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The Brand Ambassador R’EV’olution

Before the arrival of social media and increased ROI measurement pressures, finding capable and willing promotional staff to execute an event involved a simple speed dial to your ‘fave’ peeps. My, how times have changed? Experiential MarketingKeeping pace with the latest trends and technologies is hard enough for consumer marketers, let alone locating the right staff to communicate key brand messaging points.  Fact is, the latter in many respects determines ultimate value of an experiential marketing program. It’s hard to argue this point when you consider the sheer volume of investment dollars being funneled into qualitative insights by Fortune 500 companies.  These initial findings generally build the framework of an emotionally sustainable brand advocacy relationship.  When brands choose to supplement their traditional marketing efforts with live branded experiences, there is no better ally than your frontline. Call it the Brand Ambassador R’EV’olution with appropriate emphasis given to the trend’s evolving importance. As a first and last line of defense, the litmus test with your target consumer starts the moment a brand representative engages them in conversation.  For their part, both brands and agencies have taken notice.  Agencies in particular expend countless hours assembling staff databases.  And not just any ordinary database either.  Brands understandably so in today’s challenging economy and more scrutinizing marketing environment play a vital role in assessing talent. Experiential MarketingSo, it’s little surprise these e-platforms are now more sophisticated than ever.  It’s not enough to capture simple data selects like gender, age contact name and address.  Acquiring social media profile details (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts) is as commonplace today as subtly requesting video-based resumes.  Consumers crave transparency from the companies they choose to engage, so why shouldn’t this expectation be any different for the agencies and subsequently the brand ambassadors representing the face of both parties? The “x” factor in this equation is and remains perceived influence.  Beyond influencing a consumer’s perception or understanding of a product/service at the point of engagement, it’s often what that Brand Ambassador does prior to, or equally important, after the brand experience that invariably impacts performance.  Pre-promoting special events, product giveaways or product launches via social media channels through a pre-existing network of friends enhances likelihood of success.  In the same respect, carrying on dialogue among this same network post event increases engagement incidences exponentially. By way of example, Dell Computer recently initiated an “Extended Engagement” model to accelerate awareness, adoption and trial of its product offerings. Before Dell went to market they pored through thousands of resumes and profiles to arrive at a comfortable landing spot.  These candidates were put to the test (quite literally…)!  Undergoing the general assortment of social, behavioral and preferential interviewing analysis to determine how ‘connected’ they really were. In the end, the up-front emphasis on candidate quality did wonders for their brand.  They now have a bona fide marketing lab that delivers real-time engagement with their product line.  Conversely, by identifying the right talent to champion their grassroots campus crusades, they seamlessly deliver these messages through the ‘voice’ of a converted consumer – the Brand Ambassador. experiential marketingHere at wedu, we’ve paid heed to this revolution too.  Launching a proprietary staff/event reporting system, uTopia, several years ago, we continue to take cues from both our client base and the experiential marketing industry refining development to keep pace with progress.  Robust in its features, the application allows us to custom design front-end recruiting queries against back-end programming analysis enabling us opportunity to deliver qualified personnel that surpass client expectations for all-too-important event executions. In this Brand Ambassador R’EV’olution, we’ve learned that standing pat means standing still.  With this in mind, we encourage you to test drive our latest creation: utopia 1.3.1.  Help us ‘influence’ our influencer network with thoughts of your own. Cheers!
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