More so than ever has there been the need to have the right event staff representing your brand. As transparency and consumer knowledge increase it means that event staff need to expand and develop their capabilities to match the demands of the consumer and the brand that they are representing.
To understand which style of promotional staff is right for your event you need to have some understanding of your goals and targets then you can decide - brand ambassador or product specialist?
Firstly, let's define each role.
Brands are measured by trust these days. In a day and age where information can be skewed or misrepresented the daily consumer is now educated and willing to take their money elsewhere when there is even a hint of mistrust.
So when it comes to promotional staff, product specialists are under more pressure to have the facts and figures and not hide anything ensuring the consumer knows all of the details before making a decision.
This is where the appeal of a product specialist comes into play. These individuals have expert knowledge, experience and insight to be able to answer the majority of sales, tech and other questions on the fly - in an engaging manner too!
These promotional staffers are masters of people skills and personality, being able to cater messaging and information on the fly to their target audience or simply the individual that they are talking to right now.
They are able to deliver the message of your brand in an authentic way, without it being sales focused, instead they base information on real day-to-day experience that consumers seek out via online reviews. This is where they are able to remove that disconnect between brand, consumer, and purchase as reviews play a huge part in the decision making process.
Brand ambassadors may not have the technical knowledge as a product specialist does but they can start conversations easily and pass the right message on, which should be food for thought as it could be a tactical move - use a combination of brand ambassadors to draw crowds in and have product specialists waiting to provide the finer details.
Which is Right For You? Brand Ambassador or Product Specialist?
The questions below are core to your understanding which style of promotional staff you will need and which will provide you with the best ROI.
What Is the Event Goal?
Event goals tend to be pretty much the same across the board of industries, products and so on. Therefore it's important that you know what your central goal is.
Here are some goals to consider when deciding on event staff:
a. Increasing Brand Awareness
b. Influence Deeper Consumer Involvement
c. Increase Product Knowledge and Understanding
d. Increase Sales
e. Launch Products
Brand awareness and deeper involvement will both require the specialist skills of a brand ambassador who will be able to discuss real-world situations, discuss their own experiences and provide a snapshot of information that drives awareness without the additional details.
Goals c. - e. will require the in-depth knowledge that is customary with a product specialist who will answer technical questions, discuss historic brand news, provide details and reassurances as and when needed and ultimately push the customer further down the funnel.
What Tactics Will Be Used To Engage?
Let us take 2 common brand activation scenarios - a street team based in a high foot count area, during peak hours and in-store demos or an exhibition for instance.
These two scenario's paint a totally different picture in terms of how much engagement you get with consumers, what message or actions can be put across and what information can be relayed.
Take a street team where interaction is quick, minimal and to the point. There's incredibly little time available for delivering a sample, a message and a call to action. At most, you get a few seconds to catch the eye of a consumer, greet them and provide suitable information in a bitesize but effective format. This is ideal for brand ambassadors who can spot individuals that may show more interest than others and be able to create a bespoke greeting, message, and CTA.
However, consider events such as in-store demo's and exhibitions as you then have an extended amount of time that you can spend with the consumer. This arena gives promotional staff the chance to dive into the details, discuss key features and understand the consumer's needs.
Side note: If you really want to get smart with your approach it may be that you call upon ambassadors to be the scouts, the people that grab attention and interact sending consumers towards the product specialists for further information gathering and needs analysis.
Your Core Customer?
Even though you have set some goals and you know which event staff would be ideal for your event - you have to consider your core consumer and the style of event.
If you happen to have a camera roadshow, showing off a brand new model - it's good to have ambassadors who can talk about the magic photo and the moment they found it but as the conversation progresses so does the technical language and questions.
The technical understanding and FAQs are vital to the products exposure and consumer awareness, so at this point, it would be ideal for the product specialist to step in and deliver the technical details and answer those product focused questions.
This is something that should really be considered for any promotional event as having a team of 2 styles of promotional staff can be hugely beneficial to your overall event goals.
Choosing the right type of promotional staff for your event is vital, but it requires some serious thought and understanding the style of promotional event as well as aligning your goals with the event too.
Consider the approach of the event, do you need only product specialists or brand ambassadors? I mentioned using both so that each specific style of promotion can all compliment each other to deliver results - this is where you need to dig deeper into the location, product, goal and what the promotional staffs duties will be.