Definition of field marketing
Field marketing is a branch of marketing where brands deliver products “out of the field” in front of customers at retail locations, events, college campuses, or public locations. Field marketing initiatives include promotions, demos, and direct sales.
Field marketing objectives vary by organization and promotion, but a few common goals include brand awareness, increased sales at targeted locations, and increased engagement with the local buying community.
Types of field marketing campaigns
Product demonstrations are the most common field of marketing activity. For food and beverage brands, these typically take the shape of gigs, where a brand representative provides free samples to shoppers at events or retail locations or public members on the street.
For non-usable products, product demos are usually engaged in demonstrations to give potential customers the experience of using the product or seeing it in action.
Direct sales involve brand representation by selling to customers at the point of interaction. Brands often pair product demonstrations with direct sales promotions, taking advantage of the customer’s interest after trying the product. Other forms of field marketing promotion centered on direct sales include pop-up shops and promotional tables at events.
Not all field marketing initiatives are customer-oriented. Companies also use field teams to monitor the way traditional marketing materials are presented in stores. During retail inspections, field teams collect data describing how their products, signatures, and promotional materials appear on shelves and retail locations.
The benefits of retail monitoring are twofold: they give marketing managers insights into the effectiveness of different stores when executing marketing deals – on the other hand, they give brands the opportunity to correct mistakes and maximize the effectiveness of their point-of-sale marketing efforts.
Pulling the name from the infamous style of warfare for its hit-and-run nature, guerrilla marketing strategies are equally undesirable. Brands use the term “guerrilla marketing” to refer to create campaigns that target customers in ways and positions they may not expect. Guerrilla marketing campaigns are usually less costly but more powerful and imaginative and brands often rely on their “foot in the street” to avoid them.
What is a field marketing company?
To make field marketing campaigns effective, businesses often create a dedicated field marketing agency within their organization. These groups are responsible for developing and conducting all field marketing campaigns.
Field marketing firms often divide their operating areas into zones, with regional managers overseeing large areas and hiring team leaders for each small locale. Although territory management is more important for distributors across the country, even smaller brands often manage their promotional schedules by location.
Depending on the marketing activities in the field that an organization follows, it may hire for a variety of individual positions. Here is a summary of each of those titles:
Field Marketing Manager
Field marketing manager representatives are generalists – they can conduct product demos and retail audits, or sell products directly to customers at events and events. Their primary purpose is to drive brand awareness on-site, through face-to-face conversations with buyers. Field marketers act as a liaison between buyers and sellers, providing customers with valuable information about products and services.
Field Marketing Director:
Field marketing managers are responsible for recruiting, training, and managing their field teams as well as field marketing campaigns to ensure they achieve their intended goals. Field marketing managers often work with senior marketing executives to determine what these objectives will be, with field marketing managers designing specific promotions and ensuring that they are effectively and efficiently implemented. Field marketing managers are also responsible for reporting these initiatives to senior management.
Brand Ambassador / Brand Representative:
Brand ambassadors are people who are paid to promote, approve, or otherwise represent a brand or product. Big companies often hire celebrities to serve as the face of their products in their personal pursuits. Companies with smaller checkbooks, on the other hand, spread brand awareness through more grassroots brand ambassador programs.
Street Team Representative:
Street team representatives are the brand’s vocal champions both during official events and through their own promotional campaigns. During events and guerrilla marketing campaigns, brands can tap their street team to serve as their “boots on the ground” – handing out flyers, stickers, or products to the crowd.
The number one goal of field marketing representatives is to connect with customers.
Field Marketing vs. Traded Marketing
For consumer goods companies, marketing is about bringing a brand and its customer base together. This objective extends from the initial branding of a product to brand awareness campaigns and finally to sales-oriented promotions. Marketing in your own field is not a comprehensive marketing strategy (brands need to do at least basic market research), but it is an essential part of any marketing campaign that directly interfaces with customers.
Here are some examples of how companies can use more traditional marketing initiatives as well as field marketing campaigns to maximize results:
A beverage company follows an awareness-centric advertising campaign with a store demo series. Buyers are more likely to stop and try the drink they saw in the ad during the last football game, and it’s a great way to capitalize on the interest of demo buyers personally.
After investing a large portion of the marketing budget in new signage and after exhibitions for large grocery chains, a snack food company is not expecting results. It then sends its field marketing team to monitor and adjust the displays as needed. After finding and fixing a few major flaws, the company regains a significant amount of visibility and increases its sales to those locations accordingly.
An energy drink company sponsors a local music festival. While the concert itself is a major brand awareness event, street team representatives and brand ambassadors at the show help vendors capitalize on the company by selling drinks and merchandise directly at the table.
Field marketing is not only valued as an affiliate of traditional marketing initiatives, but it also provides companies with something unique: ingenuity. It takes time to plan and execute a massive marketing campaign. But after a few months of planning, what if something goes wrong or there is a chance for improvement?
Ditionally, these possibilities are lost because companies have to wait until the end of a campaign to analyze the results. When done correctly, field marketing breaks that mold, allowing companies to quickly collect and analyze a lot of information in their campaigns, making it more important and effective for marketing ….