For the ever-popular Consumer Electronics Show (CES), promotional models have been commonplace since the event’s launch more than 50 years ago. It was then that these event staff were dubbed “CES Guides.” But, that nomenclature didn’t last long. Sometime over the next decade they became more commonly known as “booth babes” – a change that followed a move to more revealing (less) clothing. And, it was another decade after, in the 1990s, when pleas began for the removal of booth babes from the show floor.
The reasons then were only part of what they are today. One was the predictability. People grew tired of seeing them. The other was their lack of product knowledge. The latter rings true now, alongside the movement to end sexism – both illustrating why booth babes, per USA Today, were “less obvious” at last month’s CES 2019. Still, the development is not new. In fact, it follows that of the auto industry, whose companies’ auto show presence centered around booth babes. That is until last year when automotive brands traded booth babes for trade show staff who could speak to their new models, versus modeling them. Yet, despite the backlash against “booth babes,” promotional models are in demand. Brands only need to understand the modern version of the perfect promotional model is more than simply meets the eye.
Psychology Today reports the finding of a study that examined close relationships. “Attractiveness was not in any way related to relationship satisfaction.” And, this provides today’s brands an invaluable tip when they hire promotional models.
Consider beauty brand marketing. Beauty brands have discovered their consumers aren’t buying products to be more attractive. They buy them to be more confident. They also buy them to foster bonds with others who use them in the same way. That’s because consumers value intimate relationships, which is becoming more apparent in a digital world that has devalued physical bonds for far too long. This desire for physical connection is not only in friendships and love, but with brands, too. Research by Disney|ABC Television and its partners proves it. It shows “consumers across all generations want and expect the same things from brands as they do of their friends and family – reliability, authenticity, and the feeling that brands ‘get’ them and what’s important to them…”. This tells us that focusing only on the outer shell is simply not enough.
So, when choosing the perfect promotional model, it’s critical to not only consider the right appearance to align a person with a brand. The decision must also be driven by the model’s personality, skills, traits – even his or her interests – to break beyond the surface when interacting with consumers.
Hire promotional models with these qualities to ensure you go beyond appearance to attract and keep the right consumers.
To make powerful connections, a Forbes article shares that speaking about topics “of interest to other people” makes them “more likely to be attentive during a conversation with you.” In short, when you hire promotional models, look for those who have things in common with your target audience to form bonds and, in turn, meet your goals. This may be parents or college students, either for whom you’d want to hire relatable promo staff. These may be wine enthusiasts who can create brand awareness and share why your wine is different from others. Or, you may need gamers to challenge consumers in your latest launch or dog lovers to show furry friends love.
While many individuals you are considering may have knowledge of your product or industry, look for those who are most passionate about the subjects they will be marketing. It’s these individuals who will be most influential, without having to “sell.” Their enthusiasm will be contagious.
In finding individuals with passion for your industry, you may find those who offer greater value beyond their physical being. They may have a considerable presence on social media, which can result in greater social media engagement, as well as return on investment. Imagine a “foodie” who takes pictures of their healthy meals and shares recipes with tens of thousands of followers, for instance. These promotional model influencers can go “live” on Twitter or Instagram during your brand activation to extend your campaign’s reach to their audience. The content is then available to you to share and reuse as needed. After all, an Adweek article reminds us that user-generated content not only saves resources but boosts brand credibility with its authenticity. And, even if you’re unable to hire promotional models with social media influence, at least find those with fluency who can create content for your brand’s benefit.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to touch every industry and their marketing practices as well. Yet, LinkedIn’s learning editor says its rise is only increasing the importance of soft skills, “as they are precisely the type of skills robots can’t automate.” Analysis by the networking site reveals that almost 60% of senior leaders believe soft skills are “more important than hard skills.” Of the most critical to hone in 2019, LinkedIn reports the top five: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management – all which apply to the job of today’s perfect promotional model.
Whereas booth babes simply smiled and handed out materials, promo staff interact with consumers on another level. And while consumers may share the same interest, it doesn’t mean they share the same knowledge or views related to the interest. Further, when faced with challenges, whether with consumers or the activation itself, promo staff may need to get creative to offer solutions or overcome objections.
These are just a few ways top soft skills apply. And, other skills like empathy and good listening, among others, never go out of style when it comes to building relationships with consumers. These traits should always be considered in the quest to hire promotional models. When in doubt, engage a promo staffing agency, which should have the expertise to instantly spot top-notch soft skills. Even better, let them take full responsibility and supply trusted and tested promotional models who will humanize your brand and help you achieve your marketing mandates.
At Elevate, we have access to the perfect promo staff for any industry. We hire and manage the perfect promotional models for your brand so you can focus on achieving your goals.