What is Field Marketing?
Field Marketing is a subcategory of marketing that involves direct interaction with consumers. In field marketing, organizations utilize a number of different approaches to interface directly with potential customers. Typically, the goals of field marketing are to increase:
- Customer interaction
- Brand awareness
Consider that B2C (business to consumer) marketing is the “parent” category in which field marketing falls under. Other examples of subcategories include paid advertising, digital marketing, acquisition marketing, and brand marketing. By itself, this kind of marketing is not a comprehensive strategy. It is essential to use with other marketing channels in order to be effective. However, in an increasingly digital world, it is important to consider how field marketing can play a crucial role in improving return on investment.
How is it used?
In the modern business world, marketing has expanded to the internet, with online shopping and e-commerce making up a significant portion of sales. Field marketing, however, refers to meeting potential customers “out in the field”. This could mean many different things. Typically, field marketing includes promotions, road shows, distributing marketing materials, guerrilla campaigns, product sampling, demonstrations, and merchandising. Here are a few examples of how this could look:
- A new skincare product launching to market, and the company sets up free samples at local relevant stores
- A non-consumable service, such as a video game company, sets up free playable demonstrations of their new game at various high-traffic locations (malls, shopping centers, game stores, etc.)
- A business sends their field marketing team to perform retail audits at various locations where products are displayed. Even though there is no direct consumer interaction in this example, this type of field marketing audit helps the business to understand how to best interface with their potential customers.
You may be wondering, how does field marketing play into modern marketing practices? To answer this, it helps to first understand a broader view of the typical structure of marketing.
In most cases, marketing can be divided into two main categories: B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). Since this type of marketing falls within the B2C category, we’ll focus on that. In B2C marketing, professionals can leverage a number of different methods to increase brand awareness and sales. Social and influencer marketing, for example, are both digital marketing tactics that can work in conjunction with a targeted field marketing strategy.
If the marketing team can align the values, goals, and brand characteristics between a social campaign and a field campaign, the likelihood of success is much greater. Another example would be the synchronicity between a direct sales campaign, and a strong SEO/paid advertising campaign. What good is a day full of product demonstrations if nobody shows up? By leveraging SEO and paid advertising, a company can ensure that people are aware of a special product demonstration event, and show up in numbers!
One of the key components to this type of marketing is integrating your marketing techniques with the sales team. After all, B2C transactions tend to be more impulsive and instantaneous than B2B interactions. Thus, it is important to treat the field team as part of the sales team. In an increasingly competitive landscape, the representatives at an event must be knowledgeable, personable, and have the ability to close a sale when the opportunity arises.
Why Field Marketing?
As previously mentioned, this type of marketing alone does not encompass a larger marketing strategy. Smart businesses will incorporate it as part of their strategy, in order to keep a diverse portfolio of lead acquisitions and sales. By getting representatives out in the field, customers are able to have a personal experience with the product/service. Furthermore, this marketing strategy can help improve brand awareness, trust, and visibility, even if direct sales are not the goal of the campaign.
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