During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, every business had to pivot and find their new normal. Field marketing has been no different and will likely not return to how it once was anytime soon.
Since 2020 the whole approach to field marketing campaigns has completely changed. It hasn’t exactly been the year of street promotions and in-person events.
However, an effective field marketing campaign can still be just as powerful and can turbo boost your marketing and sales results.
With this in mind, we have created this article to cover everything that you need to know about field marketing for B2B in 2021. We will dive into what it is, how it can benefit your business, and break down how to create your own effective field marketing strategy.
What is field marketing in 2021?
Field marketing is a branch of marketing that is conducted ‘in the field’. It is typically anything that involves face-to-face interaction with your ideal customer or client.
Traditionally field marketing campaigns would have consisted of in-person events, in-store promotions, street promotions, and so on. However, with the recent acceleration to digital, field marketing in 2021 is predominantly conducted through webinar outreach, social media, and virtual events instead.
Benefits of field marketing in 2021
A great field marketing campaign can be particularly effective for your overall brand strategy. Typically field marketers work with the sales, product, and marketing teams to create and run optimal field campaigns.
There are many benefits to field marketing to help you find, engage and convert leads into sales.
Improve brand perception
Field marketing will help improve your brand perception as your trained field marketing team will directly interact with your target audience to effectively communicate and represent the company identity and values.
For field marketers, campaigns are a great opportunity to demonstrate products or services and to showcase the personality of a business. Potential customers often interact with field marketers directly, and as such, they need to epitomise the company values.
The customers are likely to remember this interaction, consequently, they will likely identify the brand with this moment and their experience. This is both a positive and negative. It is a powerful way to increase customer loyalty and build rapport, however, it does come with a lot of responsibility.
Gather customer insights
Field marketers have the opportunity to engage with their ideal audience first-hand. Whether this is talking to them directly, engaging with them through webinars or even through social media.
Engaging with your potential leads allows you to gain valuable feedback on your content and marketing approach, as well as your product or service. This provides a realistic impression of what your audience actually think. You can use this feedback to improve your marketing strategy, your message, the price point and so on.
The personal interaction between your audience and your brand is what is so powerful in field marketing campaigns. Successful field marketing campaigns are an opportunity to delight your leads so that you can convert them into loyal customers.
When done right and with a solid field marketing team, your customers will become advocates and often want to share their experiences.
Improve customer relationship
Field marketing can also improve your customer relationships. It is an opportunity for them to experience your business first-hand.
Campaigns are typically conducted wherever your ideal audience already exists. We explore this further below when we look into field marketing strategies.
Field marketers can guide your audience, answer their questions and be the voice that represents your brand. The role of the field marketer is to create a great customer experience with both your product or service as well as your brand.
As field marketers are often the first interaction a potential customer might have with a business, they have the opportunity to grow and nurture the relationship. This can improve lead conversions and elevate customer loyalty.
Marketing and sales collaboration
Field marketing aims to support the sales cycle by attracting and engaging new leads that the sales team can then convert into customers. They work alongside the marketing teams to help them achieve their goals and revenue targets.
This collaborative approach to marketing and sales makes for a powerful team effort that supports all stages of the buyer’s journey.
With field marketing, you can easily track and measure your return on investment. Through various digital marketing tools and software, you can track the effectiveness of your field marketing strategies. This means that you can learn what works and what doesn’t and optimise your strategies.
How to plan an effective field marketing strategy
A solid strategy can make or break any marketing campaign, and this is no different for field marketing. An effective strategy can improve the campaign’s success rate and ensure that your goals and objective have been met.
Let’s explore our step by step guide on how to create your own field marketing strategy.
Set SMART goals
To get started you need to set clear SMART goals. They need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-driven, and Timely.
You can’t formulate an effective strategy without being clear on what you want to achieve and exactly how you are going to measure it.
Create buyer persona
Next, you need to get really clear on your buyer persona. Identify who your core customer is by using demographic and firmographic data. You might have multiple buyer personas depending on the product or service that you offer. It is important to get really clear on their pain points and exactly how you are going to resolve them.
Identify platforms to leverage
Use customer research to identify which platforms your ideal customers are already using. You want to Leverage the platforms that they use and communicate with them there.
Use tactics that align with the platforms that your customers already leverage that you just identified. We explore a range of tactics that are particularly relevant to field marketing in 2021 below.
As with all marketing, utilise the technologies that help you to track and measure the buyer’s journey. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platform (CDP) technologies as well as sale funnel tools should all be incorporated into your field marketing strategy.
Use these technologies to collect data so that you can seamlessly guide potential leads through the customer journey.
Measure, learn, and optimise
With these various tools and technologies, you can easily track and measure the success of your field marketing campaigns against your SMART objectives.
You can measure the ROI and lean into what works best for you and your customers. When you know what works you can really optimise this with your future field marketing campaigns.
Field marketing in 2021
As we identified above, the world of field marketing has changed over the past few years. The pandemic accelerated the move to digital and field marketing tactics have had to adapt with this movement.
As field marketing is such an effective part of a brand strategy it is important to find a way to continue to embrace it in your overall marketing strategy.
However, as we have had to move away from some in-person events and activities, it is important to be able to still maintain your presence through different methods.
Traditional field marketing goes beyond just in-person interaction with your ideal audience. Effective field marketing will provide your ideal audience with an experience, emotion, or memorable interaction.
Guerrilla marketing campaigns are often favoured by field marketers who choose to invest time, energy, and imagination into their campaigns. Guerrilla marketing was coined by Jay Conrad Levinson and is focused on experiential marketing that builds brand and relationships, often utilising the environment as a foundation for creative experiences.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, field marketers have had to find ways to re-create tactics like the Guerrilla marketing approach through digital platforms. Likely, these new approaches are here to stay as they have proven to be wildly successful for field marketing campaigns.
Let’s explore some of the tactics for field marketing in 2021.
2020 saw a huge rise in virtual events and this isn’t slowing down anytime soon in 2021. Hosting virtual events have allowed for endless possibilities, from reaching wider audiences and recruiting international participants, to cutting event costs and saving resources. Hosting virtual events are a way to build brand awareness, relationships, build rapport, show expertise and gain leads.
Leading on from virtual events, there are many other ways to utilise digital platforms. Webinars have become hugely popular for field marketing strategies with reports of 54% of B2B professionals watching webinars weekly. They are also a favourite to convert leads into paying customers by having specialists discuss products or services.
In addition to webinars, one-to-one chat rooms are also popular as well as social media.
Utilise social media
With 4.48 billion social media users across the world, you would be silly not to utilise this free platform to raise brand awareness, build your audience and community and drive leads to sales.
Social media is perfect for field marketing strategy as you can talk directly to your audience through live videos, live Q&A sessions and personalised content. You can also reach out to micro-influencers to help build your brand.
Leading on from social media content, user-generated content or UGC is also a great way to help build your brand authority and trust. Testimonials, behind the scenes and recommendations, are all often displayed on social media platforms.
This social proof continues to be a powerful way to drive consumer buying habits and to reach new audiences.
When it comes to field marketing, you really want to get creative. Some field marketing managers find that sending samples of your products, demos of your services, or even just personalised samples can be really effective. It is a great way for your ideal customer to try your product or service and to build a rapport with your audience.
As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, field marketing is proving to be difficult for many companies. Digital marketing is the way forward however we can’t forget the power of face to face interaction. Whilst that face to face might be through a screen right now, it doesn’t mean that your field marketing campaign can’t be any less successful.
Remember to keep your customer or client at the centre of the conversation of your winning field marketing strategy and you are sure to see results.