A mind-blowing campaign concept with flawless planning can fall flat if the face of the brand – the brand ambassador – is ineffective. Not only does a poorly trained brand ambassador yield little in terms of the much talked about Return on Investment, they can also have a hugely negative effect on a brand’s image, leaving behind more detrimental than good results.
We all know that consumers are quick to complain about bad experiences, which often results in brands losing even the most forgiving consumer, and can cost them an untold number of potential customers yet to even purchase a product. Now add the power of social media, and one bad experience can be shared hundreds of thousands of times, potentially causing massive damage.
Whether doing your grocery shopping, walking through a shopping mall, visiting an exhibition, playing a round of golf, or stopped at an intersection, consumers constantly cross paths with brand ambassadors. But how many of these interactions are meaningful, and actually achieve their objectives?
If, like me, you more often than not avoid these one-on-one interactions at all costs, then you are not alone. However, this is not due to the ineffectiveness of this form of marketing, but rather due to poor execution. We cannot underestimate the value of these face-to-face interactions, it allows brands to connect with their target market using all five senses, creating memorable experiences and forming emotional links, and it also enables more complex brand information to be communicated with ease. If activated correctly, experiential marketing is arguably the most powerful form of marketing.
Pennywise, Pound Foolish
Clients and agencies put enormous trust in brand ambassadors, and they can make or break a campaign. In today’s competitive environment and price wars, all too often the saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. I consistently come across brand ambassadors that are uninterested, not proactive, with little to no product knowledge. In more concerning instances, while acting as a mystery shopper auditing another company’s promoters for a client, I have been given completely incorrect information that could have had serious legal implications for a brand. In these instances, budget spent on these activations has been completely wasted and has put the brand at immense risk.
Don’t Compare Apples with Oranges
When comparing agency quotes, it is imperative that brand managers be more concerned with quality than price. As an agency we understand that it is our responsibility to give our brand ambassadors the tools required to perform exceptionally. The most important tool we can provide them with is training. Not only does this reinforce the fact that they are a valued member of our team, it empowers them and encourages them to be loyal and always give their best.
With this in mind our Training Manager, a SETA certified facilitator, developed a unique and intensive BA training academy module which equips our brand ambassadors with the knowledge to read their consumer, helping them to understand their wants and needs. This enables them to effectively upsell, provide awesome customer service, and ultimately afford the consumer an all-round positive brand experience. Our customised campaign specific training also drills down into product specific upselling skills, in-depth product training and thorough understanding of campaign objectives and mechanics.