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Brand Ambassador Staffing for Experiential Marketing: Why Is It Expensive?

We get this question occasionally from clients. Whether they are doing a month long mobile marketing tour or a 1-day activation they want to know why brand ambassadors are not priced at minimum wage or slightly above. There are several important reasons for that and we thought it was time to lay it all out in an article.

They Are Representing Your Brand

These individuals are going to be the face of your brand for the experiential marketing event. They are the front line between you and the consumer. It is critical that they represent your brand effectively. Are you a hip clothing retailer catering to millennials? Then you probably want a brand ambassador that reflects that. Are you a high-tech company that is all about the details and the technology that goes into creating a superior customer experience? Then you want brand ambassadors who can explain the technology, be more than just a pretty face, and inspire confidence in the consumer. You can create the most amazing experiential marketing event ever but if the staff is not stellar then that is what the consumer will take away. All the money and effort you have put in will be a waste. Bottom line is you need quality people. And the best people demand to be paid well for their talent and knowledge.

This Staff Is Temporary- Why Should They Care?

Your experiential marketing event is a very quick job for them. You need your brand ambassadors to be invested in representing your brand effectively despite this fact. Unfortunately, the best incentive and motivation in today's world is still money. So despite this being a very quick gig, they know that they will get paid very well for this event and the expectations of their performance level will reflect that. Event professionals whether they be production assistants or high-level brand ambassadors know that they will find steady assignments from an agency when they get good reviews from the clients.

You Need To Have A Backup Plan

A person gets sick, the train really does break down, someone gets a once in a lifetime audition... there are endless reasons why one of the event staff might not show up on time for their shift. If this was a regular job such occasional issues would be manageable but with an experiential marketing event where you may only have 6 hours of one day to showcase your brand it is a big problem. You have invested many weeks or months of planning to make those 6 hours are as impactful as possible and the last thing you want is it to be incomplete. A successful brand ambassador staffing program will have backup brand ambassadors on call built into the cost so even if life interferes it won't derail your event.

The Government Stuff- Who Is Handling It?

When you are hiring temporary employees for an experiential marketing event you need to take into consideration the legal and tax ramifications of having temporary employees. This is a serious part of the process as the government is going to make sure you do it right. The event producer is now responsible for putting temporary workers on payroll and paying all the associated taxes that come with that responsibility. All of these ancillary expenses should be factored into the brand ambassador rate. This is the new reality of staffing experiential marketing campaigns.

So next time you staff an experiential marketing event and you are tempted to "go cheap" on brand ambassador staffing we hope you take all these points into consideration. Successful brand activations happen when every detail is thought out from social media to staffing. That is why it is a good idea to hire an experiential marketing agency who is accustomed to dealing with these issues.

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