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Getting the most out of Promotional Staff

From sampling to leafleting, product launches to trade shows, professional Promotional Staff, Brand Ambassadors and Event Managers, act as the face for your organisation during short campaigns. With the rise of online only brands, adding in interactions in the form of experiential marketing activations offers a chance to make memorable connections with new and existing customers.

They not only give you the opportunity to speak directly with your target audience, but these sorts of activations, coupled with brilliant promotional staff, can showcase your brand's personality and offer a unique chance to humanise brand connections. A rarity, but with Gen z’s rating authenticity as a reason to connect with a brand, an important element in the marketing mix.

First impressions count, so hiring the right staff is an important part of the puzzle, but the onboarding and briefing process shouldn’t be underestimated, as well as the management of them.

Having spent years working in this world, here we look at six ways to get the most out of promotional staff.

1. Creating the right activation

Consumers are exposed to 10,000 advertisements a day, so a surprising and unique activation with a bubbly personality can break through that. From simple sampling on the street or lucky dip prize trikes on campus, to the larger, more immersive pop-up activations, creating and implementing the right activation is the first step. It’s really only at this stage you can decide what type of staff you need...technical wizards, beauty enthusiasts, theatrical characters or sign up masters.

The first question to answer though, what are you looking to achieve? Answer that, and the rest will follow.

2. Finding the right staff

Experienced promotional staff know how best to engage with consumers effectively, it’s their bread and butter. They know precisely how to adapt to different brand messages and engage with various audiences. But, do they fit your brand values and do they represent your brand in the right way? It’s a tricky one to articulate at times.

There are also some key characteristics worth looking out for when hiring promotional staff and brand ambassadors. Are they experienced in lead generation? Are they approachable? Can they articulate the proposition and generate leads, without coming across as too salesy and pushy? Can they demonstrate passion for the product and brand? They don’t need to have encyclopaedic knowledge of the product, but can they project the right brand message and feeling?

Reliability is a key factor too, which is why working with tried and tested promo staff is key (more on that later!). There will always be times when sickness strikes, so having a back up plan or a pool of staff you can call upon is a good idea.

Final point on this one, do you need an event manager? Some activations, especially touring ones, will benefit greatly from a dedicated and experienced event manager.

3. Onboarding and briefing

Clarity is important. Like any staff member, staff need to know what their role is and why they are there. You want good promotional staff to keep working with you, the time you invest now will pay off in the long run. Has their onboarding been welcoming and engaging? Is the brief thorough (but not too onerous). Are they clear on the journey, the call to action and the point of the activation?

It’s no surprise that happy staff will go the extra mile, and onboarding is a great opportunity to do just that, getting them brought in from the get-go. The little touches often matter too, promotional staff work for various brands, so sending them branded merch or a small welcome gift will help you as a temporary employer, stand out.

We always like to think of promo staff as an extension to any business/brand that they are working with. A clear and concise briefing is a great way to build knowledge and confidence with who they are working alongside.

4. Managing (from a distance)

Recruiting, onboarding and managing the right staff can be time consuming, but a lack of control can also end in disaster. Managed well, promotional staff can make a campaign, they are the linchpin of an activation.

A tricky balance, so it's important to keep promotional staff motivated and aware of how they are performing without bombarding them throughout an activation or event. It can be a fine art, keeping motivation levels up from a distance, without micromanaging. That's why having clear roles, KPIs and lines of communication is so important.

5. Pay and benefits

Naturally, staff need to be paid, and paid promptly. Setting out clear payment terms, with information on expense limits helps to avoid any problems. It’s always worth making sure what you’re paying is on par with competitors, offering above average salary and expenses / payment terms will help to make sure good staff come back and work for you.

6. Debrief

promotional staff are your boots on the ground, your eyes and ears. As an agency, our teams always get stuck in, attending events and live activations, working side by side with some of our brand ambassadors and event managers. However, it's not always possible to attend every one. That's why it's so important to involve your promo staff (especially your event manager, if you have one) in the campaign wrap up. Learning from experience only benefits you in the future.

It’s easy to see why consumers engage with a new product or brand far more if human interaction is involved. It’s more likely to leave a positive longer lasting impression.

Thinking of working with Promotional Staff and brand Ambassadors? Drop us a message to find out how promotional staff and on campus/street team activations can support your marketing this year:

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