Experiential Marketing (a technique that creates experiences between brands and consumers) is quickly becoming the go-to marketing activity for both established and up-&-coming brands. Top marketing experts have been signaling the rise of a new era of brand activation solutions that guarantee brands their share of ROI, better customer experiences and increased online presence. This means opportunities for professionals to enter the field and for brands to reinvent their marketing strategy to gain market shares.
Experiential Marketing, also known as promotional marketing, event marketing, or engagement marketing, is a sector of marketing which allows companies build brand loyalty and recognition by creating memorable experiences for consumers. Once considered a nontraditional form of marketing, Experiential Marketing is now widespread with campaigns occurring daily.You might think, sure, I know what that is – samples at Costco or a test drives at a car show – but that’s only the beginning of a Experiential Marketing Professional’s (EXP) adventure. Experiential Marketing has become an extremely creative career field. With companies finding innovative and clever marketing ideas to build brand loyal consumers, traditional advertising has become a thing of the past. From branded environments, to pop-up shops, to guerrilla marketing and street teams, to PR stunts, to the product sampling, the world of Experiential Marketing is a high growth industry where skills such as creativity, extroversion, innovation, and a willingness to travel are sought after. A few Experiential Marketing examples include-Share a Coke program-Automotive test drives– Beta test of a product or service in exchange for your opinion
There are three main areas of focus:
A) Consumer engagement events as a Brand Ambassador
B) In-market staff and management
C) Tour staff and management
D) Agency staff and management
Regardless of your position, you are considered an Experiential Marketing Professional or EXP for short.
Various job titles include: promotional model, tour manager, brand ambassador, team lead, tour manager, Experiential Marketing account manager, staffing coordinator, mascot, product specialist, demo representative, etc.
Professionalism, intelligence, creativity, and communication mastery are needed for any career in Experiential Marketing. However, each of the individual areas require particular skill-sets and characteristics that are valued above others.
For instance, tour staff must be willing to travel and possess personal money management skills to budget through low-season.
Experiential Marketing agencies and professionals who create exciting campaigns must have creative vision, understand the consumer buying process, and must have a high regard for all involved in executing their events.
Brand Ambassadors, Promotional Models, and Emcees are attractive, impeccably groomed, and charismatic, however, being able to engage with every consumer despite rejection is essential.
Take the What Experiential Marketing Career Path Is Right For You? Quiz to find what job is best for your personality and skill-set.
Pay varies based on position and experience.
At the entry level, Brand Ambassadors and Trade Show Models generally make between $15 to $20 per hour.
Positions that require more brand knowledge and a higher level of interaction such as Product Specialists or Promotional Models make from $25 to $40 per hour.
Management and agency compensation begins at $1,200 a week and will vary based on experience.
As an EXP, you will represent various brands and promote their products, but your employer or contractor will be an Experiential Marketing agency or staffing agency. While compensation will vary from agency to agency, so will your employment status. Depending on the size of the agency and the duration of an event or program, you may or may not have the option to be classified as an employee. Be sure to check with your agency prior to committing to any event to understand the different tax stipulations.
In order to begin a career as an EXP, you need a neat, concise resume which lists any experience related to the skills required for an EXP – event experience, marketing, communications, or sales. Being bilingual is also a plus.
You will also need a professional head shot or picture taken with a smartphone which contains great lighting, colors which accent your skin tone, and convey you smiling. A short video detailing your prior experience and showcasing your personality will give you an advantage over other candidates and will also help agencies to place you correctly. With phone video quality being excellent, the options to present yourself as an outgoing EXP are limitless. Experiential Marketing is a creative field, so use creative means to display your talent and qualifications.
The ability to retain and relay details and features of a product or service
The ability to accept rejection from strangers
A go-getter attitude and willingness to adapt at a moment’s notice
An understanding of the importance of being on time
A strong work ethic
Your range of opportunities is vast. An EXP job can be a part-time or supplemental job. Many EXPs have other careers but simply enjoy working weekends or summers at events as a brand ambassador or product specialist.
If one desires to become an EXP full-time, then understanding how to plan financially and market yourself in the industry is critical. There are many avenues and options to consider, but understanding why you are interested in the field is important. Write down your long-term goals so you can measure your progress and see if your short-term goals and decisions align with your end objectives.
There are skills that one must perfect and challenges one must face in order to prepare for a career and as an In-Market or Tour Manager. You must be adaptable, professional, hard working in order to succeed in high-level EXP management.