It is notoriously difficult to measure the impact of a brand’s marketing efforts – particularly when it comes to offline advertising.
Methods for assessing the ROI of packaging design, billboards, pamphlets, TV advertisements and other traditional offline marketing tactics are extremely vague. This can lend a hand in explaining why the pioneers of the online digital marketing industry, such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have seen such explosive growth. After all, the digital funnel analysis can easily provide you with important marketing metrics such as how much reach your advertising has, customer attribution, and cost of customer acquisition, while most brick and mortar marketing efforts cannot.
So the question is: how do you fight this seemingly uphill battle to measure the monetary value of building brand awareness?
Most people undervalue a long-term impact of In store Demo of Product campaigns, because they do not have an established methodology to measure the holistic impact of their event. In other words, ROI is measured only by the amount of product sales during the demo instead of the “big-picture” impact.
While demo sales are certainly an important metric, and are fairly easy to acquire using demo reports and/or POS data in stores, it does not tell a complete story. The reality is, with proper analytics in place, in-store demo campaigns can provide you with complete visibility into the ROI for every dollar that is invested.
When you ask CPG brand builders why they invest time and money into conducting demo campaigns, you will hear a combination of the following responses:
All of the above are very worthy goals, so how would you know if you achieved them or not without assigning economic valuations to them? Economic valuation of the first two goals are reasonably well represented by sales receipts achieved during the demo event and additional sales uplift during 3-4 weeks immediately following the event. The only sources of such data can be the store POS or the distributor sales order records. But how does one measure the economic value of brand awareness?
A brand is the way a company, organization, or individual is perceived by those who experience it, and growing brand awareness means getting as many people to experience your product or service as possible.
The economic value of brand awareness can be calculated adopting the methods that are commonly used by digital marketers. One of the most effective promotional channels for building brand awareness is internet banner ads. Their effectiveness can be attributed to the powerful algorithms which serve ads using factors such as keywords, demographics, location, and re-marketing in order to promote your brand and generate awareness in a very relevant way.
However, there are some big criticisms of online advertising especially around rising data privacy concerns. Ads can be “creepy” in the way they use demographic data and follow a person around the internet.
One may argue that an in-store demo is comparable to running “cold” online advertising (targeting an audience that has not interacted with your company). The goal of each is essentially the same: capture a moment of a potential customer’s attention in order to boost brand awareness.
On the other hand though, the value of tasting a product, interacting with a product, and having direct communication with a brand ambassador, or is a more authentic and valuable interaction than clicking on an advertisement would be. In addition, a consumer may feel more open connecting with a brand in an offline environment, where they are not concerned about their online privacy.
The point is not to argue whether in-store sampling is better or worse than online advertising, as the success of different marketing channels can depend heavily on your specific product or service.
Rather, the point is that ROI of in-store demos are often substantially undervalued when, in fact, they should be seen as a valuable offline method of brand awareness building, comparable to online advertising. Therefore, similar methods should be used analyzing the holistic, “big-picture” ROI of an in-store demo, versus simply focusing on the low hanging fruit metrics, such as day sales.
If you’re curious to learn more about getting better analytics from your in-store demos, you can request a free copy of Demo ROI Calculator template in the Contact Us form.