- What is field marketing? And 5 benefits of implementing it into your marketing strategy.
- How to create a field marketing strategy in 5 easy steps.
- 15 unique field marketing strategies and tips to try this year.
If there’s one thing 2020 taught B2B marketers, it’s how to be agile. Those who failed to be nimble and adjust marketing strategies became at risk of falling behind competitors.
This is especially true for those that relied on in-person conferences and marketing methods. The pandemic had eliminated in-person events from everyone’s field marketing strategies. But today, we have the benefit of both virtual and in-person events.
So how does one stay nimble? Like with all other aspects of running a business post-pandemic, it’s about weighing all your options:
- Already we see 39% of marketers claiming webinars are one of the topmost valuable forms of influencer content.
- When Box repurposed a physical event into a digital event, they witnessed 112% ROI.
- We also found that 63% of people are willing to watch a 20 to 60-minute webinar.
With this data in mind, let’s talk about our field marketing options when coordinating a virtual or in-person event. We’ll also take a closer look at what field marketing is and how to build a winning field marketing strategy.
What is Field Marketing?
Field marketing is a job function that involves specialized marketers, who use product demos, promote products, give out samples, make sales, and gather feedback from consumers. This marketing role typically falls under experiential marketing or event marketing.
But this is from a B2C perspective.
In a B2B context, field marketers are both sales and marketing oriented. Their role consists of engaging with prospects and customers face-to-face and across several touchpoints. For instance, you’ll find field marketers at conferences, trade shows, webinars, events, and workshops.
But what does field marketing mean? According to the Field Marketing Council:
Field marketing is measurable face-to-face brand development and customer relationship management through using highly trained people.
Field Marketing vs. Demand Generation
When you look at the roles of field marketing and demand generation, you’ll see the two have a lot in common. However, the two departments are unique but unified in reaching the goals of the brand.
Here’s a look at what demand generation consists of:
- Lead generation
- Demand capture
- Pipeline acceleration
This is achieved by:
- Setting SMART goals
- Targeting a specific audience
- Developing content for the audience and goals (throughout the marketing funnel)
- Distributing the content to ensure it reaches the intended audience
- Measuring the results of the content marketing campaign
Where demand generation (demand gen) and field marketing are similar is they both aim to capture new leads, create demand for a product/service, and help the sales pipeline. But where they differ is in how they achieve their goals.
Field marketers take a hands-on, face-to-face approach, while demand gen marketers use online content marketing. Now, this isn’t to say field marketers don’t ever use content because they can and do.
What is the Role of Field Marketing?
Field marketers work in tandem with other marketing and sales teams. The idea is to create a holistic marketing strategy using digital and in-person marketing tactics to find, engage, and convert leads into paying customers.
Within the organization, you’ll find field marketers handling tasks like:
- Working with sales, demand gen marketing, and product teams to manage messaging, events, and field campaigns (which should be aligned with the core objectives of the company).
- Developing marketing plans that help the sales pipeline, attract leads, and assist digital marketing teams to reach revenue goals.
- Maintaining brand positioning while in-person, speaking to prospective customers and current clients.
- Maintaining transparency for all marketing activities by inserting results in the CRM and other tools to track total ROI for field marketing, sales, and other marketing initiatives.
- Attend relevant events and tradeshows
- Maintain relationships with vendors and venues
- Have in-depth knowledge of all product lines and services
- Understand customer profiles and the customer journey
- Report weekly/monthly status reports on field marketing activities
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but it offers a good idea of what field marketers do.
Why is a Field Marketing Strategy Necessary?
Having a strategy behind any marketing initiative is critical to the success of your campaigns. Without a field marketing strategy, you’ll be shooting darts in the dark, hoping to land a few.
By creating a field marketing strategy, you can improve the odds of getting the results you desire. Here’s a look at the benefits you can witness when you implement field marketing strategies correctly.
5 Benefits From a Field Marketing Strategy
Benefit #1: Build Brand Awareness
What makes field marketing special is that it’s easier to cut through the noise and reach prospects. By attending events and connecting with people live, you’re able to garner the attention of prospects. This is tougher to do online where you’re competing against hundreds of competitors.
Benefit #2: Create a Positive Brand Perception
Field marketers are out there, demonstrating products and services, which gives them the power to create a good perception of the brand. So if you’re out there showcasing how your product is the best, fastest, or has the most features, then that’s what it’ll be known for.
Benefit #3: Increase Sales
Seeing is believing. If you can deliver a “wow” moment with your product or service demo, you can easily convert leads into customers. When done right, prospects will purchase from you on the spot. Or will at least schedule a call to discuss the details further.
Benefit #4: Gather Customer Insights
There’s nothing more telling about prospects and customers than seeing their facial expressions in real-time. Engaging directly with leads provides valuable feedback you can use to improve the messaging, price point, or the product itself.
Benefit #5: Grow Customer Relationships
There’s a reason field marketing is often categorized under experiential marketing. Your role as a field marketer is to create a great customer experience with your brand and its product or service.
Field marketers are sometimes the first interaction a prospect has with a brand. And they’re normally a point of contact throughout the buyer’s journey. Their role is growing relationships with customers, which improves the odds of turning customers into loyal advocates.
How to Plan an Effective Field Marketing Strategy
Create a Field Marketing Strategy in 5 Easy Steps
Now that you see the benefits of field marketing, you may be wondering how to effectively create a field marketing strategy. So we put together a list of things you should place in your B2B field marketing plan.
Step #1: Begin with Smart Goals
Like with any marketing strategy, you need to start with goals. But not just any goals–specific, measurable, achievable, results-driven, time-bound goals. Once you know what you’re trying to achieve, you can begin planning the strategies you’ll use.
At Sendoso, our goals include:
- Registration rates
- Show and attendance rates
- Booking follow-up meetings
“I used to be a customer of Sendoso prior to joining, and using a Gifting Platform really helped me improve my key field marketing metrics,” says Katrena Mantach, director of Field Marketing at Sendoso and who’s been in the field marketing space for over a decade. “One thing we increase is registrations through gifting. It’s one thing for people to register, but just as important is to increase our show-rates through gifting as well.”
Step #2: Develop Buyer Personas
It’s impossible to consistently sell a product or service if you don’t know who you’re selling to. Buyer personas are critical to identifying your core customers. This should include demographic and firmographic information. Ideally, you want to have multiple buyer personas complete with pain points.
Step #3: Implement Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a big deal in B2B marketing. This is when you sell to specific accounts directly. It also helps to engage users and increase sales. The idea is to personalize the engagements to targeted accounts. So there’s a lot of data collection and analytics involved to know when to reach out, why, and how.
Step #4: Adopt the Right Technologies
Collecting data and making it transparent is a part of the role of a field marketer. With the right data, field marketers will be able to guide leads through the customer journey. So it’s critical to have access to the right tools to see sales and marketing data that can help with this. A CRM, customer data platform (CDP), some sales pipeline tools, and others are good to have here.
Step #5: Measure Your Results and Adapt
You’ll need a way to measure your field marketing initiatives’ results to see what’s working and what isn’t. This includes having tools in place to automate the analytics and reporting. A centralized database is key here, so consider adopting a customer data platform (CDP). And when it comes to measuring your offline marketing efforts, a handy Analytics Dashboard can help.
15 Field Marketing Strategy Ideas and Tips
Field marketing can be very beneficial to your overall brand strategy. But you’ll need the right B2B field marketing strategies in place to make that happen.
Let’s take a look at 15 field marketing strategies you should implement in 2022.
1. Host Virtual Events
Virtual events have quickly swept in to save the day back in 2020. Conferences tend to have hundreds or even thousands of attendees, but when everyone in field marketing had to pivot to virtual events during the pandemic, virtual engagement strategies were one way to continue building brand awareness and relationships.
2. Send Samples via Mail
If you’re launching a new product, why not use a Sending Platform to send a sample to attendees just in time for your virtual event? You can use this to demonstrate your new product, just as you would if you were at a live conference. If your product is digital, then offer a free trial.
3. Use User-Generated Content (UGC)
Social proof continues to be a driving factor in consumer buying habits. This is true for both B2B and B2C markets. You can make use of this trend by asking customers to publish posts on social channels about their experience with your brand. Testimonials are a powerful tool for growing your customer base.
4. Offer One-on-One Chat rooms to Guests
Networking is a major part of conferences—how can you recreate this digitally? One option is to offer one-on-one chat rooms for guests to get to know one another. You can also make it so guests can schedule a one-on-one with speakers and exhibitors to learn more about their product or service.
5. Engage with Fans Using Live Video
Online video is a popular medium, so why not put it to use for field marketing? You can host live videos to showcase products, answer questions from viewers, or interview leaders in the industry.
6. Send Gifts to Prospects and Customers
You met with a prospect that feels promising. Now, you need a way to entice them to act. One way to do this is to send a branded gift. Your logo is a reminder of your business and the gift is a gesture of kindness they’ll feel they need to repay. You can also use corporate gifting to re-engage current customers who may be on the market for a product or service.
7. Create an Online Community
Conversations are now a major part of marketing strategies. Creating an atmosphere online where like-minded people can join together and discuss topics is vital. This not only gives you an opportunity to attract potential leads—it also allows you to join the conversation. Based on the insights you offer, you could position yourself as a thought leader people turn to for advice.
8. Use Micro-Influencers to Promote Products
Social media is a valuable tool right now, especially with more people at home browsing through their social pages. By partnering with a micro-influencer, you can tap into their audience and potentially drive leads and sales for your product or service.
9. Send Surveys Directly to Smartphones
If you’re hosting an online event, you can use surveys to get feedback from attendees. This replaces the need for a field interviewer you’d find at local conferences. You can also send promotional products via smartphones, such as brochures and leaflets.
10. Be Available to Answer Questions On Social
The pandemic has kept us apart physically but brought us closer together digitally. You can use this to your advantage by making yourself available on social channels to answer questions.
11. Join a Social Cause
The pandemic may have distanced everyone, but it hasn’t stopped people from being human. If anything, we’re seeing more people joining charitable causes. You can do the same to shine a positive light on the charity, as well as your brand. Share your participation on social media and invite your audience to help as well. You can do something like donating a portion of sales to a cause, helping to entice people to purchase.
12. Be Engaging
Learn how to engage. Be fun and creative. Gamification works great. “Our number one focus was for attendees to stop at our booth versus someone else’s,” says Mantach. “We sometimes set up Plinko at our booth. It’s a great way to make it fun.”
13. Leverage Partners
Co-market with your partners at events. For example, you and a partner could sponsor a happy hour event. You can invite your customers, and your partner can invite theirs, making it a win-win scenario.
You could also play off each other’s booth games, and incentivize your visitors to “head over to our partner’s booth.” Look at a partner booth as an extension of your own, while increasing booth traffic for the both of you.
Other options include sponsoring breakfasts, hosting dinners, and running social campaigns together.
It’s one thing to get registrations, attendance, and even booth visits. But it’s another to get your prospects and customers excited and engaged. This is where personalization comes in. How do you make your event attendees feel excited while at your event?
This is where personalized gifting at scale can come in. If it’s a large event, send out a themed gift that you know everyone will enjoy and find useful–not a cheap marketing throwaway item.
If it’s an intimate event or you have an intimate roundtable of 5-10 people, leave it to your sales team to think up personalized gifts. This starts the slow building of relationships. And with a sending platform like Sendoso, it’s all accessible with a click of a button–even with handwritten notes and clever pun messaging.
15. Use Quality Promotional Items
Field marketing teams are typically lean. The inventory management of promotional items for tradeshow giveaways, targeted account gifts, and booth prizes can be a nightmare. There’s typically the sourcing of company swag, and the dealing with tons of vendors that can be a huge time suck of the job.
“Prior to joining, and using Sendoso as a customer,” says Mantach, “I typically stored stuff in a marketing swag closet, at my house, in my purse. With Sendoso, they do all the sourcing of swag for you. They vet and quality-check everything already. They work with thousands of suppliers, there are no minimums to order, and they can store your company swag ‘in the cloud’ at one of their warehouses.”
Swag management in the cloud is another perk of a robust sending platform. Just click within the platform and it will ship your promo items out to your event, prospects, or clients whenever you are ready. No more storing tradeshow giveaways in your home.
Build a Field Marketing Strategy for 2022
Field marketing in a post-pandemic era is proving challenging for some brands. But with the right tools and strategies, you can overcome these issues, like one Sendoso client who pivoted to virtual events and was able to surpass their ROI goal by 570%. The goal is to organize a plan so everyone’s on the same page—marketing, sales, and customer support.
Integrating a gifting strategy into your field marketing campaign will help make impactful impressions on customers and prospects. As the leading Sending Platform, we offer 1) a B2B corporate gifting platform for your account-based marketing strategies. And 2) Promo item management for your tradeshow giveaways with the click of a button.
If either option sounds like something you’d like to add to your field marketing strategy, then request a demo with us today! If you’d like to learn more about the latest gifting strategies and how they drive success for your targeted campaigns, read our latest guide: Gifting–the Missing Piece of ABM.
This article was originally published on February 17, 2021. It has been updated for relevance.
About the reviewer: Katrena Mantach, Director of Field Marketing at Sendoso
Over the last 12+ years, Katrena has worked with various B2B companies to help create field marketing programs that drive revenue, generate demand, and keep sales teams happy. Throughout her career, she has proven success in creating effective cross-functional field marketing strategies and events that penetrate target accounts, drive pipeline, accelerate revenue growth and deliver memorable experiences. In her current role as Director of Field Marketing, she oversees all field marketing events and programs including lead funnel generation, sales pipeline acceleration, and customer acquisition.