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You rarely hear about brand ambassador accountability, but it could be the most important component of your experiential campaigns.
Imagine you spent the last few months planning a massive live event. You've planned everything to the very last detail — you're good to go. You know how you're going to collect information from event attendees. You know how you're going to move customers through your sales pipeline.
Then, on the big day, your brand ambassadors don't engage with customers the way you hoped. They don't collect the data you want. They don't do their job properly.
Your whole campaign ends up being a waste of time.
Whose fault is it?
Sure, your ambassadors might have messed up. But a bad workman always blames his tools.
Perhaps you didn't you didn't communicate your message clearly enough. Perhaps you didn't train your ambassadors properly.
You only have yourself to blame.
Brand ambassadors aren't exclusive to experiential. For decades, brands have hired people to increase awareness and sales. In recent years, companies have called on influencers — social media users with hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of followers — to increase the visibility of their products on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
In an experiential context, ambassadors are the people who engage with your customers at live events. They are salespeople and marketers and customer service staff all rolled into one.
But why are they so important for your campaigns?
Research shows that consumers are far more likely to engage with real people than faceless organizations. Seventy-four percent of customers trust social peer recommendations, while only 14 percent trust advertisements.
It's clear, then, that ambassadors play an important role in any type of marketing campaign. Now you just need to make them more accountable.
Brand ambassadors need to understand your core values and objectives and what makes your company tick. The best ambassadors gets excited about your products and services. They are passionate about your brand.
Chances are you're paying them — or giving them discounts and free swag — but if your ambassadors are just in for the paycheck, your partnership isn't going to work.
The reverse is also true. In order to execute a successful experiential marketing campaign, you should understand the motivations of your ambassadors. What do they want to work for you? What do they want to achieve?
"[Gain insight] into what they’d like to accomplish as your brand’s influencer," says Forbes magazine. "You might hear that they would like to build their resume, receive free products or even potentially join your company. Deeply understanding their motivations helps ensure the success of your program."
Once you've established a relationship with your ambassadors — one that's based on a mutual understanding of the other party's needs — you can increase accountability. Explain to your ambassadors why your campaign is so important and why they need to bring their A-game to your live event.
Typically, ambassadors are young people who spend their time on social media. They're used to making YouTube videos or taking Instagram selfies. At a live event, they're happy to hand out promotional items and talk to customers. But, the truth is, they couldn't care less about data collection.
When this happens, there's a disconnect. As an experiential marketer, it's your job to collect as much valuable data as you can at a live event. Can brand ambassadors really take on this role and achieve the same results?
They can if you incentivize them.
Rewarding your ambassadors for collecting data from your customers is a great way to enhance your experiential campaigns. It ensures you get all the information you need at your live events. You could provide ambassadors with a store voucher if they collect 100 questionnaires from customers, for example.
Experiential marketers spend so much time planning live events that they often forget to measure their effectiveness. After brand ambassadors have gone home and organizers have folded all the trade booths away, marketers have no clue whether their event was a success or not.
This is where good experiential marketing software comes in. Using the latest technology can help you track your ambassadors on event day and discover, once for all, whether they were worth the investment.
"ROI for brand ambassadors is dependent upon accurately tracking and documenting key metrics," says ExpertVoice. "The more figures you have on your side, the better. Knowing what’s working and what’s not working shouldn’t be a guessing game."
Experiential marketers have a huge problem. They invest all of their resources into live events but fail to execute their goals at the brand ambassador level. There's just no accountability. Don't make the same mistakes. Follow the tips in this list and create more successful, accountable brand ambassador campaigns going forward.
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