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#HumansofMKTG Roundtable: How Best to Integrate Data Capture at an Activation

#HumansofMKTG Roundtable: How Best to Integrate Data Capture at an Activation

6 minute read

  • Experiential marketers must ensure that data capture is not intrusive to the brand experience
  • Social media has made the opportunity for data capture much more efficient for marketers.
  • Consumers understand that their personal information is not free. Brands must offer something compelling in return in exchange for it.

Data on consumers has become crucial for marketers. That applies to the world of lifestyle and experiential marketing when creating an on-site activation or event. Using captured information, they are able to better understand their customers and ultimately make more informed marketing decisions. When looking to gather data, there are plenty of implications that marketers should be aware of to ensure a positive experience for the consumer.

 The following is a transcribed discussion between MKTG’s Theresa Boisvert, Brandon Mazerall, Matthew Klar, and Geoff Biss.

Geoff Biss:

Before we jump into best practices in data capture - what is it and why is it important?

Brandon Mazerall:

As marketers, data capture is the process of collecting data and using that data to drive decision-making.

Matt Klar:

It is often the objective of a brand who is activating to know who they are speaking to or get the information of people who are present at their activation. There’s ways where that could obstruct the experience. Are there examples you’ve seen of bad data capture?

Brandon Mazerall:

I think some marketers or brands overlook the data capture process. Marketers may be too driven by what they are hoping to capture that they forget to be mindful of the consumer experience. This is when you start to see forms that take over 3 minutes to fill-out. When collecting data, marketers need to put themselves in the shoes of the consumer. Forms that take longer than a minute to fill-out result in a steep decline in conversion. When you’re asking 3-4 questions, that itself may take up to a minute. Marketers need to consider the value of the information they’re getting, and take the time to carefully consider the questions they’re asking.

Theresa Boisvert:

I think it depends to on the brand itself, and how engaged the consumer is with the brand. Having worked in automotive, whenever we did a contest, our data capture was quite lengthy. However, that was only because people were willing to take the time because the reward or experience was that much greater. If you’re on-site and the takeaway is something small, there’s no real value or incentive for the consumer to offer their time or information.

Matt Klar:

What do you think of the trend of people signing-in or providing their information online through existing app or platforms (e.g. Facebook)? Since the consumer is using an existing account where their information may already exist, does that expedite the sign-up process?

Brandon Mazerall:

That goes back to my point of balancing the value of the information they’re gathering and how much time you’re taking away from the consumer. That’s where social media channels are helpful. It’s quick and very effective. It only takes the consumer one-click to give their consent, and in return, the brand gets access to information about who they are engaging with. However, consumers may be sensitive to what information they’re giving away.

Theresa Boisvert:

I think it is only a matter of time before there is more regulation over data collection in the experiential marketing space.

Matt Klar:

Have you ever had clients that would say they are not interested in data capture at all, and just want to focus on brand health as a primary objective?

Theresa Boisvert:

Absolutely. But it’s our jobs to make sure they don’t overlook the value of data capture. We may suggest ways to integrate it without interfering with the consumer experience. For example, a brand could do a contest on-site. You’re able to collect data from the contest, but the reward has to be worth it.

Brandon Mazerall:

However, we find that the moment that acquisition and interception become part of the conversation, it can dominate the objectives. Brands are often all in on data capture. You can run into situations with brands where all of a sudden every aspect of the activation is about maximizing the acquisition. It’s important to recognize the value of data capture without letting it dominate your other objectives.

Geoff Biss:

Even if a brand is not interested in data capture at all, it is something they should always be mindful of, especially if brand affinity is an objective. They may not want to use data capture for sales purposes, but if you collect data in a way that you can better understand your customer and how to communicate with them, then you are building brand affinity supporting your other goals.

Brandon Mazerall:

There are other ways to capture data besides a traditional ambassador on-site asking questions. For example, at a lot of music festivals, the registration process is integrated with cashless payments. This is a beneficial two-way approach for marketers - they are offering the benefit of convenience for consumers, while marketers are able to gather information, both personal and behavioural.

Geoff Biss:

I think great examples of data capture can be found from all different types of events. I was reading about the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo. They’re one of the first expos to use contactless data capture. When people think data capture, you assume that just includes filling out a survey. But what the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo did is integrate tiny battery beacons within each visitor’s badge. Through this, they could track where people were within the expo, and how much time they were spending at each exhibit booth. This was obviously hugely beneficial to the organizers. Not only was data capture effortless from the guests’ perspective, but with the data, organizers could understand what type of activations attracted the most attention.

Brandon Mazerall:

One example of data capture that I really liked that was simple was CTV’s Watch to Win contest during the Super Bowl broadcast. They had a massive audience, and simply asked people to text a number during the show to win prizes. CTV was able to collect contact information with just a couple big prizes. In terms of heavy-lifting to drive results, it was really well done. While not on-site, it was still a great way to mass capture data in exchange for a prize.

Matt Klar:

The point is your information isn’t free. It is currency, and in exchange for it, you have to give something in return that is valued by consumers. As privacy concerns get more pronounced, the value of my info is worth more to me so brands will likely have to increase the value of what they provide consumers in return. While brands may give away t-shirts or photos today, in the future they may have to think bigger.

Samsung & Russell Westbrook

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