We’ve worked with countless agencies that execute experiential marketing events. And we’ve seen countless times agencies struggle with capturing and reporting clean, accurate data. Whether it’s inconsistent formatting or incorrect input, agencies may have bad data lurking in their programs. Here are four key problems we’ve seen with recap data.
- Florida, FL, FLA, Flordia
We all reference common phrases in a different way. Whether we fully spell out a word, use an abbreviation, use shorthand texting (LOL, anyone?) or completely misspell a word, when you allow ambassadors to fill in data in a free-form field, you will get different results for the same answer. When possible, use a drop down of available choices. Then when you need to see how many events you’ve executed in Florida this month, the system can automatically tally that answer. Or, if you prefer, you can spend immeasurable hours manually adding up every variation an ambassador used. You may miss instances as well, thus reporting inaccurate data to your client.
Everyone struggles with math every now and then. Whether it’s just a mistype of information or a blatant error in adding, an error in numbers may result in inventory problems and an unhappy client. We’ve seen recaps include the following questions: total samples distributed, total sample A distributed and total sample B distributed. We’ve seen answers like this: 15, 10 and 3. It’s true that any system cannot fix incorrect data from being entered in the first place. Limiting the information someone has to enter though will decrease the chance for error. A smart recap would have the ambassador enter total number of sample A and sample B distributed and then the system would show a calculated total. That way if the ambassador sees 15 appear onscreen but they know they only handed out 13, they’ll take a minute to fix their numbers.
- Total number of shirts distributed = blue
We’re all rushed for time and while we’d like to believe that everyone will enter valid data every time, you will inevitably get a recap that says the total number of shirts distributed was blue. It’s hard to accurately tell your client what’s happening in the program when you get these answers. Form validation is important to getting the right answer to the question. Since number of shirts should always be a numeral, a smart system would only allow a numeric answer. If your system doesn’t capture information in this way, you may never realize you’re missing critical data.
- Was media present at the event? = 9
Again, when you’re expecting one of just a few answer options, only present those options to the ambassador. This is especially true of yes/no questions. Instead of an open text field to ask if media was present at the event – don’t be surprised when you see the answer “9” – give the user a radio button to select yes or no. You may also want scaled answers instead of open text fields. For example, knowing if the ambassador would rank the event as Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor might be more useful to you than asking them to rank the event and getting results like: “it was terrible awesome,” “meh,” “I would rank this event as a 20,” or “We should definitely do this type of event again but with more food.” It’s hard to create a compelling story for your client with these results.
Stop Collecting Inconsistent Data
There are many other ways to strategically lay out a recap to collect the right information. Take a few minutes to evaluate how you currently capture post-event data. Do you see errors or inconsistencies in your data? Are you struggling with how to capture clean data? Contact our team and we’ll help you lay out a smart recap form to make it easier for ambassadors to submit information, easier for you to approve the information and easier to pull accurate reporting to present to your client – unless they’re fine with 20+12=45.