April 16, 2021

What is Field Marketing? Everything You Need to Know

By Sendoso
Marketing is a vehicle companies use to drive more leads and sales to their business. But there’s more than one vehicle that can provide the same results. You have traditional marketing, digital marketing, field marketing, and others—which are all useful in their own way.

If you’re not already using field marketing or wondering how to implement it into your own strategy, then continue reading. We’ll explore what field marketing is all about and how it can benefit your business.

What is Field Marketing?

Field marketing is a method highly-trained professionals use to build brands, customer relationships, and lead generation for a client or company. It’s a measurable process and typically involves face-to-face interactions with leads and customers.

2020 changed the way field marketers can conduct their services for companies. However, there are ways you can continue using this technique to drive business. It’s all in how you go about your field marketing organization (but more on strategy building later).

What Are the Types of Field Marketing Campaigns?

Now, there are several types of campaigns field marketers may use to achieve their goals. Here’s a look at four common methods:

  1. Product Demos: This is the most common field marketing activity, consisting of product giveaways, free samples, and hands-on experiences. 
  2. Direct Selling: Some product demos lead to actual sales, so field marketers are prepared with a stock of items ready to be sold. 
  3. Guerilla Marketing: This enables field marketers to get creative with their approach, such as selecting an atypical location. It often consists of “feet on the street” and plenty of imagination and energy. 
  4. Retail Audits: A field marketing team visits stores to collect data about signage, promotional materials, products, etc., to determine the effectiveness of retailer partnerships. 
  5. Tradeshows: This enables businesses to showcase their latest products and services to prospective customers (and potential partners). 
  6. Conferences: Offering an educational experience is a useful way to attract B2B audiences to an event (and your brand). 
  7. VIP Dinners: Sometimes, field marketing can be a one-on-one (or one-to-group) experience. This personal approach can help with wooing interested prospects.

What is a Field Marketing Organization?

A field marketing organization is a group of professionals that executes field marketing campaigns. Within this organization, you’ll find the following field marketing roles:

  • Field marketing representative: The generalist in the group, who may conduct retail audits, product demos, and even perform direct sales. They also act as a liaison between sellers and buyers, offering product and service information to customers. 
  • Field Marketing Manager: Responsible for the hiring, training, and direction of field marketing teams. Also creates campaigns and ensures goals are met.
  • Brand Ambassador/Representative: Paid to represent, promote, or endorse a product or brand. This may consist of celebrities or influencers with a sizeable following. 
  • Street Team Representative: Partakes in guerilla marketing and events, which may consist of handing out flyers, stickers, samples, and products to people.

What Does a Field Marketer Do?

Is a field marketer a salesperson in disguise? Field marketing roles are often intertwined into sales, making it feel more like a sales position than a marketing one. You can think of a field marketer as being the best of both worlds. A field marketer helps to reach marketing and sales goals by meeting with prospects, offering samples, and building relationships.

In this process, field marketers help to do three things:

  1. Improve brand awareness
  2. Boost sales at targeted locations
  3. Increase engagement at a local level

So you’ll normally find field marketers “in the field.” This is why you’ll see them at local networking events offering samples and even making direct sales to prospects and customers. 

There are also slight differences in approaches when it comes to B2C and B2B field marketing. For instance, B2B field marketers are skilled in both sales and marketing. They engage with clients and prospects in various touchpoints, including trade shows, events, webinars, conferences, and meetings (online and offline). Then in a B2C context, field marketers are found in local venues, such as shopping malls, restaurants, gyms, street corners, marathons, and other similar events.

What Are the Responsibilities of Field Marketers?

In general, you’ll find field marketers responsible for the following tasks:

  • Performing preliminary research and then planning and executing field marketing campaigns 
  • Developing in-depth knowledge of product lines and services
  • Create marketing collateral, such as signage, literature, and merchandise for field marketing events
  • Manage relationships with third-party partners and venues
  • Negotiate deals with third-party partners and retailers regarding merchandise placement and promotional displays
  • Keep an eye on industry trends and competitor activities
  • Manage social media for field marketing campaigns
  • Create weekly/monthly reports on field marketing activities and results
  • Share leads and customer intel with the sales team
  • Attend relevant trade shows, conferences, and other events

This isn’t an exhaustive list of the tasks a field marketer must take on, but it covers many of the basics.

What Are the Benefits of Field Marketing?

Field marketing is one of the various forms of marketing businesses can use to achieve measurable results. Here’s a look at some of the benefits you may witness by executing a successful field marketing campaign.

Improve the Perception of Your Brand

How customers perceive your brand plays a significant role in the decision-making process. If your audience doesn’t know you or perceives you negatively, it will hurt your chances of doing business with them. So by showing up to events with brand representatives, you can build on your reputation and gain the trust of prospective customers.

Prove Cynical Customer Wrong

What happens when you have naysayers who distrust or dislike your brand? It can hurt your sales, especially now that most consumers trust the word of their peers over a brand’s. To combat this, you can send field marketers to events to answer questions, offer samples, and showcase hands-on product or service demonstrations

Build Relationships with Customers

When possible, field marketers can deliver in-person customer experiences. This leaves lasting impressions on your prospects, who may later decide to buy from your business. Creating these memorable experiences helps to build relationships and trust.

Take Pressure Off the Sales Team

Many field marketers act as extended salespeople, which helps to reduce the burden of your sales team. Field marketers occasionally sell products and services at events.

Go After Your Target Audience

Digital marketing and traditional marketing can be useful tools for building visibility and traffic from your target audience. However, neither can offer the level of audience targeting like field marketing. At events (both online and offline), you can target specific attendees who fit your customer profiles. Digital marketing allows some level of enhanced audience targeting. However, it’s impossible to achieve this with traditional marketing platforms like billboards and TV or radio ads.

Provides Measurable ROI

It’s a lot easier to measure the return on investment of field marketing because you have real-time insights. This may include the number of people who showed interest, took a flyer or catalog, tried a sample, and made a purchase.

Reduce Promotional Costs

Field marketing expenses tend to be cost-effective since you can scale your campaigns up or down as needed. Then in some cases, you can work with third-party retailers that offer a performance-based model.

Field Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: What's Better?

Field marketing is an old method that still proves viable in today’s business landscape. Yet, now that digital marketing is here and rapidly growing, you may ask, “Is digital marketing better than field marketing?

Comparing digital marketing to field marketing shouldn’t be about determining which is better. Rather it should help identify how the two can be useful to your overall marketing strategy. You can use both forms of marketing for businesses that operate locally or solely online. They’re even ideal for B2B and B2C business models. 

Just make sure both campaigns have clear goals and are tracked and monitored to determine success and ROI.

How to Create an Actionable B2B Field Marketing Strategy

So your target audience is the B2B market, which calls for a unique field marketing strategy. This is especially true now that COVID has changed the way field marketers engage with prospects and customers. So we’ll include both traditional field marketing techniques, along with innovative methods you can use.

Build an Insightful Customer Profile

The better you know your target audience, the easier it’ll be to spot, approach, and market/sell to them at local and online events. The more in-depth your customer profile is, the better. For instance, you should include firmographic details, their unique challenges, job profiles, and so on.

Develop Marketing Collateral for Every Touchpoint

In field marketing, your creatives are what help guide prospects to the sale. So you’ll want to ensure you have high-quality marketing collateral. You also want to have collateral for each stage of the buyer’s journey, so you’re prepared for any prospect you come across. This includes customer testimonials, brochures, case studies, images, onboarding videos, brand swag, corporate gifts, and presentations.

Approaching your field marketing campaigns in a general manner doesn’t make sense in a highly personalized marketplace. Consumers (both B2C and B2B) want personalized experiences, so a one-size-fits-all strategy isn’t going to cut it. It’s critical to develop field marketing campaigns that cater to your different target audiences. 

Now, that COVID is limiting in-person events, you should implement virtual events into your strategy.

Pay Attention to the Competition

You’re not the only one vying for the attention and business of your target customers. Your competitors are also aiming to capture their eyes and wallets. So you’ll need to keep an eye on how they’re achieving this. By knowing what they’re up to, you can tweak your own campaigns and stay a step ahead. Things you want to identify are the methods, trends, technology, and data your competitors use.

Implement a Content Management System (CMS)

Content isn’t only useful in digital marketing — it can also benefit your field marketing efforts. A content management system will empower your field agents to discover content, share content, and measure content ROI for their own campaigns. For example, content helps educate your audience about a product or service. If you have a CMS that integrates with your CRM, email marketing tools, and marketing automation tech, it becomes easier to synchronize field marketing campaigns with content.

Bring Along Mobile Devices to Display Content

Smartphones and tablets make it easier to showcase your products and services. These devices act as digital marketing collateral you can use to provide contextual content. This makes it possible to deliver personalized experiences on the fly. Field marketers can also use mobile devices for lead generation (i.e., quickly sign up an attendee to a newsletter to receive gated content).

Measure Content ROI

Bringing along digital marketing collateral makes it easier to measure the ROI of the content. For instance, in the field, event attendees can engage with case studies, videos, brochures, images, PowerPoint presentations, and so on. These are all trackable, which makes monitoring success easier. See which content results in conversions and sales and try to amplify that success.

Don't Let the Conversation End

After the field marketing campaign is over, what do you do? If you’re moving on to the next campaign, then you’re leaving an opportunity to amplify on the success of your previous endeavor. You started a conversation with prospects and customers, so why not keep it going? In doing so, you can grow the discussion to include more possible leads. At the same time, you’re increasing your visibility, trust, and reputation. Social media is a great platform to transfer “in the field” conversations to the digital world.

Build a Field Marketing Strategy with Sendoso

Field marketing is all about using techniques to entice prospects into a sale. But traditional methods are becoming somewhat obsolete, especially now that we’re going through a pandemic. This is why you’ll find more B2B companies now using online channels to connect with their target audience. 

With virtual events, field marketers can continue reaching out to prospects. But as more businesses turn to this venue, it becomes harder to stand out. This is where Sendoso comes in. We help B2B companies host next-level virtual events (and potentially generate a over 200% return on campaign investment). By partnering with us, you can use techniques that make your brand memorable. Rather than sending another boring email, why not send a wine basket with your invite?

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