Promoter Job Description - Duties, Skills and Career Path
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Promoter Job Description
Promoters are people who are hired to promote products, services, events and initiatives of various types. The work done by promoters is a blend of direct marketing and sales.
Typically, they are recruited to help with the launch of a new product or brand, the opening of a new store or in connection with events and initiatives such as exhibitions, trade fairs, concerts and fundraising campaigns.
A vast number of sectors and industries, including the food & beverage, electronics, fashion, beauty and personal care, sports, banking, telephones and telecommunication industries, use the services of promoters to connect with their existing client base and to acquire potential new customers.
What does a Promoter do, exactly?
Promoters typically either work at a stand, counter or booth at stores, supermarkets, shopping centres and trade fairs (known as in-store promotion) or outside, in busy public locations, such as streets, squares, stations and airports (known as out of store or street promotion). The main task of a promoter is to approach passers-by and deliver a face-to-face sales or promotional pitch. This might involve illustrating the products and/or the brand (offering a free sample or trial where appropriate) in an attempt to persuade potential customers to make a purchase, providing information regarding events and initiatives or handing out flyers, free gifts and merchandise or other promotional materials. In some cases, a stand may also be used to develop contacts and generate leads, in which case the promoter’s task is to persuade people to fill out a contact form or agree to an appointment.
Promoters are also hired by organizations in the charity sector (e.g. NGOs and other non-profit bodies), especially for fundraising activities. Here, the task of a promoter (strictly speaking, in this context, a fundraiser) is to interact with passers-by in an effort to recruit potential new donors, asking them for a financial contribution to the fundraising drive and recording their contact details.
The use of promotional stands and other field sales and marketing activities have a wide range of potential goals, including persuading customers to purchase a specific product, building brand awareness (in fact, promoters are often referred to as brand ambassadors), increasing market penetration in a new territory or raising the visibility of a particular initiative. The goals of a particular campaign will determine the tasks that promoters are asked to perform.
Promoters need to know the product or initiative they are promoting extremely well. For this reason, the company or organization running the campaign will often deliver a brief initial training session designed to provide promoters with the information they need to be able to reply to questions from passers-by in a thorough and convincing manner. Usually, promoters are also provided with some kind of uniform to wear that will make them immediately identifiable to potential customers.
At the start of each day, promoters are required to check that there are sufficient stocks of promotional material and merchandising and that the stand has been correctly set up. Meanwhile, at the end of their shift, they are required to fill out a report detailing how the day went, i.e. providing information such as sales figures, the number of free gifts and merchandising items handed out and contact details taken down. This data is transmitted to the persons responsible for the marketing campaign at the organizing company.
Promoters may sometimes work alone, managing a stand, counter or booth by themselves. This is often the case with marketing campaigns in supermarkets and shopping centres, involving in-store stands at which passers-by are invited to taste new food items or try out beauty and personal care products or household cleaning goods, for example. In other contexts, promoters may be assigned to work in small groups of 2-5 people. This is typically the case for marketing campaigns designed to drum up interest in new services or to raise funds.
The working hours of a promoter tend to be very flexible and may vary based on the specific requirements of a campaign. For instance, at stores and sales outlets, promoters are often required to be present throughout the day, especially during weekends, while in other settings, they may be asked to work on a part-time basis only, at times when the footfall is highest.
Essential requirements for a promoter include a confident and outgoing manner, strong communication skills, a talent for sales, a sense of initiative and a smart, presentable appearance. Since this is a public-facing role involving prolonged periods standing, candidates also need to be fit, strong and have a calm, polite and patient demeanour. The work of a promoter offers a high level of flexibility and is therefore suited to anybody looking for part-time, weekend or holiday work for a limited period of time only (e.g. teenagers and university students). However, while many employers are prepared to accept candidates without prior experience, some companies prefer to engage only highly-experienced expert promoters with a proven track record of success in sales to represent their brands. This is especially true in sectors such as food and drink, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and technology, where candidates who can successfully convey a sense of trust and credibility are likely to be preferred.
Promoter - Responsibilities and Tasks
The main tasks of a promoter include:
- Setting up stands and arranging products, merchandising and other material according to instructions
- Approaching and interacting with passers-by
- Persuading potential clients to purchase products or services or to sign up/donate to a campaign or initiative
- Recording the contact details of potential clients
- Handing out leaflets, flyers and other materials
- Writing up a report at the end of each working day
How to Become a Promoter - Education, Training and Requirements
There are no specific educational requirements to become a promoter. Job advertisements usually ask for a high school diploma, but the key requirement is prior experience in sales and promotional or marketing activities. A knowledge of foreign languages is also likely to be appreciated by prospective employers, particularly those looking to hire for promotional work in tourist destinations, airports or at events, trade fairs and concerts that are likely to attract an international audience.
Often, companies will organize compulsory training or briefing sessions designed to provide promoters with an in-depth knowledge of the product or service, so that they are able to illustrate effectively its features to potential customers and answer any questions promptly and with confidence.
Promoter Skills and Qualifications
Job advertisements for promoters typically ask for the following skills:
- Previous sales experience
- Knowledge of communication techniques
- Strong business sense
- Ability to work in a public-facing role
- A dynamic, proactive approach and sense of initiative
- Client-focused mentality
- Communication and interpersonal skills and a polite, patient manner
- Knowledge of foreign languages
- Smart, professional appearance
- Flexible approach
Many job advertisements for sales agents also require candidates to have their own car and be willing to travel (e.g. to promotional stands located in multiple sales outlets).
Promoter Career Path
Companies looking for promoters often enlist the services of recruitment agencies specializing in operational marketing.
Registering with one or more of these agencies is a good way for aspiring promoters to obtain promotional and marketing assignments across a variety of product sectors and brands, enabling them not only to acquire a broad base of professional experience that will serve as a solid springboard for a future career (e.g. in marketing and communications, sales or customer service), but also to sharpen their communication skills and business acumen, learn the principles of customer care and pick up a range of valuable field marketing, street marketing and guerilla marketing strategies.
Another logical career development option for a promoter is a job in event planning. Anybody with prior experience in promotional work is in fact likely to find a role in this field - e.g. as conference or event hostess, welcoming guests or staffing an information point at a trade fair or conference - fairly easy to adapt to.
Top Reasons to Work as a Promoter
Why should you consider working as a promoter?
A career as a promoter is especially suited to candidates looking for a flexible, part-time position that leaves plenty of time for other activities, which is why it is a popular job for students.
Besides its flexibility, the job of promoter offers a number of other benefits, not least of which the opportunity to develop a range of soft skills - e.g. sales techniques, powers of persuasion and the ability to work in a public-facing role - that are essential for a career in sales, marketing or customer service - all sectors offering excellent employment opportunities.