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 get my hands on.
What I saw was a lot of beautiful photo albums nestled in with a few receipts. With only the best intentions, account teams would take hundreds of professional photos of smiling consumers, product in hand, who looked the demographic target. Then, alongside these photos with iconic backgrounds (e.g., St. Louis Arch, Fenway, Golden Gate Bridge, Walmart Store Front), the report would list the number of impressions (usually rounded up to the closest million), number of samples distributed, and number of premiums.
That was all that was needed because that was all the brand and procurement teams expected. “You told me you’d hand out 800,000 samples and here it says you handed out 800,000 samples. Well done. Let’s do it all again next year. Only next year we’ll make the balloons redder.”
It was around 2007 that I saw the industry really begin to change. Brand managers started to want more. They started to want to see hard data. They wanted to better understand the kind of people reached, if they’d buy the product later, and what the return-on-investment was.
At PortMA we’ve built a business around three questions, the questions of how event marketing programs . . .
- reach the right consumer,
- change their purchase behavior, and
- generate a return on investment that rivals other channels.
Over the next few blog posts, I’ll tell you exactly how we do it.