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 is going on with this data collection?
The Challenge of Data Collection in Event Marketing
Data collection is one of the biggest challenges we face in event marketing measurement. We rely on Brand Ambassadors or other field staff to collect the data we need. We need the data to measure the success of the program. Typically, we use two data sources to measure success:
- Consumer surveys
- Field staff recap metrics (FSR).
FSRs are mandatory. Receiving them is usually not an issue. However, consumer surveys are voluntary. They can be regarded as a low priority compared to other things for which field staff are responsible (e.g., sample distribution).
The Need for Data in Event Marketing
As a result of competing priorities and other factors, (e.g., low interest in participation among consumers), survey data is not always as complete as we would like. Generally, we expect to collect 350 complete surveys per market. That provides us an adequate number of data points so we are able to segment further. We compare rates of purchase intent by key demographics in each market. The more we can segment our data, the more meaningful and actionable the results of our analysis.
Is there a way to guarantee we meet our goal every time? While we cannot control everything that may factor into data collection efforts, we do have a method for maximizing efforts in the field.
- Field Staff Training – As part of our service, we offer Field Staff Training, in person or via phone. We work with the account manager to develop training materials. We often participate in the training to field questions about data collection or alleviate concerns about our expectations.
- Data Collection Updates – We regularly update client teams on data collection progress on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. By monitoring and communicating our progress, we are able to compare to key milestones. We catch and address small issues before the become big ones (e.g., activating in low traffic areas).
In the case of this particular event marketing program, the client team has been kept in the loop throughout data collection efforts. As the program draws to a close, we will be meeting with them to confirm dates of field work and discuss the reporting strategy, which will most likely be top line. While having less than 300 completed surveys limits our analytical prowess, it does not prevent us from reporting on overall findings and trends to watch for next year.