Field marketing, which includes targeted sales promotions, merchandising, sampling, roadshows, exhibition stands and demonstration events, plays many key roles within the marketing funnel.
On-stand trade-show activity can drive awareness, while promotions, free trials and demos can push consumers from ‘interest’ into ‘desire’. When you reach the ‘actionable’ sales part of the funnel, field marketers are experts at onboarding customers, booking follow-ups and even closing the deal.
From March 2020 until late 2021 however, field marketers weren’t ‘out in the field’. Instead, they had to adapt to a virtual on-screen environment and use the technology at their disposal to drive awareness, engagement and targeted sales.
Now that field marketers are returning to our high-streets, exhibition halls, retail parks and local events, how can they continue to use digital elements to enhance their sales and marketing support roles?
Let’s start with brand awareness – a field marketing facet that requires consistency of message, the distribution of up-to-date materials and a degree of centralised control.
To help your road warriors by arming them with mobile optimised brand materials, presentations, video and visualisations, consider using the presentation archive of your virtual event platform as a toolkit or asset library.
As a central marketer, you can then create and set the brand assets within this enabling framework, while field agents can make localised amends (change the language, add links, remove slides etc) should they wish.
You however have ultimate control over how the materials are distributed, when to update or recall outdated assets and who has ‘permissions’ to access – so that you can easily and quickly add new field agents and remove people who leave.
With all your up-to-date brand materials now stored in a centralised system, you can then add some of the engagement tools that helped drive customers through the marketing funnel when activity was restricted to online only.
These are namely, polls and gamification elements such as quizzes, which can now support field agents armed with iPads by enhancing the overall slickness of their activity.
Field marketers are not just brochure carriers, sample distributors or booth warmers. They are there to listen, understand, discover, respond and drive a meaningful level of engagement.
For all the benefits of face-to-face interplay between marketer and consumer, technology-based engagement tools can support the interaction and enhance the presentation process by building in managed breaks that encourage two-way conversation and better, more memorable connections.
By providing field agents with polls and gamification that have been devised centrally and made available within the asset library, you’re also creating data capture pathways to drive consumer information back into your business in a consistent, comparable, quick and meaningful way.
Event platform technology, which was depended upon during the pandemic, can now do much of the heavy lifting via mobile devices out in the field.
Field marketers don’t need to carry around heavy brochures, collect business cards or scribble notes on pieces of paper. Technology platforms can showcase brand consistent assets and serve as a central system of record, capturing data and interactions and feeding it straight into your SalesForce database or other CRM.
Armed with mobile optimised presentation materials, engagement tools and lead capture, field agents – supported by technology – can now follow a consistent process that will ultimately lead to sales.
As a central marketer meanwhile, you also now have the interface to track and monitor agent performance, while acting on the data to improve training and create a culture of success.
Ultimately, digital devices and software can be used to create an enabling framework that will empower field marketers to localise and fine-tune their messaging. It will give them the tools to not only present but also to interact and listen, driving consumer data and lead capture back into the business. Plus, it will provide your road warriors with a proven process that will make their sales a science rather than an art form.
Just because field marketers are now back out in the field, it doesn’t mean they need to be divorced and cut-off from the technology they used during the pandemic.
- Brand should be seen as an enabling framework (not a cage)
- Getting information back is as important as getting it out
- Integrated data makes Sales a science not an artform