We call ourselves an experiential marketing agency. Really, we are communicators – master communicators. When you work with 1,000 brand ambassadors, hundreds of stores, dozens of clients, and an internal team, you have a lot of opportunities to sharpen your communication skills.
Based on feedback from brand ambassadors and clients, we’ve realized that our communication has improved throughout the years and has become one of our company’s leading strengths. If you’re looking to improve your demo program, your answer may be as simple as adding a few more emails and texts!
1. Share your goal.
We believe brand ambassadors genuinely want to do a great job. But sometimes they don’t know what a great job looks like. Is it selling 5 units at a retail demo? Sampling 100 music festival attendees? Getting a 10% lift on social media engagement during a guerrilla marketing campaign? Defining the target metrics for your program can help your brand ambassadors understand what the most important metrics are and how they are performing compared to those expectations.
2. Be clear and timely on the scheduling.
It’s shocking to us how many of our brand ambassadors tell us how they appreciate our clear communication when it comes to schedules. We try to nail down our schedules 4-6 weeks in advance. That way our best brand ambassadors hold dates for us, instead of booking other work. It also helps our brand ambassadors know what their income will be in the coming month.
If you’re working on an experiential marketing program that involves retailers, be sure you are also working with them on the scheduling so you are finding a date that works for both parties.
3. Provide feedback.
It can be difficult to provide fresh and insightful feedback after each event, but the more you do this, the more your brand ambassadors will know that you read their end of shift reports and value the information they share. Maybe it’s something as simple as, “Thanks for sharing the weather was not ideal for today’s outdoor event. I appreciate you sticking it out and making the most of each engagement.” Communicate positive feedback at every opportunity and constructive feedback as needed.
4. Create an event checklist.
Leave less room for error by creating a checklist for each event. Who are the points of contact? How should the display be set up? What photos will be needed for the end of shift report? Having an event checklist will help your brand ambassadors manage the details of their experiential marketing activation and ensure your vision for the event becomes a reality. We find that breaking the checklists down into before, during, and after the event is helpful so the brand ambassadors don’t get overwhelmed with all the details at once.
5. Text reminders the day of the event.
This is something we at Health and Fitness Activations began doing as soon as we opened the doors. Back then, it was just me (Jessica), and I needed everyone to complete their shifts in order for me to cover my mortgage. So, I’d text each of my brand ambassadors the morning of their shifts to say hello and address any day-of concerns they may have. This practice has served us well and helped us avoid many would-be emergencies. In fact, we now have 2 on-call managers, whose primary focus is putting out fires that arise.
It takes a lot of time to communicate effectively when there are so many people and details involved. But it is critical to the success of your experiential marketing event.
What about you? Does this level of communication come easily to you or do you find it challenging to keep up with?