By: Erik Hauser
Successful experiential campaigns often rely on the staff that activate them, on the staff that actually talk to customers, the staff that engage with customers. But engage is such a neutral word – it fails to communicate the emotion required. If it was merely an engagement, then it would be sampling, perhaps even market research. Experiential is more than just sampling and takes more than just demo staff.
Experiential staff are often the key to unlock customers’ rational side, and when they’re good they can also be the key to unlocking customers’ emotional side.
At Brandstand, we’ve been working with agencies and clients on experiential campaigns for the last 12 years. We’ve seen our fair share of good ones and not-so-good ones! We spend a lot of time getting the visuals and production right, so it really frustrates us when poor activation staff water down our efforts.
So what should you be looking for when selecting staff for your campaign? Is it good looks? Is it reliability? Is it affordability?
The key skill for staff is ENTHUSIASM. Of course, people can fake this, but they better be good at it, or they’ll be spotted as fake a mile off!
The next important skill is EMPATHY. Choose staff that your customers will be able to empathise with and can connect with. This drives credibility and enhances the overall experience, potentially unlocking an emotional link.
If you’re excited about your campaign, you must make sure that this is shared by all the field staff that work with you.
RELIABILITY should be a given, it’s why you work with your Agency, isn’t it? Good looks should be secondary in all considerations; of course, if you are a makeup brand then good skin should be a pre-requisite.
In our experience, good looking BAs don’t make a great experiential campaign. If the amazing model looks are important to you, then perhaps use a modelling agency to hire your staff. Most experiential agencies recruit their staff based on their ability to deliver enthusiasm and emotion. When linked to a great concept the results can be dynamite!
Training and product advocacy are keys to ensuring the delivery appears to be from a trusted source. Customers should think ‘I am talking to a person that is passionate about this product or service and wants to tell me about it – they especially want me to experience it and know all about it.’
In order to ensure this message is delivered passionately, find people that LOVE the brand and ensure they can impart some interesting key facts. This is mandatory and is achieved through robust staff training.
If you’re pulling together an experiential campaign, talk to us about how we can ensure it cuts through the clutter and delivers measurable ROI.
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