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How to measure your experiential marketing campaign ROI

Without clear goals, experiential marketing campaigns can be wonderfully immersive and interactive, but without any measurable impact. Most modern brands know that a strong real-world presence pays dividends, but gauging how activations perform can be a puzzle. To make matters worse, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for assessing.

To run a successful experiential marketing campaign, you need to set clear campaign objectives from the start.

Then you can accurately measure whether your experiential activation was a brand-boosting success or a bit of a marketing mess. Here are some tips on measuring your experiential marketing campaign ROI.

Define your objectives

What do you want to achieve from your experiential marketing activation? Improved sales, signups, or sentiment?

Setting well-defined objectives are critical to creating immersive, impactful brand activations and then being able to measure brand experience. It helps keep the strategy aligned across all areas of your marketing operations. In experiential marketing especially, this integrated and simple approach produces the most meaningful results.

Some activations are carried out without objectives, because brands don’t believe experiential can be measured effectively, or they just don’t know how.

To draw real post-campaign insight, inspiration should be drawn from wider objectives. These objectives will invariably be either:

  • Action-based
    Perhaps you want to boost sales, particularly in one demographic or region. Alternatively, you might be aiming for sign-ups or engagement. This could be measured by comparing like-for-like sales or repeat purchases.


  • Perception-based
    Your brand might be striving to change what people think and feel about it on a deeper and more personal level. This could be measured by comparing how many people agree with a certain sentiment about the brand before and after the campaign.

Strategic vs tactical

Are your marketing campaigns geared towards the long or short term?


A strategic campaign is designed to enhance a brand in a sustainable way. It shares the values and purpose of the company with consumers and is the perfect opportunity to show the world what it represents and what it wants to be.


These are geared towards achieving a quicker return on investment and often have a narrower remit. This may be to hit a particular sales target, elicit a desired response or engage new audiences (e.g. using the campaign to create a viral social media post).

Understanding which of these camps your campaign falls into is important because:

  • It helps you create a better experience

Just as matching your experiential objective to your overall marketing objective focuses your campaign, so does knowing the type of campaign you’re creating. Viewing it through either a strategic or tactical lens helps you to design its features more effectively and set relevant goals.

  • It means you can measure against the right criteria

Assessing as either strategic or tactical dictates how you measure its success and your experiential marketing campaign ROI. Your campaign may effectively communicate the best aspects of your brand to consumers, but if you measure it by its immediate sales impact, your results might look disappointing.

Shaping your goals

Once you’ve settled on your objectives and you understand the type of campaign you’re planning, you can set measurable goals. It may be easier to think of goals as performance measures that sit under your primary objective, and determine whether it’s been met. You can choose relevant performance measures by asking yourself the following questions:

1.What business challenge prompted the campaign?

What are your main marketing priorities and is there anything restricting your brand’s growth?

2.What will the campaign solve?

What’s the desired outcome of the activation? This should be your experiential objective; the thing that you expect to see an improvement in because of the campaign.

3.How can this be quantified?

This will be determined entirely by your objective and the kind of campaign you’re going to execute.

Some relevant performance indicators include:

  • Opinion change
  • Purchase rates
  • Return on investment
  • Education
  • Demographic shifts
  • Competitor comparison

For example, the skincare company Sanex noticed that their brand was viewed as cold and clinical. To challenge this perception, they designed an experiential marketing campaign to bring a sense of warmth and humanity to their brand. Their measurable goal was linked to the statement: “Sanex is a brand I feel close to.” The experience boosted agreement with the sentiment by 87%.

Experiential marketing campaign ROI summary

Clear goals are the first step to devising and delivering exceptional experiences. But a great experience shouldn’t be hard to measure.

That’s why we’ve put together REAL WORLD IMPACT, A Guide To Measuring Brand Experiences In The Real World. It gives you everything you need to know about experiential reporting to start measuring experiential marketing campaign ROI and guage impact.

Download it for free from The Futures Lab below.


Whether it be Festivals, Trade Shows, PR Stunts, Installations or Pop Ups to name a few, we believe brand experiences are one of the most powerful forms of marketing to impact consumer perception and attitude towards a brand. They can create real behaviour change when born out of a deep consumer insight allied to a compelling idea. And it’s these fundamentals we look to get right whatever the live, virtual or hybrid task in hand.


Sampling is all too often perceived as an unsophisticated, somewhat ‘blunt’ marketing tool. Over the last 16 years Sense has pioneered a set of strategic principles which underpin our unique approach to sampling and which are highly measurable from both an ROI and consumer behaviour change perspective. We will happily guide brands through the myriad of sampling channels and products available so whether it’s mass face to face sampling, in offices, digitally, at home or just a strategic framework that you are after, we can provide a blend of tactics to fulfil both brand and sales objectives.


With many clients now focused on activating in channels more closely associated with a sale, our heavyweight retail experience closes the loop on a typical shopper journey by encompassing the moment of truth in store. Be it prize promotions, shopper toolkits, key visual creation, path-to-purchase communications, category strategy, B2B campaigns or Amazon optimisation, our goal is to create forward-thinking retail experiences that deliver demonstrable brand value. We aim to make ‘retail fail’ a thing of the past for ambitious brands looking to thrive is an ever-competitive landscape and believe our streamlined team is perfectly placed to do this.


Knowing what will keep a brand bright, exciting, and vital means we need to keep one step ahead of the curve. Our thought leadership hub, The Futures Lab, helps us to understand the marketing trends of tomorrow. It’s also the origin of strategies and methodologies which have created over 65 award-winning campaigns. 


Creativity is nothing without results. And we know that commissioning bold concepts, capable of changing minds, requires reassurance that it’s the right thing to do. 

Data, insights, and research precedes every campaign we do, and our proprietary measurement tool, EMR, gives us a decade of campaign performance metrics. Which is why we’re proud to have been recognised as industry-leading by brands like The Economist, Coca-Cola, and Molson Coors. 


We believe brand experience is inherently more varied than other forms of marketing. No formula, no template, no cookie-cutter approach – and often no precedent. 

That’s why, Sense places trust at the heart of its business – grounded in teamwork between our people and yours. Our processes are efficient, our senior team stay involved and our partnership mentality had helped us sustain powerful client relationships, some lasting over 10 years.