People Buy From People

written by Melina

There is a saying in the marketing industry, that ‘people buy from people’ and this is especially true when it comes to live events. It doesn’t matter how high the production values are or how well an event has been produced, if the staff working on the activity can’t engage the public, then the experience will fail to deliver a true brand experience.

As brands are realising they need to build relationships with their consumers, not just raise awareness, the importance of well trained, intelligent staff who can deliver effective brand messages becomes more and more vital.

Meeting all staff face to face

It is important that agencies are confident of the staff they are putting forward to represent brands. At Hel’s Angels, before any potential brand ambassador is accepted onto our database, we insist on meeting them face to face. This has been the case since the agency was founded 1996.  Having a connection with the staff that are going to be representing us is of absolute importance. Not only for us but for the staff themselves feeling that they are involved, respected, listened to and developed.

We hold initial group interviews to check communication skills, team work and how people present themselves, so we can get a full picture of that person and potentially which of our brands they would be right for. Staff then go through a rigorous introductory training programme which is topped up with ongoing and specific skills training from then on.

Recruiting people with the right personality or skills, not just a look.

Recruiting people in the same peer group or who appear aspirational to those people the campaign is being targeted at is often key to successful consumer interactions. But decisions on staff, can’t just be made on a ‘look’; personality and character is even more key to forming relationships with consumers. We find that casting based on skills and interests and not just appearance means that both parties win – the staff get to work on campaigns which genuinely interests them and the brand benefits from happy and engaged teams who can effectively build relationships with consumers.

Our recent work for SSE saw us recruiting a team of ‘Energisers’ to help assist the public during events at the Scottish Hydro and Wembley.  As the name suggests, our team had to be full of energy and enthusiasm and be able to provide impeccable customer service.  The team have been so successful that they regularly receive thank you notes from the public and frequently get mentioned in independent customer satisfaction surveys.

The importance of training

Consistent and ongoing training is important to keep staff engaged. It is essential to invest time into in- house training, as we have found this leads to a greater staff retention. In return we have staff who care for their campaigns, the people they meet and the brands they promote. It is imperative that staff receive specific brand training, so when talking to the public they come across as knowledgeable and engaged, not just a ‘pretty face’ handing out samples.

It is easy to see how brands benefit from committed & happy teams, who understand their brand and can deliver messages in an engaging manner and most crucially start building brand relationships with target consumers

This article appears in the June issue of Event Magazine