Demonstrators and product promoters are responsible for creating interest in buying products among the public. Such products might include food, housewares and cosmetics. The information provided by demonstrators and product promoters can assist consumers in making purchasing decisions. They may demonstrate products in stores and answer questions to encourage consumers to purchase products. In addition, they may sell demonstrated products and merchandise or compile names of prospects which can then be passed on to sales staff later.
Product promoters and demonstrators attract an audience by administering contests, offering samples, using direct-mail advertising and distributing coupons and prizes. They usually must greet customers and catch the attention of the public. Other responsibilities include informing and educating customers about the features of certain products. Demonstrations and promotions are commonly conducted in grocery and retail stores, trade shows, outdoor fairs and shopping malls. Locations are commonly selected based on the nature of the product as well as the type of audience that is targeted for that particular product. Teams of demonstrators may be required to perform demonstrations at large events in order to handle large crowds in an efficient manner. In some cases, demonstrators may promote products on television programs that are known as infomercials. Home shopping programs are also common for this type of work.
Product promoters and demonstrators may also prepare the content needed for a presentation as well as alter it in order to target a particular audience. Results that are obtained by product promoters and demonstrators are analyzed at a later date. Presentations may be adjusted in order to make them more effective. It may also be necessary for demonstrators and product promoters to transport, assemble and dissemble materials that are used in demonstrations.
Presentations may include models, visual, case studies, test results, testimonials and surveys. Demonstrators must be familiar with the products they are demonstrating in order to be effective. This often means spending time practicing.
Approximately half of all product promoters and demonstrators work part-time. It is not uncommon for positions to last six months or less. Long hours are usually required, along with significant amounts of walking or standing. Travel is also common with night and weekend work required. The work atmosphere of many environments can often be hectic. There can often be intense pressure.
Models also create public interest in purchasing products such as food, cosmetics, clothing and housewares. They commonly pose for sculptures, paintings or photos in addition to displaying clothing and modeling accessories. Models may appear at live events, in printed publications and on television in order to promote services and products.
Employment opportunities for models are expected to grow faster than average for other occupations through the year 2018. There is usually intense competition for a small number of openings. The growth in this field will be driven by the demand for advertising products.
The field for demonstrators and product promoters is anticipated to grow about as fast as other occupations through the year 2018. Job growth will be driven by the size and number of trade shows and retail shops as well as department stores. As more companies devote an increased percentage of advertising budgets to product demonstration, new jobs should develop.
Training and Education Requirements
Product promoters and demonstrators commonly receive on-the-job training. Formal training is usually not necessary. The length of training may vary based on the complexity of the product to be demonstrated. Employers often look for product promoters and demonstrators who have a pleasant personality and appearance along with good communication skills. Individuals interested in this career field must be comfortable with speaking in public. They also must be able to entertain audiences, utilize humor, personal interest and spontaneity. In addition, foreign language skills can be beneficial.
Many aspiring models attend modeling schools which provide training in walking, posing and makeup application. Modeling agencies may provide advice to models regarding how to wear makeup, how to dress and how to properly conduct themselves. Models must be photogenic and have attractive facial features. Generally, models must be within a certain range for weight, height and clothing size. The career of a model can depend on preserving physical characteristics, therefore, it is necessary for models to control their diet, exercise on a regular basic and obtain sufficient sleep.
Salary and Wages
In 2008, product promotes and demonstrators had median hourly wages of $11.18. Models had median hourly wages of $13.18. Wages can vary according to different types of modeling as well as the reputation and experience of the model. Models who are in high demand can earn extremely high wages. Models may also receive discounted or free clothing in addition to or instead of regular wages. They typically must pay a percentage of what they earn to an agent for their services.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Certifications are usually not necessary for product promoters and demonstrators or models.
Professional associations for demonstrators and product promoters include the following:
- Association for Integrated Marketing
- Promotional Products Association International