Companies rely on in-store demonstrators to market their products to entice customers to make impulse purchases. With your charming personality and attractive display, you can lure shoppers to your table, give them a sample and turn them into buyers. Marketing demonstration jobs are ideal if you’re looking for work that doesn’t take a lot of training, but instead relies on your smile and keen sense of customer service.
Why They’re Popular
Demonstrators are popular marketing tools because they take the risk out of purchases for consumers who get to try before they buy. They can taste the product, see how a product works or test its effectiveness before they make a purchase they might regret. Product demonstrators are given a brief tutorial or a lengthy product training session before they go live so they can answer customer questions as they arise. Membership, big-box, grocery and department stores like having demonstrators around to attract customers and fuel sales.
Large member-only stores like Sam’s Club and Costco, department stores and big-box stores like Wal-Mart provide branding companies with plenty of space to place demonstrators. While you may show up at the local big-box store, you actually work for the brand pushing the products. If, for example, your job is to give away samples of a new kind of low-calorie popcorn, you work for the popcorn maker and not the store where you actually stand. Marketing companies often specialize in hiring and placing demonstrators, also called brand ambassadors, for the manufacturers.
Pay and Schedules
A good percentage of the jobs are part-time. You might get to travel with a marketing firm and hit the big-box stores around the country as manufacturers roll out new products. Trade shows utilize product demonstrators to run vacuums over pieces of carpeting or cut vegetables with an amazing new knife. Cosmetic marketers with lines in department stores hire pretty ladies to squirt perfume on passers-by, which could have you moving from mall to mall on varying schedules. There’s a lot of weekend work in the field that in 2010 paid a median wage of about $11.11 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most of the time, your training is performed on the job. Very seldom will you need to prove experience with a specific product or clientele. However, there is such a thing as a professional demonstrator, also called event personnel, according to the National Association for Retail Marketing Services. These are professionals who undergo training to be the best at what they do. As a pro, you’re likely to land the best placement and earn front-of-the-line consideration when jobs come up in places you want to go. The NARMS offers an online training program, for example, that includes topics such as greeting the customer and preparing for the demonstration.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."