As marketers we are always looking for the next big trend.  We want to make sure our brands keep up with our competitors and we love to lead our industry with new programs and innovation.  We want to see our marketing programs featured in industry periodicals and we love to be recognized for setting new standards.   But if our programs aren’t meeting our objectives and driving sales then how can we justify the spend?

When developing an experiential marketing program it’s extremely important to make sure you are choosing a tactic that will meet your goals rather than jumping on the bandwagon of the lastest fad.  Sometimes the tried and true, not so flashy but expertly crafted programs drive the biggest results.

Keep the following checklist in mind when you are planning your program so you can be sure you are choosing the right marketing tactics for your brand:

1.    Set Clear Program Objectives – Define program goals that will have an impact on your brand’s bottom line.  Think about tying sales and new customer acquisition to your program objectives.

2.    Define How the Program Will Meet Your Goal – Clearly map out the process as to how your planned program will meet your marketing objectives.  What is the engagement with your consumer?  What is the message you are sharing?  What incentives are you providing to drive the intended behavior?

3.    Review Past Program History – Review results from similar programs within your own company or other companies to help set realistic benchmarks for success.

4.    Implement a Program to Measure ROI – Develop a comprehensive and accurate reporting system that will be used to track program results and measure key performance indicators.

5.    Review Program Results – Did the program meet your objectives?  If not, why?  Was this the right marketing tactic for your brand?  Are there changes that could be made to future programs to improve the results?  Should this program be repeated in the future?

So before you get caught up in the latest experiential marketing trend take some time to fully develop your program goals and make sure you are selecting a tactic to drive sales rather than sizzle!