recap for a sampling program with a client in the food industry, a question arose concerning on-site sales conversion….”How many consumers are buying my products after a sampling experience?” While we did not have this data readily available, we promised to have a... [Read more...]

The Importance of Hitting the Demographic Target

I just reviewed a mid-program recap report focused on a sampling campaign’s performance at the half-way point.  The goal of the program is to expose consumers to the category and brand with a distinct ethnic demographic target. Sampling The Right People The first thing we check for is how often... [Read more...]

Response Rate Benchmarks from Post-Event Surveys

Here is what I know… the longer you wait, the lower the response rate.  At two to three months out I would expect a 4 to 6% response rate but wouldn’t’ be surprised if we got a 9 or 10% return. Why should you survey consumers after an event? It’s critical to have feedback on... [Read more...]

Secondary Research…Feels Like College?

Recently I have been working on a unique project here at PortMA.  Whereas most of our programs entail measuring an experiential campaign, this one actually intends to define a new product for a local beverage manufacturer through market research, qualitative and quantitative analysis. Step one was to... [Read more...]

Using Post-Event Metrics to Measure Consumer Behavior

A couple of experiential marketing research projects I’m currently working on have more than one phase of data collection.  The first phase involves standard on-site data collection using a brief exit survey to measure the immediate impact of the event experience on consumer behavior. The second... [Read more...]

What is Actionable Event Data?

People often talk about making event data actionable.  And so often they deliver data labeled as actionable that simply isn’t.  So let’s take a second here to define what actionable event data is and how to make sure your collecting it. ​First, it is important to understand, for our purposes... [Read more...]

Performance Goals Go Beyond Standard Metrics

When you conduct experiential marketing research on similar programs, it’s easy to assume that the program goals of one program are the same as the goals of another, but that’s not necessarily true.  Although we almost universally measure brand awareness, future purchase intent, and future... [Read more...]

Building an Agency by Doing Good Work at a Fair Price

Summary: PortMA is an agency dedicated to helping Event and Experiential Agencies with the measurement and reporting aspects of their campaigns. At PortMA, we work only with other agencies. While you’ll see an impressive list of brands on our website portfolio page, it’s the agency list that... [Read more...]

How to Eliminate Interviewer Bias

Summary: Regardless of the type of interview, the interviewer can, wittingly or unwittingly, create a situation in which the respondent replies in a manner that reflects what he or she believes the interviewer wants to hear. Objective interviewing requires both the interviewer and the respondent to say... [Read more...]

Actual Versus Intended Post-Event Behavior

Summary: There are several ways to measure the impact of your events. You can review sales immediately after an event, you can ask people what they intend to buy after the event, or you can interview them a few months later and ask them what they bought. Reviewing Sales Figures After an Event Reviewing... [Read more...]

consumer bias Seeing Through Consumer Bias

Summary: Consumer bias in experiential marketing surveys runs both ways. It can be created by circumstances, by the interviewer or by the consumer. Gleaning meaningful results is always dependent upon how well we control the potential for bias. We go to great lengths to avoid producing interviewer bias... [Read more...]

Consumer Shifts

It’s all relative.  This is particularly true of program data.  It’s also one of the major reasons we encourage doing research with each program every year.  It’s one thing to say that 30% of people said they would buy a product.  It’s an entirely different, and more valuable thing, to say... [Read more...]

How Control Groups Help Measure Impact

SUMMARY: In the realm of experiential marketing, conducting surveys is simply not good enough. While a survey by itself can measure response, it cannot measure impact. Just as pharmaceutical companies must use control groups along with test groups to determine the efficacy of experimental drugs, so PortMA... [Read more...]

The PortMA Event Recap Review Process

Conventional wisdom tells us to never put the cart before the horse. The problem is that we often misapply that axiom. We have discovered that the event recap process is more like mapping a route on your GPS. First, you enter your destination. Then you determine the best way to get there. We follow a... [Read more...]

Market Saturation

As marketers, we have been ingrained with the message “more is better”….the technical term is ‘marketing saturation’.  The more exposure a brand has, the more it comes top of mind to consumers when they have a need for the particular product or service that brand offers. At... [Read more...]

Consumer Awareness Impact on Big Ticket Purchase Intent

A huge metric in this industry is a consumer’s intent to purchase.  It is easily measurable with just a single survey question and, in all reality, it is the only metric that concerns a company trying to drive sales through experiential marketing campaigns and consumer interaction. But how does... [Read more...]

Recruiting and Training Ethnographers for On-Site Interviews

In my first five weeks as a Junior Analyst here at PortMA I’ve mostly been learning the ropes by becoming involved in projects that are well into their later stages.  However, I’ve been provided with an opportunity to dive into managing a project from start-to-finish. Typically, our clients employ... [Read more...]

How Sampling Metrics Impact Experiential Strategy

With reports flying off the fingers this week, my focus is turned towards sampling performance for our beverage programs. One key area we monitor is the number of samples distributed, specifically the average number of samples distributed per event.  By monitoring this metric we can project how the... [Read more...]

New Product CPG and Experiential Impact

We’re monitoring a retail sampling campaign where the vast majority of consumers (81.9%) had never head of the brand before they came across the retail activation. We find it’s key to measure a consumer’s experience with a brand when evaluating the impact of any experiential marketing... [Read more...]

Training Your Team on Event Marketing ROI Benchmarks

A big part of implementing a clear measurement and reporting process in your experiential agency is training your staff how to change the way they think and relate to event marketing data. So often, data is a point of anxiety for account managers: field staff exaggerate impression counts, the year-to-date... [Read more...]

Using Last Year’s Experiential Recap to Plan Next Year’s Program

It’s all about predictive modeling.  You want to use what you learned from last time to do it better next time.  This happens when you can model what was done. Modeling Event Marketing Performance We use a three stage model.  Start with how efficiently the marketing reached consumers with a... [Read more...]

Where Event Measurement Becomes Actionable

We recapped a three market sampling pilot for an agency partner today.  It’s not uncommon for our agency partners to ask us to fly with them to the brands they serve and take the lead on the insights and analytics of the recap.  That was today. This particular program was a three market pilot... [Read more...]

Using Research to Know What You Don’t Know

Qualitative research is a discovery process designed at it’s core to reveal things you didn’t even suspect might be true.  (Survey research validates these assumptions.) We just finished a qualitative research study around how consumers think about, use, and truly understand the nature of... [Read more...]

Measuring Events Is As Much Compassion As It Is Skill

We’ll be delivering a recap report tomorrow that highlights the success of a marketing campaign, the integration of that campaign into a sampling program, and how the combination of the two drove purchase among consumers. This wasn’t an easy study. There are often a lot of interested parties... [Read more...]

Purchase vs. Recommend: Which is Better?

In this industry, measuring a consumer’s propensity to buy or recommend a product is more than common, it’s a must.  The majority of the surveys we work with ask these baseline questions to get an idea of how much impact their experience with the brand ambassador made. The question is, which... [Read more...]

Extending Your Agency Brand with Measurement

I wrote a strategy today that focused on building out a fully customized experiential measurement strategy that is unique to the one Agency and something no-one else will do. A Problem With Experiential Measurement The mandate seems problematic on the surface. First of all, what we do for each and every... [Read more...]

Predicting The Future During a Project Launch

Today I got some great news.  This PortMA greenhorn is taking on a couple of programs of his own! Now I don’t want to make it sound like I’m in over my head.  In my first 3 months here I’ve been learning quick, the math and science of the analytics being far easier to comprehend than... [Read more...]

3 Steps to Really Making Experiential Metrics Actionable

I’m writing this on a plane coming back from the first two cities of a four city tour. We’ve been measuring the impact of experiential marketing for one Fortune 500 brand for four years now and have most recently found the following areas to be key:   Identify key consumer psychographics... [Read more...]

Samples Vs. Sampled

So you distributed over 9,000 samples during the week.  That’s great! Now, more importantly, how many people sampled your product? This important distinction is commonly lost in reporting on data collection.  Double and triple sampling is surprisingly common, particularly because you want to be sampling... [Read more...]

Free Lunches Do Exist in Experiental Marketing

As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. I have always held this as a fact of life, a warning even, not to trust something that seems too good to be true.  That is right up until I started my career in experiential marketing.   As a by product of the information age, traditional... [Read more...]

The Importance of Hitting Your Target

When you spend as long as I do immersed in a world of data you learn to accept many things as essentially constant.  You know that they don’t necessarily have to be true, but at the very least generally are. For the most part these are the basic trends: -People who are more familiar with a product... [Read more...]

Survey and Consumer Feedback Innovation

It’s never a good thing to fall behind, in the short term being 15 minutes behind can make you late for meetings or not complete something the day you had hoped to. In the long term if you never change your product eventually your consumers are going to tire of it. As a company, PortMA strives... [Read more...]

Too Soon To Tell?

As I draft a preliminary template for a mid-program recap report, my mind whirled with the sheer potential of possibilities.  I know I will soon be digging into innumerable pages of data, asking myself, “Is this significant?”  And if it IS significant, my goal is two-fold, to one, position it as... [Read more...]

Good Karma and a Sale

The easiest way for a company to build a good public image is to support a good cause. The advantage they get out of this is not only does the company look good, but they also get a chance to show off products if the cause they are supporting has public facing events. Two different companies invested... [Read more...]

Chicken, or egg?

Have you ever heard the ‘chicken or the egg’ causality dilemma?  Commonly, this is referred to as, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”  I cannot tell you how many arguments I have been privy to over the importance of an excellent product or event to market versus the... [Read more...]

How Experiential Marketing Increases Sales Volume From Current Channels

In shopper marketing circles they say there are only three places you’re going to increase sales volume from current channels: – Bring new customers to the category – Steal customers from the competition – Get current customers to increase volume It’s marketing’s job... [Read more...]

Hole in one

Earlier this summer, in late June, a record was set, and it was certainly unusual.  What is so interesting about a hole in one, any seasoned golfer (or Wii Sports fanatic) might ask?  Well, this hole in one travelled approximately 300+ yards before it was caught in a Mercedes-Benz zipping along at... [Read more...]

The Pursuit of the Program Launch

I love launching new experiential programs…It can be chaotic and nail-bitingly crazy for all involved with 24-hour deadlines, clients scrambling to get permits for event activations, last minute changes in scheduling, checking your email every five minutes for that final approval, brand ambassadors... [Read more...]

http://flic.kr/p/9GUeg6 Facebook Experiential Conversion Metrics

There has been a lot of bad press lately about Facebook advertising performance. The critics cite different ad-buys and related conversion to paying customers and because the numbers are low they say Facebook advertising is a farce. It’s never considered in these articles that the marketers might... [Read more...]

Whimsical musings on population segments

Who doesn’t love the feeling of thinking about something, only later to find out you were right about it all along?  While that might be true, one of the reasons I enjoy research so much is because it is a logical, provable, guessing game.  As an analyst, I start any project with a guess, or... [Read more...]

http://flic.kr/p/4StwRY How Many Responses Do I Need?

I often get asked how many survey responses you need when surveying event patrons.  Yesterday I was speaking with one of our public sector Clients about this very thing.  The main questions were… do we collect more surveys at less events or less surveys at more events?  And how many surveys... [Read more...]

http://flic.kr/p/83Myb2 How To Recruit Consumers For Interviews

Clients sometimes ask us how we recruit folks to participate in in-depth or follow-up interviews.  I was asked recently to provide a top-line overview of what I believe is the best way to recruit people from the general public to get their opinion about a particular brand through an in-depth interview. The... [Read more...]

The Story Behind the Statistics

I delivered a weekly overall report today for one of my clients and several individualized market reports by specific geographic regions to the team. I found certain trends in those reports, indicating a strong return-on-investment (ROI) for their product. Despite gender, age and location, consumers... [Read more...]

Ref: http://flic.kr/p/k4r9a Case Study: Measuring An Experiential Mobile Tour

The Brand Challenge A national consumer brand delivers services online, but competes in an industry that has local sales representatives. Smartly so, the brand uses a multi-team mobile tour to increase broad local awareness and drive consumer leads, preferences and adoptions. The Campaign The Agency... [Read more...]

http://flic.kr/p/9d7FRm Case Study: How Radio Drives Website Visitors and Impact

The Brand Challenge A household services company is working through a transition based on a federal mandate that requires homeowners to change the way they receive services. A small, but vocal, portion of current customers are resistant to this transition. In order to ease the transition for all customers,... [Read more...]

Three Keys to Successful Event Marketing Measurement

Event marketing is a fascinating field of marketing that poses an especially difficult measurement challenge.  It’s a field of marketing that thrives on the unique.  While a traditional direct mail piece depends on tradition and consistency to generate predictable response, the event marketer is... [Read more...]

Via Flickr from Infusionsoft Five Business Analytic Principles

Business analytic ideas and concepts are often presented as extremely complicated. There are a lot of tools on the market today that are supposed to help with this. Purveyors of many business analytics tools often work hard to convince you that the project is so complicated that you’ll need their... [Read more...]

How Do Market Research Consultants Make Insights Actionable (1 of 3) – Organizing Data

I was speaking with a business associate last week who was recounting what she had heard at a recent marketing conference. She mentioned that a lot of questions for the speakers had to do with the challenge of how to make “insights actionable.” Over the last couple of years, the field of business... [Read more...]

How Do Market Research Consultants Make Insights Actionable (2 of 3) – Analyzing Data

Last week I wrote about how to organize your data to allow actionable insights to emerge.  This article will discuss some ways of organizing that data once it is collected.  The goal is to demonstrate how to measure effectiveness of marketing.  Next week we’ll close out this mini-series with set... [Read more...]

How To Measure Marketing (Article 3 of 3)

I once worked with a team of economists tasked with identifying and monitoring the economic impact of tourism  for a state legislature. Their goal was to identify spending patterns among residents versus tourists and segment this into categories that defined the key drivers of tax revenue from non-residents.... [Read more...]

January 2010 Consumer Spend Appears Down

  I’ve measured typical retail sales in January to be roughly 8.3% of the year’s total take. When compared to December (the previous month) we’d expect to see January retail sales down around 16.2%. Not as bad as you’d expect but driven by due giftcard spending. (It usually gets steadily... [Read more...]

What Makes for a Good In-Store Demonstration?

There has been a lot of news about Sam’s Club outsourcing product demos (see article by Chris Burritt at Bloomberg for just one of many examples).  I read a quote in that article with which I don’t entirely agree: “Sampling mitigates risks for brands,” says VP and GM Brian Pear. “It’s... [Read more...]

Maximizing Online Marketing Results is All About Reach

When you look at website statistics day in and day out, trends start to emerge. You’ll find that only some of the content on your or your client’s site is delivering most of the traffic. I haven’t tested it, but I’d bet you that the 80/20 rule applies . That is, 80% of your traffic is being generated... [Read more...]

Marketing Analytics in Real Life

Thanks to the folks over at Hubspot for this one. Click the “Cartoon” link below to see a single frame cartoon about the reality of trying to understand the sometimes confusing world of marketing analytics. You can get the same level of insights from your off-line marketing as you can your online... [Read more...]

Musing on Business Analytics at a Late Hour

(This post was pulled from an email I just sent to a client in which we were discussing if linear regression was the best analysis technique for a banking brand’s awareness research. Use the comments area below to tell me if you agree.) I wrote . . . No matter what analysis you do, it’s all just... [Read more...]

Premium Impressions

People love free stuff! It has long been the habit of marketers and Event Marketers in particular to brand anything and everything you can think of with a Client’s logo to drive consumer awareness and appreciation for an events sponsorship source. We know that giveaways draw crowds. And crowds allow... [Read more...]

How To Predict The Success Of A New Product Launch

We closed the data collection phase of a project today. Most of the work we do here is focused on measuring and reporting on the reach, impact, and value of experiential marketing. Occasionally, we have the opportunity to go back to our roots and design a traditional market research study. I thought... [Read more...]

ROI on Experiential vs. Above the Line Advertising

I love getting emails like the one below. If you have similar questions, I hope you know that you can always write us and ask anything. We offer an unlimited number of free, 30-minute consultations on anything related to measuring experiential marketing.   A few weeks ago a business acquaintance... [Read more...]