Field Marketing: A Brief Guide

In a modern world where advertising is more about twitter activity than emotionally engaging, original ideas, Field Marketing Services could seem a little too traditional for some, but there is no reason why modern concepts such as social networking can’t go hand in hand with field marketing and vice-versa. Also whilst many of us might spend most of our days glued to a computer screen, we all need to leave the office or the house and interact with the world and there’s a physical, more personal dimension to field marketing that is frankly beyond compare. But first, what actually is field marketing?

What is it?

Essentially, field marketing refers to any form of advertisement that takes place “In the wild.” In other words, it includes any marketing activities involving face-to-face marketer to consumer contact. So this can be anything from handing out free samples of a product at a supermarket to handing out flyers on the high street or running more inventive street promotions. The field is practically endless.

Field Marketing: A Brief Guide

Who uses Field Marketing?

Whilst there are a few online-only companies who might not require field marketing services, most companies will still rely on field marketers to get the message out (quite literally) to the man in the street. Whether that company is promoting a specific product or service, or is simply trying to gain traction and brand visibility with the general public, most major brands will use these services, because they have proven to be effective and have been honed time and time again over decades of trial and error. The most common types of business that use field marketing most regularly are food and beverage, health and beauty, home goods and mobile phone companies and they will typically use options such as leafleting, road shows and even special events to get the word out.

Who is it Effective on?

You might be surprised how many people are persuaded one way or another into buying a product due to field marketing. Effectively anyone who is a physically spending time in a place where that product is being sold becomes a target. It depends very much on what kind of shopper you are, but there are tactics in place for all kinds of buyers; from impulse buyers to the more reticent individuals. Field marketers will decide what kind of person is attracted to the brand they’re selling and will adapt their techniques accordingly. For example, more niche brands might target their field marketing campaigns towards customers they call “Shapers,” who tend to have a large impact on their friends, family members and significant others. These shapers are more likely to spread word of the product to their friends and their friends are more likely to listen to them. For brands who rely more on impulse purchases, meanwhile, they’ll use more point-of-sale marketing and brands that attract those who tend to spend longer browsing, will be targeted with more merchandising to drive subliminal brand awareness. So, as you can see, there’s actually a surprising amount of psychology involved in field marketing.

How is it Done?

One of the benefits of field marketing, is that unlike other marketing practices such as Product Recall (when a product needs to be pulled form the shelves to preserve a company’s reputation), it works very much on a person-by-person basis. For the company though, you have to understand that they are putting their brand and their reputation in the hands of numerous individuals who they have little control over. As such, the message relayed via field marketing is very rarely consistent, but if the personnel have been properly trained, a company can at least make the most of their resources.

Tactics

Product Sampling – This is often done inside supermarkets where the product in question is on sale. But you’ll also find product sampling anywhere people tend to gather in large numbers. Music festivals, trade shows, theme parks and fairs are all locations where you’ll find product sampling.

In-Store Promotion – This refers to marketers who attempt to develop a relationship with customers through conversation and use what they learn to help promote the product or service on a more personal level. In-store promoters can often come across as pushy, but it all depends on the personality of the individual.

Street Promotion – This involves sending street teams into crowded places (generally an event of some description) to distribute flyers, talk to the public or offer help. The promotion will usually tie into the event in some way, so it won’t come across as pushy if marketers make an effort to interact with the consumers.

Merchandising – This is all about making displays that draw in customers and make them want to buy a product. There’s a real artistry to merchandising, and if it’s perfected, it can be one of the most effective tool in a field marketer’s arsenal!

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