Are the efforts of Disney CEO Bob Iger worth $65 million a year? His 2018 compensation package totaled just over that amount. This left social media users and news outlets to question its fairness, considering the pay of Disney’s median employee – a full-time hourly worker – was a little over $46,000. That makes the company’s CEO pay ratio 1,424-to-1.
Though the Disney leader’s pay is far from being the only CEO’s compensation under scrutiny, many deem the vast difference shocking in any case. Still, there are others quick to point out the value of a top-performing CEO. A Time article summarizes. “Major CEOs” must think beyond their traditional roles, which are all-encompassing at the core. Their basic functions include “motivating employees, serving as an internal role model, helping to define and extend a corporate culture, understanding the internal accounting, and presenting budgets and business plans to the board.” Now, on top of this, CEOs must interface externally in many ways.
High-performing CEOs must understand financial markets, even sharing how the company “should trade in them.” Most are also required to lead global companies with widespread supply chains. And, with consumers’ expectations for brands’ involvement in politics and causes, CEOs must have “better public relations skills.” This is since “a minor slip-up” can have significant costs.
In short, the article says, “Good CEOs are some of the world’s most potent creators and have some of the very deepest skills of understanding.” Their value is their success, and that drives a company’s success. Likewise, brand ambassadors and other event staff hold significant influence over the results of event and experiential marketing campaigns. While their wages aren’t as high as those of CEOs, how much to pay a brand ambassador is a topic many event marketers and program managers ponder.
In recent years, many companies that use the services of gig workers often come under fire. And lawmakers in the U.S. and U.K. are seeking fair employment for these workers. The good news for brand ambassadors is that more and more brands understand their value. So much so, CEOs and HR departments make it their goal to turn regular employees into natural brand ambassadors. This is while marketers seek influencers to turn social media followers into brand fans. Still, the staff on the front lines of event and experiential marketing have a distinct purpose and set goals when fulfilling the role of a brand ambassador.
Like CEOs, brand ambassadors must motivate others, personify the company and its values, and extend company culture to the masses. They must have interpersonal skills that allow them to understand and communicate with consumers. They must make presentations of some form and drive action. In short, their ability to carry out these responsibilities – their success – also demonstrates their value. It’s even easier to see when their efforts produce direct results. This may be on-site sales, for instance, or social media posts that create brand awareness or extend engagement.
Regardless, knowing how much to pay a brand ambassador that reflects their value can be confusing. For example, an online search for a brand ambassador salary gives a vast range, from $26,000 to $53,000 a year. This shows that all brand ambassadors are not created equal. And, it leaves event marketers and program managers to determine the right price for the right people that bring their campaigns to life.
When hiring event staff for event and experiential marketing, you can use these factors to determine their value. Knowing what to look for will help you know how much to pay a brand ambassador.
You should expect any brand ambassador to have consumer engagement skills and perform their core responsibilities as outlined above. But, your campaign may require someone with special knowledge and abilities. Beauty brands may select makeup artists or liquor brands may choose mixologists to serve as brand ambassadors. Hiring experts to fulfill these roles can deliver more credibility – and value – than someone without those skills.
Just remember – the responsibilities you expect brand ambassadors to carry out can affect his or her salary. For example, will the makeup artist hand out samples, share information, and answer questions? Or, will he or she complete all these tasks and apply makeup, too?
There’s no doubt that experience is valuable when it comes to filling a position. The more experience your brand ambassador has, the more successful they’ll be in executing your event and experiential marketing plans. Brand ambassadors will encounter various consumer personalities. They’re also likely to meet objections from consumers. Yet, when they’ve faced these situations several times before, they’ll be better prepared to handle objections and overcome adversity than brand ambassadors new to the role. This helps ensure no wasted opportunity at your brand activation and, instead, maximum return.
You might be surprised to learn that 90 percent of Iger’s compensation is performance based. Iger is not. He knows Disney’s bottom line must do well for his to do the same. He also knows what he needs to do to get there. Likewise, your brand ambassadors should know exactly what you expect of them and be willing to give their all. And you should feel confident in their conviction when determining how much to pay them.
If you need brand ambassadors on the job during odd hours or for long shifts, feel certain you can rely on them. Do you need them to perform strenuous tasks? Make sure they’re up to it. If you have a specific goal they need to meet, ensure they are aware. Do your requirements amount to a tall order for any brand ambassador? Ask for references. And, in such cases, offering a performance-based incentive above salary can serve as a motivation for them to go above and beyond, helping increase their value – and that of your brand.
At Elevate, our brand ambassadors are handpicked and time-tested to ensure their value to your event and experiential marketing activations. Let us take the guesswork out of hiring the representatives you need.