What is Field Marketing?
Hands up if you know what field marketing is, or more importantly understand the wide scope that field marketing covers? And put up another hand if you have any idea where the crazy misnomer actually stemmed from in the first place?!
I was recently invited to meet some potential new customers who were interested in sampling and during their introduction they asked if I knew anyone who could talk to them about sales too. How I laughed…but, by the time I’d finished my presentation, they were fully inducted in to the far reaching scope of field marketing (no, it’s not marketing in fields, but more correctly marketing out in the field of commerce, not just desk bound strategizing).
Whilst I genuinely believe I have the best job in the world (apart from perhaps being a location scout for MGM), I so wish it had a sexier name and one with which everyone could immediately identify with i.e. advertising or PR. Whilst the complexities of field marketing are what make it so interesting, it’s complexities can sometimes also be its inhibitors. Take tactical sales for instance. What does this actually mean and who would want some? Tactical sales are short term sales blitzes, often run at the side of a client’s own existing strategic sales activities, particularly where budgets or headcounts have been cut and an auxiliary force is required to top up coverage. Alternatively, tactical sales can be seasonal campaigns aimed to ensure distribution and visibility for special events such as Valentines Day, Mother’s Day or Easter. Our customers generally come from the top 100 brands or are alternatively from FMCG start ups. Just about anyone can benefit from tactical sales
Activities can range from one week or run for months on end. Tactical sales also speak to the quirkier activities. This year alone, we have sold Chinese noodles to chefs by Mandarin speaking sales teams, sold water alongside a client’s own sales team in hard to reach areas, sold spices in ethnically profiled regions, run a syndicated sales offer for small brands and more besides. Our tactical limit is boundless. Tag on to that sampling, merchandising, mystery shopping and auditing and we truly are a multifaceted marketing discipline implementing varied strategies which improve the chances of products getting sold at the point of purchase. It just so happens that we are saddled with the worst name in the history of marketing. Anyone know a good re-branding strategist?!