Survey to slice marketing pie as PR and experiential types question their worth

After delving into the murky waters of PR measurement earlier this year, the CAANZ Marcomms Leadership Group, along with the Marketing Association and New Zealand online research company Buzz Channel, is now aiming to find out how much of the marketing pie the PR and Experiential realm has by conducting a nationwide survey.

Anecdotally, the PR and experiential sector is growing. But it’s still a fairly mysterious, rather nebulous realm. Hence the survey, which you can complete by clicking here.

“The introduction of PR and experiential categories at major local and international awards signals that this is an increasing feature of marketing plans, but the proof is in the pudding,” says CAANZ chief executive Rick Osborne. “We’re curious to ascertain just how much share of budget this sector commands, and more importantly, what is motivating the decision makers. This is research that hasn’t been done here before.”

Respondents will be asked what share of budget is apportioned to PR and experiential versus other elements of the marketing mix, why it is being used and how the effectiveness of this investment is measured. The Experiential Marketing Association of New Zealand (EMANZ) is currently working towards setting recognised measurement criteria for the industry, in line with international standards.

“Leading the process of gaining insight and understanding marketing trends—and sharing these with the broader marketing community in New Zealand—is a key role of the Association,” says Sue McCarty, chief executive of the Marketing Association. “Initiatives like this one enable us to learn from each other and provide the opportunity to benchmark our own activities against others in the industry.”

Results will be analysed and shared in the first quarter of 2011, with a Marcomms Forum planned for early 2011.

And, as this survey kicks off, EMANZ, which was set up in October last year, is opening its doors to new members.

Megan Clark, chair of EMANZ and managing director of Copper Brand Experiences, says the growth of experiential marketing, which is defined as “live brand engagement that allows consumers to connect with brands”, means there are many new players in the market. And as well as welcoming the legitimate newbies, it’s also a case of trying to control the cowboys.

Added to that, the way success is quantified is still up for debate and, according to AmbientX’s Mark Pickering, many agencies still believe experiential can’t be measured. He certainly doesn’t believe that’s the case, however.

“There has never been a greater need for an organisation such as ours to provide a collective voice for the experiential marketing industry as more and more businesses start to include it as part of the marketing mix,” Clark says.

EMANZ represents the interests of experiential marketing agencies, advertising agencies, PR consultancies and media companies to statutory bodies such as local governments and councils, undertakes research on industry developments and encourages globally aligned best practice standards in the industry. It also works closely with both CAANZ and the Marketing Association to educate the market on experiential as a marketing discipline, including delivering educational seminars and a graduate programme.

“We’d like to invite any organisation who undertakes experiential marketing to check out our website and get in touch with one of the executive committee members for more information,” Clark says.

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