Event Marketing Consumer and the Purchase Cycle

Written by PortMA

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 some of our PortMA Academy training videos. We’re also assuming you have an understanding of the four primary stages of the consumer purchase cycle:

  1. Need
  2. Awareness
  3. Trial
  4. Purchase

If you need a refresher, watch our Crash Course video.

Identify Event Marketing Consumer Position

In order to understand how your event marketing is moving the needle, you need to know what needle needs to be moved. Consumers that are in the “Need” or “Awareness” stages of the purchase cycle are inexperienced when it comes to the brand. They will never have heard of it before or have never used or tried it.

Because of this, it is often useful to profile them into one of two categories: A) “I had never heard of [BRAND XYZ] before today” or “I’ve heard of [BRAND XYZ] but never purchased it.” You’ll want to swap out “purchase” for “tried”, “used”, or other terms as appropriate.

If the consumer is in the “Trial” or “Purchase” stages of the purchase cycle, they have had some level of engagement with the brand. Often, this means they are past customers or current customers. And because of this, you can profile them as either, “I’ve purchased [BRAND XYZ] three or more months ago” or “I’ve purchased [BRAND XYZ] in the past 3 months”. Again, as above you can swap out the word, “purchased” for “tried,” or “used” or another appropriate phrase. 

Make Sure You’re Taking Purchase Cycles into Consideration

And when it comes to “Trial” or “Purchase” you’ll also want to make sure you are using a time frame (i.e. 3 months) that is appropriate to the purchase cycle of the category and brand. For example, milk is often purchased weekly whereas an expensive bottle of whiskey may be purchased every three months. But if instead of whiskey we were talking about a Christmas brandy, well then you might be looking at a more seasonal or annual purchase. It is important that you know and understand the brand’s purchase cycle, consumption cycle (if at all), and that your measurement aligns with these realities.

Once you have these particulars worked out, you can craft the right question to measure it all. We often recommend this question be presented to a cross-section of event patrons in the form of a registration or exit survey (a post-event survey follow-up can work as well).

You’ll find that this distinction not only provides great explanatory power in your recap analysis, but also tells you the level to which you’re engaging current customers, thus running a loyalty campaign, and the level to which you’re engaging non-customers and creating new customer acquisition opportunities.