We recently delivered a national sampling campaign for Wilkinsons to sample their new ranges of own brand products.

Ngage employed 50 promotional staff throughout the UK, for a single day of in-store sampling at 50 separate Wilkinsons stores. With this kind of activity, as you can imagine staff management and control is key!

There are a number of ways to guarantee that an activity like this is a success and there are some fairly easy ways to ensure that all promotional staff arrive on time, leave no earlier than planned and that they are proactive and self motivated whilst working unsupervised.

Firstly, the agency that you use must be able to demonstrate a proven track record of being able to deliver a similar campaign similar, It’s always a very good idea to get a reference from past customers on how they have performed.

From personal experience, all agencies I know of, that have attempted to deliver similar campaigns in a large number of geographic locations – mess it up!

There are a number of questions in addition that you need to ask before allocating work to your agency:-

1) Can you demonstrate how thorough your database of staff is within each geographic area, including how recently all these staff have worked for the agency? Its no use just having a load of staff on their database that registered years ago and have never worked for the agency!

2) The agency should be able to ensure the promotional staff will arrive on time and not leave early?

3) How can you guarantee that all promotional staff will arrive?

4) If they are sampling food, can you demonstrate how many of your staff have food and hygiene certificates?

5) How will you manage the staff on the day? Ask for detailed information including ways of communication with the staff and take careful note of how long it would take to contact each of the staff members.

6) How and when will you receive a report?

Whilst these seem fairly logical questions, not all agencies have a process for managing this. Ngage are currently delivering a project in 5 international markets simultaneously with 100% attendance and ultimate control of staff through having initiated processes to manage and motivate promotional staff.

I know it sounds logical but when you are discussing these points with the agencies, you need to be very practical in your calculations. For example, if all promotional staff are starting their shift at 10am and there are 50 promotional staff, you need to take into consideration that it will take approximately 3 minutes to speak to each employee at the start of the day. This would mean that if the agency had one staff member contacting staff at 10am, the agency would only be able to confirm if all staff are in place after 150 minutes. Therefore 2.5 hours later, can they only start reacting to no-shows and that’s far too late!
For every campaign like this, management and process is vital. The best way to control this, as a client brand, is to agree a penalty clause for lateness / non-arrival of staff and get each of the retail outlet managers to email you by 10:15am to confirm staff have arrived and all is ok. This will allow you to be one up on the agency.
If you would like to discuss more specific ways to control this type of activity, please contact Mark Meurer on 02036750640