As part of a current campaign I’m working on, we are encouraging pet lovers nationwide to visit a microsite and submit grassroots ideas that will help change the lives of pets across the country. To help launch the campaign, we recently set out on a six-city street team tour to teach people who love pets how to get involved.
Although marketing revolves around engaging with your consumer, face-to-face interaction often falls by the wayside in this digital age. Street teams provide a valuable opportunity for meaningful one-on-one engagement.
What we’ve learned through this campaign is deploying street teams can be an extremely useful tactic to generate word-of-mouth support, awareness and promotion, when done correctly. This finding compelled me to revisit and share some best practices when it comes to managing street team activations:
- In message training brand ambassadors, do role-playing exercises. It’s the best way to gauge if they are prepared enough for 1-to-1 consumer interactions
- Provide brand ambassadors with ice breakers, like a photo opportunity, coupon, product sample, or even a clever line – these also provide busy, on-the-go consumers with incentive to stop and listen
- Always, always have back up locations in case you encounter low traffic or the wrong demographic
- Be flexible/nimble and ready to shift gears quickly
- Keep consumer messages short and simple and avoid marketing jargon
- Ensure attire is branded and brand appropriate
- Be digital! If the campaign has a digital component (as most do and should) give consumers a way to access it on site (e.g. handheld iPads)
- Know your consumer. It is likely that your Northeast consumer wants to be engaged differently than your SoCal consumer
- Have a brand representative onsite that can answer any consumer questions or concerns that fall outside the brand ambassadors’ realm of knowledge, and handouts for consumers that wish to know more
- Put on your event planning cap. Even in the case of guerilla marketing, things are bound to go wrong; whether it be a sudden rainstorm, a broken iPad or not enough samples, be prepared and have a backup plan in place
Keeping these practices in mind when considering street team activations for your brand will help make for meaningful engagements with consumers, and ensure your client gets the best bang for their buck.
--Lindsay Harrington, Senior Account Supervisor