Get real about the field! Part One

Field marketing is an industry that has changed significantly with technology advances – but at its core, the same basic service applies.


In the meantime, a lot of myths and misconceptions have clouded the picture about how field marketing should work – in this blog we’ll blow those misunderstandings away.


1.All field marketing agencies use data efficiently


To our knowledge, every agency has the ability to utilise data – at least in a basic form.  Buyer beware though, some agencies outsource to a third party, or buy in white label programmes to do the work for them.


At Shopsmart, all of our data handling, algorithms and analysis is completed in house with proprietary software. It is regularly validated by established, independent industry third parties, giving our clients the confidence that we are providing accurate, actionable data to drive results.


2. You need to employ a large team to cover all stores


We work in close partnership with clients to ensure their investment is used effectively to maximise return – and we do this through a balance of great reps, insightful business intelligence and innovative tech.  We do not need to employ huge field teams to cover the entire retail portfolio and geography of the UK.  We work smartly, coupling data with accurate territory planning that means visits are more targeted and time efficient.


3. You need to visit every store at least once month


This is not necessarily true; we use retail sales data and alerting systems to target more efficiently, and only visit when it is clear a store needs assistance.  This makes calls more economical and beneficial to both brand and retailer.


4. All the best reps work directly for manufacturers’ in-house teams


The number of in-house field teams is actually very low, and it is not true that agencies struggle to attract the best talent.  We are proud that a high proportion of our field team progress into our head office where they get to interact even more closely with clients they are proud to represent.


5. Moving a team from in-house to outsourced is too big a risk


Brands outsource because they want to buy into a specialist – benefitting from decades of experience across the retail spectrum and an operational structure specifically developed to deliver performance.  In our experience, our clients stay with us because  they quickly see results improve through our model, quickly dispelling any fears about outsourcing.


Check back for part two of this feature!