Field marketing: definition, Types, and benefits

Field Marketing is a series of activities carried out by highly trained marketers that contribute to the brand building, customer relationship management, lead generation efforts of a client/company. Field marketing includes targeted direct sales promotions, merchandising, auditing, sampling, demonstration, experiential marketing, organizing roadshows, and events.

The Field Marketing Council defines field marketing as ‘measurable, face-to-face brand development and customer relationship management through using highly trained people.’

Field marketers are responsible for interacting with the brand’s customer/prospect base to inform, educate, influence, and persuade them towards a purchase decision.

In the B2B context, field marketers have a mixture of sales and marketing expertise and engage with customers/prospects across several touchpoints such as events, trade shows, conferences, webinars, and in-person meetings.

In the B2C context, field marketers are present at locations where there is a high density of prospects – at shopping malls, street corners, eating joints, gyms, marathons, etc.

Types of Field Marketing

There are many types of field marketing, but product sampling, product demonstrations, merchandising, and leaflets are the most common.

#1. Product sampling.

Did you know that over 70 million product samples reach households every quarter? Well, that’s how vital samples are! In fact, 61 percent of surveyed customers believe sampling is the most effective way to get them to try a brand.

You may associate product samples with consumer goods like food or drink, but they can take place in both digital and physical forms. For example, you can set up a stall in a retail store and give out samples to customers. This activity is known as direct or face-to-face sampling.

Another way of sampling is indirect sampling, where you provide a free gift alongside a purchase. It can be a physical gift like a shower gel sample or a digital gift like a voucher for their next-time purchase.

#2. Product demonstrations.

If you ever wonder what good a product demonstration (product demo) can do to your business, here are some figures to check out:

  • A successful product demo can increase sales by 475%.
  • Other products in the same product line experience a 177% sales boost after the product demo.

A product demo can cast away any customer doubt about a product and improve their perceptions of your business. In some cases, it may even make customers change their minds and convince them to buy your products instead of competitors’.

#3. Merchandising.

A retail store is cluttered with products from multiple brands. You product display has to be unique and easy to navigate to stand out and grab customers’ attention. This idea is the main function of merchandising.

Effective merchandising, which includes displaying and labeling your products correctly, can significantly impact customers’ purchasing decisions. It also makes your brand more appealing and memorable.

#4. Leafleting.

We are no strangers to leafleting. It is everywhere; sometimes, you barely glance at them before binning them.

Leafleting is not always effective; though, when brands can successfully capture the customers’ attention through catchy phrases and stunning visuals, the results can be astounding. It allows customers to learn more about the brand in a short space of time.

They can share the leaflet with friends and help spread the product or service. Another good thing is leaflets let you access a wide audience in a specific place and time.

Benefits Of Field Marketing

1. Improves Brand Perception

Field marketing enables brands to interact directly with their target audience and allows them to experience the brand first-hand. 

Field marketing is often at the point of sale or during specific events (such as exhibitions, conferences, roadshows, webinars, etc.). 

These are ideal points to gain mindshare of the prospect, instill brand values, and increase brand loyalty until they become customers.

Field marketing is the process of registering your offer in the minds of customers to remind them of your product’s existence and availability when they have a need. 

2. Handles Cynical Customers

Customer cynicism is real. Customers are intelligent, savvy, and better-informed. They are looking for instant gratification rather than drawn-out negotiations, as they try to get answers to their questions.

Field marketing is best suited to deal with cynical customers because field marketers can answer real-time during product demonstrations, onboarding, events, webinars, POS interactions.

3. Augments the Sales Effort

Sales reps have their hands full by attending to qualified leads that the marketing teams get into the sales funnel. Often, they may not have enough bandwidth to onboard customers or nurture them as they gradually become familiar with a product/service.

Field marketers can take the lead here to take the pressure off sales teams and handhold prospects until they are comfortable on their own.

4. Enhances Customer Relationships

Field marketing helps provide a consistent customer experience wherever and whenever the customer touches the brand.

Once customers have purchased a product or availed a service, they expect to be identified and recognized – this is table stakes in today’s fast-paced world. 

For example, once a customer has been to a retail store, he or she expects the retailer to know everything about himself or herself in the next interaction.

Field marketing reps can provide customers with consistent answers for all their queries, thereby increasing their trust in the organization.

5. Provides Measurable ROI

Successful field marketing campaigns give quantifiable and tangible results. Brands get real-time reporting through the use of field marketing reporting software that loads onto a multitude of devices like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.

Product managers and brand owners can view reports on a real-time basis through tablets, mobiles, websites, dashboards, and learn how their field marketing campaigns are performing. 

6. Accurate Targeting

Field marketing activities include sales promotions, onboarding, nurturing, sampling, demonstration, experiential marketing, organizing events, roadshows, and conferences.

Field marketers responsible for these activities, choose the locations, formats, in-house (and external) experts, and marketing collateral after researching about their target audience. This approach helps them cater to the needs of the target audience in a focused manner.

Explaining Field Marketing Activities

1. Sales

Highly trained sales staff find, understand, and hold dialogue with the target audience intending to sell. This field marketing activity is usually carried out at events with a high footfall of the brand’s target market. Brands often outsource this activity to field marketing agencies so that they can concentrate on their core business.

2. Merchandising

Merchandising is the positioning of marketing material (such as posters, shelf barkers) in a retail environment.

Merchandising in field marketing also encompasses:

Developing a relationship and rapport with the retailer.

Ensuring that products are well stocked, captivatingly displayed, and vigorously promoted.

Measuring and evaluating the performance of the brand within the retail outlet.

3. Auditing

Auditing is the recording of information about the position of a brand in the marketplace. A field marketing audit reports how a brand and its competitors are distributed among stores and within them. It also measures how the products are displayed by mapping product stock levels, facings, and order sizes.

Auditing helps formulate a strategy for other marketing and field marketing activities. With real-time reporting tools, the audit process has become swift and less tedious.

4. Sampling and Demonstrating

During this FM exercise, a field marketer demonstrates the working of a product to the customer or allows the customer to try/taste a product.

This activity is most effective when a targeted customer chosen for sampling and demonstration has the capability of being a brand ambassador.

These brand ambassadors are usually people who can influence more sales by showing the brand in a positive light and discussing it within their social circle.

5. Experiential Marketing, Events, and Roadshows

DMA defines Experiential Marketing as: ‘A live and interactive marketing discipline, which builds positive emotional, sensory engagement between a brand and its consumers.’

Although every field marketing activity helps the customer to experience a brand, this specific activity is synonymous with exciting, engaging, and entertaining.

Field marketing using events and roadshows induce an emotional relationship between the customer and a brand. 

These field marketing activities, individually or combined, develop brands and in their implementation, show a real ROI to the company.

Field marketing activities are in alignment with marketing objectives that will be achieved by their implementation. They help create attention on a product/solution/brand, at a specific time, when customer awareness and experience of a brand can be influenced.

Leave a Comment