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August 31, 2023

How to Scale Experiential Marketing

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You had a successful brand experience! Congratulations, that’s not an easy thing to achieve. But leadership is excited, has a new budget for you, and the pressure to deliver just got real. You already wear a thousand and one hats; how are you supposed to spread yourself even thinner to try and meet these new demands?

How do you scale your experiential marketing?

Simple answer: you can’t. Or rather, you can’t without a scaling strategy

But how do you choose where to focus first with so many needs? What will make the most impact? If you’re like thousands of other brand marketers looking to make an impact but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. 

What exactly is scaling?

The act of ‘scaling’ is thrown around a lot when it comes to brand experiences. Usually, it’s paired with “growth and…” which seems repetitive. Aren’t they basically the same thing?

Kind of. 

Growth is the result. Scaling is the strategy. You can only grow through proper scaling, a marketing school of thought where you increase or add new dimensions to the successful parts of what you’re already doing. 

So really, it’s just doing more and doubling down on what’s working.

How do you scale experiential marketing?

We broke scaling into five steps:

  1. Outline your brand experience wins and opportunities for growth
  2. Determine your goals and what success looks like. 
  3. Create a milestone map to get you from now to where you want to be in one quarter.
  4. Add one test between each milestone.
  5. List your learnings and pick what you want to invest in next.

Outline Your Brand’s Wins and Opportunities

If you’re looking to scale, odds are you’ve already dipped your toe into the brand experience pond. If you have, amazing! If not, don’t worry. You can still use this to figure out how to start dipping

Let’s answer a few questions about your brand experiences first:

  • Why did you want to try brand experiences in the first place?
  • Were you able to get what you wanted from your first round? 
  • If not, what do you think got in your way?

Ok, now about your brand as a whole:

  • What goals does your company or team want to achieve this quarter or year?
  • Were you able to meet those goals?
  • What methods did you use as a team to move closer to that goal? And did those work?
  • If not, what do you think got in your way?

At the top of a page, list your two goals, macro (brand) and micro (brand experiences). Then jot down two columns: ‘win’ and ‘opportunity.’ Use the questions above to write out where you won and where you stand to improve. A little reductive? Sure. But this is the easiest way to focus on one large whole rather than a thousand smaller pieces. 

Example List:

Macro Goal (Company): Increase whiskey sales revenue by 26%

Micro Goal (Experience): Increase database of potential consumers for better-targeted marketing


  • We had 300 people visit our brand experience
  • 56% of those who tried our whiskey gave positive feedback
  • We saw great pictures of our brand experience on social media


  • Our NPS rating is lower than average
  • We have poor opt-in rates
  • We have no proof that our brand experience impacted total revenue

Determine Your Goal

Now that you have a tidy list of wins and opportunities, you have a clearer picture of where you stand among all the numbers and statistics that fill your day-to-day. 

Let’s decide which one will be your goal moving forward!

Pick one win and one opportunity you believe is the most important for your stakeholders and you. If you can’t decide, go to your team for help on what would impact them the most! After all, teamwork makes the dream work. 

When you have your win and opportunity to work on, transform them into two different short-term SMART goals for the quarter. The win goal should build on and grow an already known success, while the opportunity goal should improve on an area that falls short of where you need it to be. 

Building a SMART goal

A SMART goal might sound the same as a genius thermostat or a do-it-all tech house, but it’s much simpler. 

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

Your goals should fall under this format so you can better define what you’re working towards and what success looks like. For example, a SMART goal for a field marketing campaign would be “to collect over 100 data points per mall activation over the course of a month”. 

The “100 data points” are measurable, the “per mall activation” is specific, and “over the course of a month” is time-bound. And based on prior knowledge of how many data points you can gather per activation, it’s realistic

When you set your goal for your project, define it and the problem you’re seeking to solve in your business case immediately. That way, everyone who reads it can use the goal to have context for the rest of the plan.

Create your two SMART goals now, one for increasing the scope of your win and one for taking advantage of your opportunity. 

Example SMART goals

Win: We saw great pictures of our brand experience on social media.

SMART Goal: Grow our Instagram followers by 20% by the end of the quarter through interactive photo walls.

Specific: Instagram followers

Measurable: 20% growth

Actionable: “through interactive photo walls”

Realistic: 20% is realistic growth due to the already successful Instagram wins in the past.

Time-Bound: By the end of the quarter.

Opportunity: We have poor opt-in rates. 

SMART Goal: Increase marketing opt-ins during experiences by 40% by offering free swag by scanning a QR code with opt-in during the November brand activation.

Specific: Marketing opt-in rates during experiences

Measurable: 40% increase in marketing opt-ins

Actionable: “through offering free swag” in exchange for opt-ins

Realistic: 40% from a low rate over the course of months is realistic based on prior information. 

Time-Bound: During the November brand activation

Create a Milestone Map

Now that you’ve decided on your two goals to work towards, let’s add some milestones and key performance indicators to your scaling strategy. 

Have you ever been hiking? Trail markers are meant to guide your way through more complex or simpler pathways; milestones and KPIs act similarly. As you climb your path to your two goals, you’ll get lost without understanding where you are in your journey and how far you have left to go. 

So let’s make our milestone map and get you through the forest in one piece — no bears or rock slides necessary. For each goal, decide on three key performance indicators to help you identify you’re on the right track. 

Each milestone should be a part of the equation leading to the goal. For example, improving NPS would mean getting a certain number of survey responses or adding something new to the brand experience. Your map should look like this:

Milestone Map Format

Example Milestone Map

Let’s use the examples from our previous steps and create a full milestone map for our SMART goals. 

Milestone Example Map

Add One Tweak Per Milestone

You have your milestone map, and your goals, and everything looks bright and sunny! Don’t get too comfortable, though — part of scaling means taking risks. If you don’t meet your milestones, that doesn’t mean your strategy ends. After a good bathroom cry, sit back down to your milestone map. 

It’s time for Plan B. 

Always expect the unexpected. That’s why scaling means learning to change your brand experience engines mid-flight. Let’s do some last-minute tweaks to the plan!

Take out your milestone map. Which of your milestones aren’t you meeting? Highlight it in red and answer the following questions:

  • How off are you from your milestone? 
  • How much do you need to make up for in the remaining time to meet your goal?
  • That deficit is called our Delta. We’ll be calling it that from now on!

Adjust your milestone accordingly to accommodate your delta. Now, let’s diagnose the problem:

  • How much friction is there between the starting and ending point of the milestone? 
  • Example: Are there a lot of form fills in the QR code opt-in form? Is there a huge line for the photo wall? 
  • Is there a detail that surprises you?
  • Example: Is there no line for the photo wall? Did a lot of people put in fake information for the swag? Is there no demand for the tote bags? 

Break down why you’re not meeting your milestone. And then, make a bet. 

If you’re not seeing any interest in your photo wall, do a little online stalking. What are some photo walls people post about? Are there any commonalities that make them a success? 

For example, a surprising number of photo walls have a nice chair for people to sit in. Buy a stylish chair and see if that changes things. If it’s an event where people are standing around or on their feet, offering a place to sit and maybe even a water bottle for them would be enough to generate demand.

Make small changes and see how they do. Part of scaling (and our motto at AnyRoad) is to test often and fail fast. You’ll learn more that way! Also, remember to listen to customer feedback. If you're having trouble asking the right questions, we even broke out a full list of 60 questions for you to use.

So start with one tweak, see how that does, and wait until you know for sure before making the next. Like too many skin care products, you won’t know what did the trick if you try too much at once!

Example Milestone Tweaks

Milestone Tweak Examples

List Out Your Learnings

There’s nothing worse than making the same mistake twice! As you test, write down your findings; take what works and make it a best practice. 

Honestly? The secret to scaling is testing. You take your successes and keep making them bigger while simultaneously fixing what’s not working. Once you have the learning, it becomes part of your consistent strategy. 

So write it down and show your team what their efforts are for! You can even bring what you learned about your experiences, your consumers, and your attendees to other teams to use. 

At the end of your quarter, you can show exactly how you got to your goal or what you need to do for next quarter when you do it all again. 

But bigger, better, and less stressful.

Scaling isn’t easy, but it’s worthwhile

Congratulations on your new scaling strategy. We hope you take what you’ve learned and use it to get a promotion and improve your mental health! 

The next big piece of scaling is your customer profiles — the customer information you collect and use to build out who’s attending your events, what they care about, and why they care about it. 

Having trouble fully understanding your customer? Hop over to our customer insights checklist and quickly review what you have and what you’re missing. 

See you there!

Step 1: Evaluate Your Scheduling Software Needs

Before researching online booking systems, evaluating your business needs is essential. After all, you don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles when you only need an online form. For newer events looking to scale, a more sophisticated system might be the goal but not the starting point.

Consider the type and size of your business, the nature of your services, and the volume of transactions you handle. For instance, if you run tours and tastings, you should look at solutions meant for high-volume enterprises that can include add-on shirts, beer steins, and more.

Scheduling Software Flowchart

We made a helpful flowchart to help you decide if you’re ready to invest fully in online bookings or look into a free scheduling app, like Google Forms, as a better starting point.

As someone trying to make smart investment decisions, you don’t want to buy a booking and ticketing solution that doesn’t meet your needs. Use our guided questions to determine where you are in your investment journey.

Booking System flowchart
Use the flow to gauge where you are on your journey!

2. Compare Booking Page Features and Pricing

Booking Page Features

Once you have a clear idea of your business needs, you can compare online booking systems that meet your criteria. Have a list of your most essential needs and what would be nice for you to have. Some features you should consider including on your list include:

  • Website integration
  • Branded booking page
  • Configurability to match your brand
  • Payment processing and add-on sales
  • Automated reminders
  • Automatic data analysis
  • Feedback collection and analysis
  1. Website integration
  2. Branded booking page
  3. Configurability to match your brand
  4. Payment processing and add-on sales
  5. Automated reminders
  6. Automatic data analysis
  7. Feedback collection and analysis






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