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The IPM has been practising & training an experiential research methodology for a number of years.

Based on feedback from IPM members & the industry, it set up the IPM Experiential Council in 2014 that have focused on creating an industry-wide benchmarking tool that can measure and compare the effectiveness of experiential campaigns.  This has developed over the past three years and involved over 20 agencies and 45 brands sharing their campaign data using this research methodology.

The research methodology focuses on measuring consumers pre, during and post campaign with 3 key outputs: reach, impact & ROI.  Using a score which assesses the consumer relevancy, association, availability, value & expectation with the brand a brand affinity measure (BAM) is attributed with NPS.

This is linked to likelihood & actual purchase when measuring post the experience allowing for ROI indicators to be calculated.

Following contributions from IPM’s membership, there is now measurement and evaluation data from over 100 events across seven industry sectors and five categories of experiential. The data is already providing a range of valuable insights that not only gives a snapshot of current trends in experiential, but also provide comparisons between recent campaigns with older projects highlighting changes in trends over time.



Brands are investing more in experiential campaigns year on year and these campaigns are becoming increasingly effective. The data shows that experiential is demonstrating positive ROI scores across the board with FMCG showing a 5:1 return investment, SMCG 7:1 and automotive as high as 26:1.

The main focus of this extra investment appears to be on improving the quality of individual engagements with evidence of an increase in cost per contact across campaigns which is in part likely due to a likely lengthening of engagement. This is supported by last year’s early analysis of the data that showed engagements of five minutes or more have the most positive impact on brand amplification.  What the data also shows is that these better quality engagements is leading to greater amplification and more post event communication which brings the cost per reach down.



Of the five categories of experiential that the ROI measurement framework focuses on (Pop-up, owned events, branded Installations, creative sampling and in-retail), owned events see the largest increases in brand affinity and intention to purchase as well as the highest levels of amplification.

While often the most expensive of activations, it is through owned events that brands can most fully engage with consumers, convey their brand story and meet consumer’s increasing demand for immersive experiences.



It’s well known that millennials have been the engine driving the experience economy and our data supports this.

Experiential campaigns are extremely popular with this demographic who have a high likelihood to be influenced in a positive way and to communicate about the event afterwards.  What we’re also seeing is that those born in the 90s and later (Gen Z) are equally enthralled by experiential and are likely to continue to fuel the experience economy boom.



We expect to see wider trends in experiential for longer term experiences that are more deeply immersive and more amplifiable reflected in our data. As we increase the size of the database with more contributions from participating agencies, we’ll have access to even more detailed insights that can be used by our members to help with their brand planning.

For further updates on this benchmarking study please go to: https://www.theipm.org.uk/page/Experiential_Effectiveness

“Just what the industry needs, great collaboration between clients and agencies on the topics that drive business growth.”

Bridget Angear, Joint Chief Strategy Officer at AMV BBDO

“It’s great to see the IPA in the UK bring the whole industry and particularly the trade bodies together to focus on effectiveness. This new Marketing Effectiveness initiative will enable people across the industry to work together to build on best practice.”

David Wheldon, Chief Marketing Officer, RBS

“Effectiveness is a team sport, so it was great to see the industry in the widest sense, come together. In an increasingly diverse and fragmented world, only by using all parts of the brain will we solve effectiveness challenges and design our campaigns to deliver short and long term value. That’s why what happens next is important – if the IPA can help facilitate progress on this with a long-term initiative around Marketing Effectiveness, we’ll definitely crack it.”

Bart Michels, Global CEO Kantar Added Value and Country Leader Kantar UK

“The time spent at #EffWeek was extraordinarily effective. It was great to hear the diverse views from all areas of the industry. All tied together with the common themes of accountability and effectiveness.”

Andrew Canter, Global CEO, BCMA

“It has been a privilege to be part of the inaugural Effectiveness Week. The agenda is one which we at O2 UK feel passionately about. To see and hear perspectives across the industry demonstrates how the breadth of marketing effectiveness is increasingly being valued within businesses. Data, insight, social, customer experience, test and learn, ROI, these are all fundamentals and were covered expansively at the event”.

Sandra Fazackerley, Marketing & Consumer, Telefónica UK Limited

“The full week of effectiveness events brought into clear focus the need for marketers to use data and insight to achieve the key business objectives of growth and profits. Marketers today are in a better position to quantify their knowledge of customers and measure the ability of investments in marketing to increase brand and shareholder value.”

Chris Combemale, Group CEO, DMA