The road has been a huge part of American life for the past hundred years. From the freedom evoked by Kerouac’s famous novel On the Road to the earlier examples of seeing the country like Henry Miller’s book,  The Air Conditioned Nightmare, road trips have been an essential part of the American experience.

Not only do road trips offer an important right of passage for American youth, they also are critical to the growth of businesses. Examples like Red Bull’s famous Mini Cooper or the earlier Oscar Meyer Wienermobile have proven how powerful it can be to get your brand out on the road. No better way to expand your market than to go and introduce your brand in person.

As anyone who has attempted a road trip of any kind can tell you, however, it can be a challenging thing to do. The following is a list of things to consider when you plan your mobile marketing campaign so you can take advantage of being on the road without it becoming a nightmare.

  1. Your people are your power. When it comes to face to face experiential marketing, you need to be able to count on those smiling faces that will represent your brand. Being on the road comes with many temptations, and you need to know that the people you hire will be professional in what they do and do not do. It is a good idea to use a staffing agency with a successful track record to ensure that you don’t have any surprise discoveries about your street team along the way.
  1. Research is irreplaceable. Not only do you need to know the specifics of the places you will be traveling to set up your mobile activations, you need an understanding of the logistics to get there, stay there, and be well taken care of on the road. This means that in addition to using a staffing agency to hire your people, you likely will want to hire an Event Marketing agency to coordinate your event. You want professionals to be dealing with the challenges of a road trip. With experience comes expertise, and it can be extremely costly to go through the trials of the road. It is not whether you can afford to hire an agency, but whether you can afford to go it alone.
  1. The seasons are supreme. You can’t defeat the weather. For your street team to have their best chance of succeeding, you will need to plan the timing carefully. Even with great attention paid to when you plan your trip, you will need to be prepared for the unexpected. For every plan, you should have a backup plan. You will need to be able to adapt to the changing environment.
  1. Strategy is everything. To maximize your marketing efforts, you will want to be in the right time at the right place. When do people want to use your product? When are they most open to new ideas? If you are doing a tour of colleges, visiting at the beginning of a semester or quarter might make more sense than trying to attract attention from students who are cramming for final exams. For every what there is a when.
  1. Sturdy and durable. With travel comes bumps and dings, not to mention the harsh effects the weather can have on your event assets. You want to make sure that your setup is ready for the road, easy to put up and take down, and can withstand some rough treatment.
  1. Double dip. While you are on the road, you might want to visit your top accounts and key customers. This will help you to maximize your investment and exposure. Also, you do not want your favorite colleagues to know you were in town and did not stop by for a visit.
  1. Brand your van. Every minute you are on the road is an opportunity to gain exposure for your business. By branding your tour vehicles, you increase your visibility from coast to coast. Even with the best of planning, your team is sure to spend some time sitting in traffic. Convert that time into valuable exposure by branding your tour vehicles.
  1. Budget enough time. Do not let your ambition get the best of you. Remember that the challenges of a road trip include planning for the unexpected, so when you schedule your events make sure to leave enough time for driving and for your team to recover so they can be at their best.

Lots of businesses have experienced the value of a marketing tour. If you are considering creating a street team to get your brand on the road, you would do well to consider the ideas we listed above. Remember, though, there is no replacement for experience. So, if you want to ensure that your first tour is a smashing success think about hiring an experiential marketing agency and a staffing agency so your business hits the road equipped with the best plan and the right people.

Los Angeles • Las Vegas • San Francisco • Denver • Dallas • Chicago