Article
Field Marketing’s New Game

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21 April 2020

When the “field” disappears, the rules change.

The skills required to do jobs change in proportion to the jobs themselves. 

Consider the job of the telephone operator. One of the easiest cinematic ways to conjure a scene from the 1940s or 50s is with a large switchboard and an all-female crew of operators connecting calls via large plugs and cables. Fast forward to present day, and telephone operators are savvy technologists that manage large volumes of calls in customer service or call centers with computers and analytical models.

Field Marketing is going through a change as well.

The renaissance person of the marketing function, we’ve come to appreciate the field marketing discipline as the very definition of multifaceted. Part event marketer, part sales enabler, part localization specialist – the field is relied upon to both align central marketing activities with regional goals, deploy niche marketing where needed, and (yes, it’s true!) carry-out account-based marketing plays to in-market, in-region accounts. 

In this era of self-isolation, we must do our best to anticipate change in the role of field marketing. After all, the “field” has been removed with no timeline for return. What’s the right pivot to rely less on region and more on specialty?

This is what Inverta is seeing:

ABM and Field Marketing Join Forces

Orgs that had separate functions for field and ABM are seeing those blurred lines dissolve completely. This could translate into less emphasis on lead generation and increased focus on smaller, more targeted campaigns [or plays] that make use of unique and creative approaches.  It’s our opinion that this is a trend that will continue post-COVID, as the requirement of insight-lead, hyper-personalized, high-touch marketing is an ABM imperative and could become a core component of the field marketer’s skillset. 

Field takes a more proactive role in content origination

It’s long been our perspective that the field isn’t leveraged widely enough when sourcing buyer needs for global campaign theme development. Well, now that the event planning is virtual and geography is moot, the field marketer can think broadly about originating themes for compelling virtual experiences. What’s more, an increase in digital spend will result in an increased demand for content: the field marketer can provide an untapped well of ideas and perspective.  

Localization takes on a new meaning: in home

How do we adjust to the members of our target audience being at home? How should marketing acknowledge the overly-familiar office that many of us are working from?

Multichannel is a must, even if it means reaching an audience in their home. Pilot SMS or text as a channel to keep in touch with customers or notify them of important changes. Collaborate with direct mail vendors on a workflow that allows audiences to choose where they’d like items to be sent. Orchestration is a mainstay of multichannel – ensure there’s unity between all online and offline tactics. 

The (remote) show must go on! 

People need events.

How is your company creating immersive, compelling virtual experiences that promote sharing, collaboration, interactivity, and yes – create leads or strengthen existing relationships? If you haven’t thought about how to virtualize the event experience and begun pivoting your event schedule where possible – you’re behind. 

Redeploy your field marketing function into brainstorming and conducting virtual event series using your existing technology. The virtual event concept can apply to all tiers, whether large user conferences, regional meetings, or executive level experiences. For some, this will present an opportunity for cross-training. For others, it’s an immediate chance to make a real impact during an uncertain economic time. 

I debated calling this article, “Field Marketing’s New Groove” because the opportunity to reinvent the field is here. Social distancing has altered the traditional responsibilities of the role, but a new, exciting set of virtual and account-based core competencies are ready to be mastered.

How are you pivoting the role of field marketing in your company?

Ashley Shailer
By: Ashley Shailer
VICE PRESIDENT,
MARKETING
Ashley has spent more than ten years designing and implementing world-class demand creation and lead management strategies that leverage the latest in marketing technology. She’s held client-side and analyst roles in marketing systems and marketing operations, and consulting roles that leverage her unique expertise in lead nurturing, account-based plays, content, messaging, and social media strategy for more than 40 clients.

In her spare time, she can be found enjoying a good super hero movie, a solid single malt, and dessert (not necessarily in that order).
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Ashley Shailer
By: Ashley Shailer
VICE PRESIDENT,
MARKETING

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