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 a part of the story.
Accounting for Potential Future Customer Actions from Event Marketing Activities
It’s important to take into account the potential future action of customers. Typically, when you ask if someone is going to purchase, you ask if they expect to purchase within the next standard cycle for the product. This takes into account the fact that the customer may not be planning on buying the type of product you are advertising that day, as well as whether or not they have a reason for not switching from their current brand to yours today. We see this reasoning frequently in alcohol advertising. A customer may like your rum, but if she came in for wine, she probably won’t switch.
Assessing Program Expectations Ahead of Event Marketing
That being said, we should still assess what to expect from on-site sales. Our benchmarking data indicates that roughly 11% of event marketing interactions result in sales (based on 24 sampling programs and 3.6 million interactions). Additionally, 14% of consumers self-identify as current customers. Taking this into account, we can assume that an event marketing program will convert roughly 9% of interactions [11 – (11.0 x 0.14)] into new sales on-site. With one in ten interactions becoming an immediate sale, you are able to calculate a reasonable estimate of what you can expect to sell on any given day. All you need is a good estimate of the number of expected interactions.
Assuming Practical Parameters for After-Event Activity
As I said, on-site sales are only one aspect of the value of an event marketing program. You can use survey data to estimate how many sales you might expect after the fact as well. Roughly 86% of interactions being with those who do not currently buy (based on ≈ 50,000 results). Relative to purchase intent, we know that about 74% (top two boxes on a five-point Likert scale) will say they will purchase in the future. If we assume that seven-in-ten of those will actually purchase – and take into account that 9% already bought on site – we can estimate that 47% of consumers who say they will purchase will actually do so at some point after your event. In other words, 80% of the purchases that result from an event marketing program are likely to happen at some point after the event.
Read lightly into your on-site sales data. It can provide valuable information about your programs’ performance, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. Our Event ROI Benchmarks can give you some further information based on your brand. The analysis is based on total overall on-site results, but the data can also be examined for off-premise results or individual brand SIC codes, if you wish.