Question: There are few things that motivate consumers to buy more than getting a sample of the product into their hands, particularly when it's a food and drink product. How best can marketers give shoppers a taste of their brand in-store? How can you guarantee quality of serve, given the challenges of transportation, storage, preparation and presentation?
Question: There are few things that motivate consumers to buy more than getting a sample of the product into their hands, particularly when it’s a food and drink product. How best can marketers give shoppers a taste of their brand in-store? How can you guarantee quality of serve, given the challenges of transportation, storage, preparation and presentation?
My perspective on this is quality of serve will ultimately come down to the individual communicating to the consumer.
The fundamental quality driver in any consumer interaction is the brand ambassador tasked to deliver the ‘perfect serve’. Our remit is to guarantee and deliver a standardised quality provision through staff that ultimately motivates a purchasing decision and brand engagement from the consumer. There are the fundamentals that form an essential part of the preparation to succeed including correct certification, profiled brand fit, relevant and recent brand, venue and mechanic experience and thorough pre activity training; consisting of brand education, testing and activity role play.
However, these elements are all ‘tick the box’ fundamentals in any preparation. What we require is an engendered sense of commitment from the field team that delivers not only against the brief, but above and beyond, delivering enhanced consumer engagement that tips the balance in favour of the brand. Brand ambassadors need to feel a sense of achievement as they implement the activity, understanding the commitment from all of the stakeholders, brand and agency, and subsequently feeling a sense of fulfilment as they deliver the ‘perfect serve’. We achieve this in a number of ways;
- Training > In addition to the standard training, a full background on the brand, it’s marketing strategy, ambitions for the year, stakeholders etc., ensures that the brand ambassadors understand the wider picture, appreciate both the financial and resource commitments from all parties and recognise the importance of their position and our reliance on their professionalism to make the activity work.
- Incentives > An effective incentive scheme, rewarding excellence in delivery, is an excellent way of motivating the field team to deliver against objectives. Through years of experience, we have refined the way we incentivise and believe that an effective incentive scheme rewards sustained excellence rather than peak performances, continues to motivate the whole even when individuals excel, and is measured against variables aside from just sales uplift and volume of samples.
- Measurement > Effective measurement initiatives, both in the field site visits and insightful data analysis, ensure that the field teams feel both supported and driven in their delivery, proactively working with any measurement data and feedback to improve as the activity progresses.
Guaranteeing quality of serve includes a host of challenges, all requiring a systematic and considered approach to maximise the perfect serve opportunity. The most fundamental variable in the mix is the field staff, the brand ambassadors that make or break the campaign. Understanding their challenges, proactively supporting their implementation and engendering a team spirit and commitment from them, ensures that perfect serve.
Author: Julian Johnson, Commercial Director, Mash Marketing