Experiential Marketing vs Experiential Staffing
Experiential Marketing is the use of face-to-face interactions to assist in building or cultivating a brand and brand awareness to new or existing customers. The premise behind experiential marketing is to develop long-term customer loyalty, brand awareness, and new business opportunities.
Experiential Staffing is the use of trained ambassadors to represent a brand out in the field. They require a lot of specific qualities to represent brands effectively: they can easily retain new information and deliver it to curious customers, deliver the messages required by a brand, think on their feet, and provide feedback to a brand about what went well and what could be improved. They are also outgoing, social, and easy to talk to.
Benefits of Experiential Marketing
There are a number of benefits to Experiential Marketing. Brands benefit from a higher engagement than “traditional” marketing (online, print, etc.) This increases brand loyalty through positive experiences.
In addition, word of mouth marketing is increased as memorable moments keep the brand top of mind.
Finally, social media is often tied into experiential marketing campaigns to extend the brand into the digital world.
7 Types of Experiential Staffing
Sampling & Demo Staff
Product sampling and demonstrations are a powerful way to gain leads and push direct sales through consumer interactions. Connecting directly with consumers through in-store demos and product sampling is an engaging way to generate new sales, build brand awareness, and foster positive relationships with your consumers. Through this promotional technique you are able to let your product shine with the help of an experienced and educated brand ambassador. This type of experiential staffing allows a diverse group of consumers to use all five of their senses while interacting with your product and brand. Product sampling and demos give brands the ability to create a personalized, one-on-one experience with your target market that cannot be found anywhere else!
Trade Show Brand Ambassadors
Trade show brand ambassadors, sometimes called “corporate ambassadors”, fully embody the corporate identity at any conference or convention. Trade show ambassadors immerse themselves in being well informed about your product or service on the show floor so you don’t have to attend. This enables clients to promote their brand both locally and nationally with an appointed agent to boost product or service sales and brand awareness.
Sponsor Booth Staff
Experiential staffing agencies manage sponsor booths in a variety of settings. Trade shows, music festivals, farmers markets, sporting events, and more. These marketing tactics are easy ways to generate awareness with a target audience.
A street team is a group of people - brand ambassadors or event staff, who “hit the streets” promoting either an event, product or service. Street team staffing is a promotional tool that has been adopted to increase exposure and market to an audience in a specific location or target market. Job duties can vary with each street team project, but it includes roles such as passing out promotional materials, putting up flyers for an event, and posting on social media. All in all, street team members advocate for the brand to people in the community, and assist the business in reaching a wider audience.
Surveys are a great example of experiential staffing at work. These survey teams often focus on conferences and conventions to gather consumer sentiment. This doesn’t necessarily translate to deeper engagement of a brand, but it helps the brand improve their product or service overall. Sometimes survey teams will gather video testimonials or have attendees fill out questionnaires on site as well.
Immersive Experiences/Exhibitions Staff
With stunning technology, immersive experiences have exploded in multiple industries from art to entertainment by transporting the user into a new, altered reality. These experiential, event-based experiences are the perfect way to enhance customer experience, allowing a meaningful interaction between the user and the products.
Energetic and enthusiastic exhibition staff play an essential role in generating value for the customers. They are tech-savvy professionals with outgoing personalities whose function is to allow the customers to explore, connect and enjoy what most would consider a once in a lifetime experience.
Guerilla Marketing Staff
Creatively engage and create a buzz in the market by utilizing guerilla marketing tactics - a great alternative to traditional marketing strategies. Using unconventional methods to raise brand awareness and promote products or services allows a business to quickly grab the attention of a targeted audience in an edgy and memorable way. The goal: shock and intrigue. There are many facets of guerilla marketing, but a common theme is invoking an emotional response. These efforts require boots on the ground and face-to-face engagement. Hiring trained brand ambassadors with passion, knowledge and energy provides the ability to form genuine, offline connections, to interact directly with potential customers, and to build partnerships.
8 Reasons Experiential Marketing Agencies & Brands Outsource Their Staffing
Experienced Brand Ambassadors
One key advantage of using an experiential staffing agency is that the staff on their roster have prior experience specifically in experiential marketing. By using the same brand ambassadors repeatedly, the agency has the chance to refine their roster to include only the best of the best. These brand ambassadors specialize in experiential marketing and will approach the job with valuable industry expertise.
Every city and state around the country has different rules and regulations when it comes to labor laws. Staying in compliance with those laws is critical if you want to avoid issues down the road. Rules around breaks, overtime, classification of workers, and limitations of job duties are all things that need to be considered when you activate staff in a given market. An experiential staffing agency will know about these regulations and help you plan accordingly to ensure that your activation stays within compliance.
Good experiential staffing agencies have local staff with prior work experience on their roster. This helps with reliability and keeps travel costs to a minimum. Local staff are also knowledgeable about the logistics in their area which means less people getting lost or showing up late to an activation.
Experiential staffing agencies offer brands and marketers an opportunity to scale into new markets rapidly. Often, these staffing agencies will have ‘go-to’ staff available in local markets who have already been vetted.
Technology plays a vital role in the management of staff. App based technology has replaced the spreadsheets of the early 2000’s. A well run experiential staffing agency’s technology will:
- Strengthen and maintain relationships with a large number of multi-city candidates and employees.
- Effectively manage the recruitment process from start to finish.
- Streamline recruiting, onboarding and scheduling efforts through automation.
- Provide real-time data and accurate tracking.
- Keep a record of all staff communication.
- Geofence the check-in/check-out process.
- Create a positive user experience for staff, leading to high-quality candidates.
When you hire an experiential staffing agency to provide ambassadors for your program, you are getting more than just friendly faces to represent your brand or product. Ambassadors that work for experiential staffing agencies know that their performance onsite at one activation is what leads to more work opportunities in the future with that agency. The agency is able to hold staff accountable for things like punctuality, appearance, attitude, and performance metrics by leaning on internal tools and technology. Scoring and record-keeping ensure that top performers are utilized more frequently. The end result for you, the client, is a stronger team onsite that has a track record of professionalism and skill.
Managing staff is a daunting task. Making sure the right people are in the right place is only the beginning. Potential employees need to be vetted through interviews and background checks. In addition, taxes, insurance, and local labor laws need to be followed. Using an experiential staffing agency means the brand can focus on messaging, design, and other important elements of an experiential marketing campaign.
Brands and marketing agencies often have a liability blind spot when it comes to payroll. Often, these companies shortcut overtime, local city regulations, staff breaks, and tax laws. Some of these violations can come back to haunt the brand years later if an employee takes action. A well run experiential staffing agency handles all payroll and payments to staff with direct deposit payments and adherence to local labor laws.
Choosing the right Experiential Staffing Agency
Ask for references and examples of similar projects
When trusting an experiential staffing agency to represent your company, it is important to make sure the agency has experience with projects of a similar nature. For example, do their staff have experience with the specific job duties you’re looking for? (sales, demos, street team advertising, etc.) Have other companies had good experiences with their agency? Have they handled projects of a similar scale before? Do they have photos of previous projects to share?
Look for local market experience
Local market experience is key because it reduces time and cost for the client when finding the right staff. Knowledge of the local area allows the staffing agency to hire the best staff members for the event.
Ask about legal compliance & insurance
A good experiential staffing agency should ensure their employees are properly insured and legally compliant for the work they are performing.
Questions to consider:
- Does the agency have the correct general liability and worker's compensation coverages for that area?
- Are the staff W2 employees or independent contractors? If they are independent contractors, does that designation meet local labor law requirements?
- When and how are the staff paid?
Ask about attendance tracking, backup plans, etc.
Experiential staffing agencies are not all the same in this regard. Backup staff scheduling and accurate attendance tracking are often areas skipped over by lesser companies in the industry. The reality is that not every staff person is 100% reliable. Being prepared for these inevitable shift conflicts will help activations run seamlessly. Attendance tracking ensures that clients are only paying for the staff that actually work.
Get a quote
Finally, you’ll want to get a quote. Once you understand your experiential campaign, it's time to get pricing. Don’t forget to look out for change fees, cancellation policies and on-site team lead support.