The ultimate guide to succeeding with field marketing in 2021

Cassy Aite
August 18, 2021
The ultimate guide to succeeding with field marketing in 2021 | Hoppier

If there’s one takeaway from 2020 for marketers, it's that agility is key to thriving in an uncertain world. The pivot from in-person field marketing to virtual experiences was quick, and it looks like virtual events are here to stay. But field marketing remains one of the most effective event formats for businesses looking to drum up demand.

Field marketing combines the best of sales and marketing to offer businesses a unique approach to building authentic relationships with their customers and prospects.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can adapt your field marketing strategy for 2021 and beyond to drive sustainable growth and win customers.

What is field marketing?

Field marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an experiential form of marketing that includes onsite marketing activities like street promotions, merchandising, sampling, product demonstration, and direct sales.

If you look closely, you’ll realize that field marketing is essentially the AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) principle in action. Field marketing activities are designed around gaining the target audience's attention, creating interest in and desire for your offerings, and ultimately driving action, i.e., sales.

Field marketing typically involves multiple touchpoints such as conferences, trade shows, and meetings. With more organizations going remote over the past year and a half, field marketing now includes interactive digital touchpoints like virtual events.

You can think of field marketing as a combination of push-pull marketing. You connect with your buyers through meetings, i.e., push marketing, and adopt a more personalized approach to pull them in as they progress through the different stages of the purchase journey, i.e., pull marketing.

Why sales and marketing teams love field marketing

A woman winks and holds her phone indicating that she loves field marketing

Field marketing specialists collaborate with marketing and sales teams to achieve business goals. Field marketing contributes to an organization’s marketing and sales framework because it allows you to:

●      Gain an unparalleled understanding of your ideal customer profile (ICP)

●      Create true sales-marketing alignment with a collaborative approach to prospecting and demand generation

●      Align your brand messaging to business objectives.

●      Help your sales team drive new leads, build the sales pipeline, and hit revenue goals.

●      Complement your digital strategy with in-person activities.

●      Collect relevant product insights.

5 benefits of field marketing

Field marketing is a way for companies to interact one-on-one with customers. It allows you to learn what customers think about your brand offerings and understand if they have any complaints about your product.

Here are five reasons you should consider field marketing.

1. Betters brand perception

The average person sees more than 1,700 banner ads per month, out of which they notice only half of them. It’s incredibly difficult to make your brand memorable exclusively through advertising.

Field marketing creates that opportunity to interact with your customers in person, and having memorable interactions helps you strengthen your brand recall and perception.

2. Improves customer experience

Customer experience includes interactions at every marketing touchpoint. Field marketing serves as a key touchpoint because it allows customers to have a face-to-face interaction with a business. Customers can learn how to use the product better and share their stories and pain points, all of which can help you deliver a better customer experience.

3. Supports the sales team

Field marketing can support the sales department by optimizing the nurturing process. So, whether it’s speaking with warm leads at a trade show or helping customers use your offerings better at a lunch and learn, field marketing can help your sales team.

4. Collect accurate market data

Field marketing is a consumer-facing activity. You get qualitative information when you speak with real people. You can learn why a product feature sells so well or why it's so difficult to use. When combined with quantitative data, you are better equipped to make informed decisions.

5. Track ROI accurately

Most field marketing activities, such as product demonstrations, events, and webinars, provide a list of participants along with their details. This list can be tied back to the data logged into your CRM. So, when a sale takes place, you can accurately map it to which field marketing activity prompted the sale. This allows you to track your ROI accurately.

Top 3 field marketing activities to consider for your next event

Field marketing is extensive. It can include events, merchandising, sampling, demonstrations, roadshows, and more. The list is endless. However, the key elements of field marketing can be incorporated into all three of these quintessential field marketing activities.

1. Product demonstrations

Product demos are a field marketing favorite! In addition to providing an ideal environment for personalized demonstrations, field marketing also allows customers to sample your products and services. B2C companies use this at shopping malls and other high foot traffic areas where they can ask customers to try out their products. For example, a coffee brand can give away sachets of newly launched instant coffee.

B2B companies use product demonstrations at conferences and trade shows where they're likely to meet the most relevant audience.

B2C companies typically use product demonstrations during the awareness stage, whereas B2B companies use them at the consideration stage.

2. In-person events

In-person events are perhaps the most powerful field marketing avenue. They're effective because marketers have the opportunity to help attendees get acquainted with the company and its offerings throughout the event lifecycle. These events could be trade shows, conferences, workshops, meetings, and recently, virtual events like webinars.

Having ample time to build personalized relationships is what compels field marketing managers to invest heavily into virtual and in-person events.

To reach a wider audience, B2C brands also invest in other event formats such as roadshows.

3. Guerrilla marketing

Guerrilla marketing is the growth hacking side of field marketing. This tactic deploys ingenious stunts to attract the audience’s attention within a short time frame. A creative guerrilla marketing campaign has the potential to create buzz and drive word of mouth among your ideal buyers.

Although guerrilla marketing is often touted as a low-cost marketing tactic, it's incredibly challenging to create a campaign because there's no fixed structure or framework to it — as proof, take a look at these amazing but wildly different campaigns. But if it sticks, your campaign will go viral. In any case, it is wise to have tried and tested field marketing strategies in place before considering a guerrilla marketing campaign.

7 field marketing strategies for 2021

A woman has ideas about field marketing

Field marketing is largely about building relationships through in-person interactions. However, with most events going virtual over this past year and a half, it's crucial for brands to adapt a virtual approach to field marketing strategies.

In this section, we'll look at seven field marketing strategies that you can implement in your marketing plan.

1. Host virtual events for your audience

Although in-person events are gradually making their return, you can connect with a wider audience through virtual events.

With the help of robust virtual event platforms, you can organize events as small as a virtual meeting and as large as a trade show. Consider various options such as webinars, lunch and learns, workshops, training programs, and full-blown conferences. As a part of your lead nurturing program, you can also use small-scale events like webinars and workshops as a build-up for your large-scale events.

Keep a lookout for relevant virtual events in your niche that you can participate in either by speaking or sponsoring, as you will get to connect with your audience with relatively lower costs and efforts.

2. Experiential marketing

The in-person experience of field marketing is what makes it so compelling and memorable. For virtual events, companies might find it difficult to recreate the same effect because people are essentially spending their days in front of their computers.

The best thing you can do to break up this monotony is to introduce the elements of experiential marketing. You can use a platform like Hoppier to deliver that hybrid experience.

A virtual credit card for a field marketing activity

Hoppier offers virtual credit cards to help you engage your virtual attendees. Attendees can use these cards to order food, coffee, or drinks from their favorite restaurants and cafes. You can also redeem these cards for other services.

You can incentivize the registration process by allocating a card right after an attendee signs up and gamify your event by adding more balance as they complete different activities.

3. Create customized content experiences

Put together customized content for different segments of your target audience and stages of their buying journey to help them make better decisions. You can go granular and break it down for different marketing channels. For instance, instead of sharing the link to a blog post on Twitter, you can post a tweet thread summarizing key points so that you're reaching every member of your audience where they spend the most time.

4. Build and nurture a “street team”

Street teams are not new. This team of hardcore fans takes pride in promoting their favorite underground bands and artists. Brands can also adopt this concept for roadshows and event promotion.

Community marketing is becoming a powerful marketing avenue. Create groups and communities on relevant marketing channels, such as social media, Discord, or Slack. Interact with the group members and offer unique benefits to keep them engaged.

Leverage your street team to promote your offerings, events, content, and other promotional assets. The community can also help you with user-generated content, like testimonials and product reviews.

In short, word-of-mouth is a powerful marketing channel. Let your customers do the talking for your brand.

5. Increase your reach through partner marketing

Partner marketing or co-marketing is a trusted strategy to scale marketing efforts and reach a wider audience. In co-marketing, two or more organizations work together to provide value to their audiences.

As a field marketing manager, you can identify organizations in your niche that complement your offerings and propose a partner marketing program. Keeping your marketing goals in mind, you can launch a virtual event that allows you to connect with each other’s customers, prospects, and network. As a build-up to the event, try hosting micro-events like virtual lunch and learns and co-hosted webinars, then publish the recordings as gated content.

Also, because you split expenses in partner marketing campaigns, you can get pretty solid results at a lower cost.

6. Take sampling online

You can take your sampling activities online along with your other field marketing strategies. Promote coupon codes, discounts, and free trials via email, social media, and ads to acquire new customers. For example, by targeting the list of event attendees, you can run an email marketing campaign where you offer them a free trial of your offerings.

Not everyone will become a customer at the end of the trial period. You can use retargeting ads and offer limited-time coupons and exclusive discounts as incentives to compel your audience to act.

7. Combine account-based marketing with intent-based marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) takes a laser-focused approach on acquiring high-value target accounts by dedicating a group of resources.

In intent-based marketing, you create content by identifying users who show purchase intent.

You can already see that you can combine ABM and intent-based marketing to turbocharge your marketing efforts. For instance, the intent data can provide you with the questions prospects are researching. You can create marketing campaigns based on these questions.

As part of these campaigns, your field marketing team can organize workshops or lunch and learns for high-value accounts. Once they enter your marketing funnel, you can continue nurturing them to get them sales-ready.

Get more from your field marketing

The essence of field marketing is building a rapport with your prospects and customers. You can achieve this through webinars, events, product demonstrations, or roundtables. The common thread among these activities is that all of them allow you to interact with your audience.

To get the most out of your field marketing efforts, align the strategy of your sales, marketing, and product marketing teams. Never miss a virtual field marketing opportunity again. Use these tactics to maximize engagement at your virtual field marketing events.

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