While the latest “model” of the virus still feeds passionate debates about masks and vaccines, many brands are starting to promote their products at retail stores again. The CPG brands and physical retailers interested in resuming their in-store sampling campaigns find that the brand ambassadors they used to depend on are no longer available. The lockdowns and public health directives decimated the market infrastructure as people were forced into relocating and taking on different career paths. As a result, some companies are now exploring alternative marketing strategies, such as influencer marketing and social media advertising, to reach their target audience. These methods, however, result in a less cost-effective and flexible approach to product promotion in the current market conditions. Naturally, the lack of brand ambassadors is only a small portion of the overall labor shortage that most companies in the nation are experiencing, but my exposure is primarily to in store demo management. There are multiple approaches to managing labor scarcity for in-store marketing:
It is critical to understand that brand ambassadors' “real” earnings depend on the following:
Most high-quality brand ambassadors are self-employed, and while $25 per hour for 40 hours a week sounds like a reasonable income, 5–7 store sampling events per week at 4 (paid) hours per demo, with 1.5 hours per demo of unpaid overhead, is all they can expect most of the time. That is the difference of $1,600 per month, or the "real" rate of $18 per hour working part-time with no benefits. The point is you don’t need to bust your marketing budget to attract brand ambassadors capable of producing a healthy E2P (experience-to-purchase) conversion ratio. By offering multiple in store demos per day and providing better time utilization management, demo companies and field marketing organizations can attract and retain high-quality brand ambassadors who can effectively drive sales and improve the overall customer experience. This investment in smarter management will ultimately lead to a higher return on investment for the marketing budget. Playing it smart generates above-average returns for your business. Let's discuss how to revive your store experience and brand activation strategies in the wake of a pandemic.
Physical retailers can benefit greatly from hosting in-store demos without having to invest additional funds or resources. Most retailers are aware of demos and experienced the results they generate, BUT they see it as one off events initiated by Vendors and tolerated by Retailers INSTEAD OF as a valuable marketing strategy initiated and promoted by Retailers.