Achieving ROI in event marketing programs can be elusive, but here are some tips on making your campaign a success.
Laying the Foundation
Ask yourself: WHAT IS THE GOAL OF YOUR CAMPAIGN?
Over 90% of our clients come to us without a clear goal. It makes it impossible to determine if a campaign is a success without a clear objective.
Once you have a goal in mind, we need to determine if it is realistic and set key performance indicators (KPIs) for each event and the full campaign.
If your goal is to make double your event marketing investment back in sales, I can say with a great deal of certainly that this will not be possible from any single event.
Shift your focus on leads not sales from event marketing efforts.
You will not see an immediate ROI at the demo table or festival booth, but you will have an opportunity to establish a long term, personal connection with your target audience.
This is your initial contact with a potential client. You are collecting a lead and a percentage of them may immediately buy (at a demo table).
Brand ambassadors are there to collect LEADS for your company which can be funneled down through your marketing and sales path to reach the big goal… a sale! The “rule of 7” says that there will likely be a little more follow up an finesse required to get to the big goal.
Develop a strategy for your brand ambassadors to capture and record leads at the event. Whether you provide the brand ambassador with a tablet or a notepad, funneling the leads into your marketing machine will help maximize the results of every event.
You do not want to have brand ambassadors take the high pressure sales approach to make the sale today if it will mean sacrificing a long term customer. The store staff and shoppers hate this approach. It is bad for your brand and long term will not result in the growth you are hoping for.
Create the Playbook
The most commonly overlooked step for success is preparing a detailed brand ambassador training manual.
Many brands seem to assume that brand ambassadors can piece together the perfect pitch and list all benefits from their packaging. This is a very risky assumption and is not providing the brand ambassador the tools and support needed to succeed.
The demo manual or brand ambassador manual should include a basic info on your product: pronunciation, ingredient list, main benefits and features.
In addition to product info, remember this is a DEMO manual, not just a product training booklet, so you want to include specific play by play details on the demo set up, product preparation, and any specific feedback you are seeking from shoppers.
In order to create detailed training manual, you should set-up a mock demo in your office so you can experience the process and provide clear directions.
Better yet, go out an DO A DEMO (or 10) before you make the manual.
This will likely give you a much better understanding of the brand ambassador’s experience and unique challenges of working in a store, at an expo or festival. I would also guess it will give you a whole new respect for the great brand ambassadors on your team – it is hard work!
Figure out exactly:
What you want on the demo table
What supplies the demo reps will need
What literature and display materials look best
Once you get the table set up perfectly, take a picture of your ideal set up. It is easy for demo reps to mimic your table set up, but it is impossible for them to read your mind and set up the table your ideal way without any guidance. Keep in mind that many stores limit the demo table space to 2×3 feet.
Dial in the elevator pitch. Ask a friend or co-worker to have you run through the pitch and see if it gets their attention in 10-15 seconds. You will have a really limited time frame to grab the interest of a shopper while in the store, so you will want to dial in your pitch, write it down and add it to your demo manual.
Lastly, remember to include in the your goals or KPIs are for the event in the manual. If you don’t provide this information to a brand ambassador, it is impossible for them to know if their event went well or was a flop.
Always include a list of the specific feedback that the rep should be collecting from shoppers or key talking points. For example, if you have new packaging, you need to instruct the brand ambassador to ask for feedback on it. If you are considering a new flavor, ask the field rep for feedback from shoppers as to which they prefer.
As with most things, a detailed plan makes for a much smoother process on the day of the demo. It will save you time, money and frustration in the long run to be clear and direct with your instructions.
Recruit and Execute
You are now ready to begin putting together the team and the event schedule.
Each store chain, festival, or expo will likely have completely different processes for booking events, permits, fees and more.
Some brands prefer to hire, train and manage their own team of brand ambassadors. If you choose to do this, there will be a significant time investment and a demo management software should be used to help keep things organized.
Another option is to use a demo company, event marketing agency or staffing agency to bring the team together. This will take some of the work off of your plate, but you want to find a great, experienced group that you can trust to execute your vision.
Natural Selection Promotions has been working in the natural and organic store chains for over 15 years and has experienced brand ambassadors coast to coast. Our administrative team is savvy to the rules and red tape and recruits and develops brand ambassador teams for our clients with the same care as we would for our own brand.
If you need assistance with finding the best brand ambassadors, feel free to reach out to our team at naturalselectionpromotions.com to hear about how we can help.