Field marketing is a general term that encompasses face-to-face marketing activities carried out in the field. These activities may include street promotions, conferences, sales, and various forms of experiential marketing. Field marketing, therefore, refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field.
Understanding field marketing
Field marketing is used to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build customer relationships. It is the domain of experienced and well-trained marketers who are tasked with interacting with the brand’s target audience to encourage them to make a purchase decision.
These marketers may work in the B2B context and as a result, possess marketing and sales expertise to meet with prospects across multiple touchpoints. They may also work in the B2C context and present themselves in locations where the ideal buyer tends to congregate.
Field marketing campaign types
In truth, there are many different settings in which a field marketing campaign can be run. Some of these include:
- Experiential marketing – a face-to-face strategy where the consumer is immersed in a product or service to engage them with a brand.
- Product demonstrations – this is a common approach that many consumers are now averse to. However, free samples and giveaways are still effective in some situations if the consumer is also able to experience the brand hands-on.
- Conferences – for B2B campaigns, it can be useful to offer educational experiences at conferences to build brand awareness.
- Tradeshows – another approach well suited to B2B brands. In this case, businesses demonstrate their products and services to prospective customers at industry-specific tradeshows.
- VIP dinners – for a more intimate form of field marketing, exclusive restaurant dinners for very important prospects can also be effective in turning them into customers.
- Direct selling – where brand representatives make sales at the point where the interaction is made. This is sometimes used in combination with demos if the prospect has expressed interest in the product or service.
- Retail audits – not every field marketing strategy must be customer-facing. Retail audits involve companies visiting retail stores to collect data on the way their products are displayed, signed, and promoted. This allows them to determine the effectiveness of in-store marketing and adjust the strategy if necessary.
Field marketer responsibilities
Some consider field marketers to be more like salespeople than marketers. As we noted earlier, however, the field marketer is a well-trained and specialist role that combines elements of both sales and marketing.
Here are some of the main responsibilities of a field marketer:
- Researching, planning, and executing the delivery of field marketing campaigns.
- Ensuring they possess detailed knowledge of products and services.
- The monitoring of industry trends or the emergence of new competitors.
- Negotiate mutually beneficial deals with third-party retailers and partners with respect to merchandise and promotional display placement.
- Manage social media accounts for each campaign.
- Share important lead and customer intel with sales departments.
- Experiential Marketing:
- Red Bull’s Wings Team engages consumers through sampling and immersive experiences at events like extreme sports competitions.
- Coca-Cola’s Happiness Truck surprises people with free drinks and creates joyful moments in public spaces.
- Product Demonstrations:
- Samsung sets up in-store kiosks where customers can try out the latest smartphones, showcasing their features and functionality.
- Food companies like Ben & Jerry’s offer free samples of new ice cream flavors at grocery stores to encourage purchases.
- Tech companies like Google and Microsoft sponsor and participate in industry conferences to showcase new products and technologies.
- Medical device manufacturers host educational sessions at healthcare conferences to connect with professionals and introduce innovations.
- Automotive companies like Ford and BMW exhibit their latest vehicle models at auto shows to generate interest and potential sales.
- Technology companies present their solutions at technology trade fairs to attract business clients and partners.
- VIP Dinners:
- Luxury fashion brands like Louis Vuitton organize exclusive dinners for high-net-worth individuals to preview new collections.
- Software companies invite key decision-makers from businesses to private dinners to discuss their software solutions.
- Direct Selling:
- Avon representatives conduct home visits to demonstrate and sell beauty products directly to customers.
- Cutco employs sales representatives who conduct in-home presentations to sell high-quality kitchen knives.
- Retail Audits:
- Beverage companies send auditors to retail stores to ensure their products are displayed prominently and in accordance with brand standards.
- Consumer goods manufacturers collect data on the placement and visibility of their products on store shelves.
- Street Promotions:
- Food delivery apps distribute promotional codes and freebies to passersby in busy city areas to encourage app downloads and orders.
- Mobile network providers set up booths in shopping districts to promote new plans and offer on-the-spot sign-ups.
- Local Community Engagement:
- Real estate agents host neighborhood open houses to showcase properties and connect with potential buyers.
- Banks sponsor community events and provide financial literacy workshops to engage with local residents.
- Brand Ambassador Programs:
- GoPro employs brand ambassadors who use their action cameras to capture adventures and share content on social media, promoting the brand.
- Beverage companies hire brand ambassadors to attend music festivals and distribute samples to festival-goers.
- Guerrilla Marketing:
- IKEA placed sofas and living room setups at bus stops to create a comfortable waiting experience for commuters while promoting their furniture.
- Sony placed life-sized cutouts of characters from a popular video game in public places to create intrigue and generate interest in the game.
- Field marketing refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field to increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build customer relationships. It may occur in both a B2B and B2C context.
- Field marketing campaign types include tradeshows, conferences, VIP dinners, retail audits, direct selling, product demonstrations, and experiential marketing. Note that not all campaigns are necessarily customer-facing.
- Field marketers possess a blend of sales and marketing skills, which makes the role highly specialized. Some of their duties include the research, planning, and execution of campaigns and the monitoring of industry trends or the emergence of new players. They must also be able to negotiate beneficial outcomes with key stakeholders.
Key Highlights of Field Marketing:
- Definition: Field marketing encompasses face-to-face marketing activities conducted outside of traditional office or retail settings. It includes various tactics such as street promotions, conferences, sales, and experiential marketing.
- Purpose: Field marketing aims to boost brand awareness, generate leads, and establish and nurture customer relationships. It involves interactions with the target audience to influence purchase decisions.
- Audience Context: Field marketers may operate in both B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) contexts. In B2B, they engage with prospects across multiple touchpoints, while in B2C, they connect with potential customers where they gather.
- Campaign Types:
- Experiential Marketing: Immerses consumers in a product or service to engage them with the brand.
- Product Demonstrations: Involves showcasing products with the potential for giveaways and free samples.
- Conferences: Useful for B2B campaigns, offering educational experiences to raise brand awareness.
- Tradeshows: Businesses display products and services at industry-specific tradeshows for B2B outreach.
- VIP Dinners: Intimate gatherings for important prospects to convert them into customers.
- Direct Selling: Representatives make sales at the point of interaction, sometimes combined with product demos.
- Retail Audits: Involves collecting data on product display, signage, and promotion in retail stores.
- Field Marketer Responsibilities:
- Researching, planning, and executing field marketing campaigns.
- Possessing in-depth knowledge of products and services.
- Monitoring industry trends and emerging competitors.
- Negotiating beneficial deals with third-party retailers and partners.
- Managing social media accounts for campaigns.
- Sharing lead and customer insights with sales departments.
- Specialized Role: Field marketers blend elements of both sales and marketing, making their role highly specialized and vital for driving brand engagement and customer conversions.