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, they need research for all of the programs. It also helped that they use our ROI modeling to showcase their results.
It’s a win-win, right? Yes and no.
In the beginning, time wasn’t our friend. Our client would meet with their client three times a year and needed research to make presentations for all of their experiential marketing programs.
Although the events took place at separate times, we had anywhere from three to five recaps to deliver at the same time. Our team typically takes about two weeks to turn around a recap, and each one can be a time consuming process.
Five can mean sleepless nights for two weeks. At least it used to. Our team and the client team have spent the past two years streamlining the reporting process so all brands get our highest-quality reporting capabilities while we are all able to get our beauty rest.
Now you can use my experiences to help you. Here are my little secrets to pumping out a lot of quality reporting in a little time:
1. Standardize the Reporting Strategy
When developing the methodology/ reporting strategy, we didn’t try to reinvent the wheel for each experiential marketing program. Instead, we developed a group of comprehensive research objectives that could be applied to each program.
From there, we were able to develop one survey for all of the programs. This approach was beneficial (it made the material easy to digest for everyone and really sped up the approval turnaround time) because we needed just one big nod, instead of several small ones.
2. Standardize the Reporting Template
With a standardized reporting strategy, our research team was able to put a lot of time and effort into one reporting template. Once we had feedback and final approval from the account team, we duplicated the template for each of the other programs we were reporting, using each program’s unique branding, color scheme, and formatting.
This gave each report a unique feel. We included a special analysis or two for each program, providing information on specifics that were important to each brand team, but overall, we we maintained the status quo. We were also able to add further customization after the fact by running additional analyses requested by the client after they had seen the presentation.
This was helpful because, after the fact, we were able to work more at our own pace.
3. Communicate and Get As Much Done As You Can Ahead of Time!
This is a no-brainer: when time is not your friend, knowledge is!
The account team and our research team were in constant communication, so everyone was always on the same page. We could all plan accordingly and support each other during “crazy crunch time.”
By doing so, we were able to get a lot accomplished beforehand. We always monitored the data to see where it was trending. That way, there were no surprises at reporting time. We also started working on the report template months in advance, so we were able to incorporate feedback and finalize weeks before data collection closed. When the field experience was closed, we weren’t trying to figure out what to do with the data. It was just time to execute.
If you have a lot of reporting to complete in a short amount of time, quality usually suffers. At PortMA, we have nearly perfected the art of delivering large amounts of quality reports by standardizing the research methodology and the reporting. Need help getting experiential marketing recaps out at your company? Look no further!
Photo Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramsd/