How to Measure the ROI from B2B Roadshow Tours

Are you Getting Enough Results from Your Marketing Budget?

Regardless of your current marketing strategy, it is imperative to measure, measure, measure.  Not only measure, but compare your spend and your results to other brands in your industry.  As you know, your competitors are also out there, trying to implement similar marketing strategies to attract your customers and engage them. More and more B2B brands are seeing great results with a relatively new strategy within the Experiential Marketing industry called,  B2B mobile trade shows.  These programs are driving tangible brand building and sales ROI faster than any trade show can achieve. And, there are no competitors around, unlike a trade show.

At trade shows, industry conferences, and conventional B2B events, there’s nothing else to do but hope that your dream clients will visit your booth, and all the leads generated are qualified and create some quality conversations that lead to sales. We’ve all been there before.  You spend tens of thousands of dollars on having a trade show booth built, send a bunch of your team to Las Vegas or another really fun city with lots of nightlife and then you HOPE in the next 8-12 weeks you get some new sales.  Can there be a worse game plan in business?  On the other hand, experiential roadshow tours are the best marketing and sales strategy for engaging one-on-one with decision makers with your physical experience. We know from experience, these types of events drive sales, build brand awareness and loyalty.

What can be better, in terms of allowing B2B partners to experience your products and brand using all of their senses, than taking your brand experience directly to their doorstep? With a mobile marketing vehicle, you can transform any environment you want into an interactive branded display or demonstration to an exciting mock storefront of all of your products or services. And the best part is there’s a way to measure event ROI. But before we get into that, we want to talk about the benefits of the B2B marketing roadshow.

What Are the Benefits of Roadshow Tours for B2B Brands?

Going directly to customers

Instead of waiting for the key decision-makers to visit your display at a trade show, you can set up your mobile vehicle and come to them directly. They are your target audience, and you will be bringing them a hands-on-experience. For B2B clients, building a mobile marketing roadshow means taking products to your customers or prospects without any competition nearby and reaching directly to decision-makers who probably don’t attend trade shows. This strategy can dramatically enhance your marketing and sales ROI.

Vehicle impressions

When on the road with your branded vehicle, you can generate a lot of buzz because your branded vehicle is a form of organic awareness marketing. Think of it as a billboard on wheels that can travel thousands of miles across the country and generate millions of vehicle impressions.  Having your company website and social media included in your design can also drive customer engagement.

Measurable ROI

You wouldn’t want to set off on a lengthy trip with your mobile vehicle tour without a plan on how to measure the return on investment. Since you are reaching the key decision-makers on their time, you earn more meetings and sales, so you need to make sure that your mobile tour will generate leads, sales, and measurable ROI. Setting up trackable goals early in the process will support your sales and marketing efforts and provide the opportunity to track tangible results of your B2B mobile roadshow.

How to Measure ROI of a B2B Roadshow Tour

A mobile B2B roadshow tour can generate buzz and get the right people’s attention. However, you need to measure the success of a roadshow, and that’s where things might get tricky. To measure the ROI of your B2B roadshow tour properly, you first need to determine your goals, which may be varied. Therefore, your ROI calculation needs to start with the end in mind. By knowing the end result you wish to achieve, you will be able to set specific, actionable, relevant, transparent and measurable goals as well as develop your metrics.

1. Set your goals

As we already mentioned, every business is unique in its own way, and determining success varies from business to business as well as from campaign to campaign. Therefore, reflecting on your objectives is the most effective way to approach ROI measurement because it will help determine your success metrics. Your marketing team or marketing agency that you’ve partnered with needs to engage in marketing activity that’s strategically integrated with other business goals. Because robust ROI tracking is crucial to measuring success, you should invest in a system to track your results.  One way is to track your results daily per stop and also look at them geographically or per each sales professional on your team.

Measuring B2B roadshow tour ROI (as well as ROI in any other type of experiential marketing activity) can be tricky because it differs with every client and every program. Measuring event ROI for a B2B roadshow is more than just calculating the number of guests who attend your roadshow.

Some of the most common ROI metrics measured in the experiential marketing arena include:

  • Key customer attendance
  • Total attendance/throughput
  • Customer feedback
  • Number of demonstrations
  • Brand Awareness
  • Collateral distribution
  • Customer interactions
  • Data capture
  • Pipeline development
  • Sales
  • Sell-in/Sell-thru

2. Build a reporting function

Daily reports are important because they assist in monitoring every aspect of your roadshow marketing endeavors by providing metrics you can use to develop and refine your current and future event activity. You need to build a reporting function into your B2B roadshow tours so your brand ambassadors can capture the event data you need. They should also gather photos, videos, and written reports of the brand experience.

3. Analyze social activity

Pre- and post-event monitoring through social media is a known method of tracking ROI, but what could lead to valuable insights and clues on how to optimize your future roadshow events is tracking social activity during an event. Most marketers use social media to engage their customers before they visit them. However, their social engagement drops after the event. Ongoing social measurement can give you excellent benchmarking for your roadshow campaigns and determining event success. So, create a unique and memorable branded hashtag, push it on social before you get on the road, during your events, and after. Measure how often the hashtag was used and what was said about your brand (tracking conversations on social media allows you to detect shifts and longer-term results).

4. Develop an event app

Mobile apps are a source of valuable and robust data. Develop a mobile event app for your roadshow event and encourage your clients to install it. The data you collect through this event technology can be exported and used to produce data-driven insights. Ask your app development team for a full breakdown of the users who used it as well as how to discover whether it was effective.

You can use it to send out surveys to ask attendees to rate your event, allowing you to improve your product or service and event marketing strategies. Having key decision-makers send you their opinions will drive a better understanding of their needs. The digital data you collect can help you remove much of the guesswork out of planning your events as well as provide an extensive list of qualified leads to your sales team.

Some of the metrics you should track to measure app engagement includes who used the app, what messages were sent, and the number of downloads. After the event has ended, you can use the app to continue communication with your clients and build and maintain a strong relationship with them.

5. Run a Complete Post-Event Monitoring and Analysis

Post-event monitoring of feedback results, meeting numbers, sales uplift, and volume/pace of pipeline improvements will help you get a clearer picture of how successful your mobile vehicle tour was. One of the strongest opportunities that roadshow marketing brings to the table is providing the means to talk directly with your customers. Post-event evaluation must be able to facilitate and capture your conversations as well as data around your innovative approaches (e.g., video booths or mobile devices) to collecting data and measuring ROI.

Moving away from trade shows is necessary because the ROI of that form of B2B marketing is dying and will continue to lose momentum in the future. If you are a B2B company that relies on your customers interactively experiencing your products and services, mobile vehicle tours are your logical next step. They work as reverse-trade shows and offer more excitement than trade shows and much better marketing and sales results. Pro Motion is a full service experiential marketing agency that can create a successful event program for you from the development of the experience, to scheduling logistics, hiring and training your field team, and activating the actual roadshow events on your behalf.

By visiting customers on their home turf (their company parking lot), you will save them time and money, which will eventually lead to a quicker decision-making process and added value to your company. Planning the entire mobile trade show from start to finish will help you uncover key areas and understand which metrics to track in order to maximize and measure the results. Remember – what gets measured gets funded!

Want to work directly with an accomplished experiential marketing agency with 25 years of experience? Pro Motion is an industry leader in creating engaging, effective campaigns. Give us a call at 636.449.3162.

Learn More About Experiential Marketing from PMI President Steve Randazzo in his book Brand Experiences: Building Connections in a Digitally Cluttered World. Click here to download 2 free chapters!