Field marketing can take many forms, and in the B2B world, you’re likely supporting sales, teaching a class, leading a workshop at a conference, or hosting a demo at an event. If you’ve ever been to a conference with an exhibitor table, that’s field marketing. If you’ve ever been to a company-sponsored meetup or live digital event, that’s field marketing too.
While the fundamentals of field marketing have stayed intact—support sales and marketing with programs that bring in quality leads—the ways in which field marketers can engage their target audiences are evolving. The shift from traditional to digital marketing has presented a unique challenge for field marketers to come up with innovative and new ways to communicate and track their field marketing initiatives.
1. Know Your Audience Well
With so many conferences and events to target, where should you start?
The answer is simple: laser focuses on the opportunities to best reach your target audiences. This process means targeting the events that your ideal customer is likely to attend.
You might think that it’s best to target the biggest “name brand” events. Don’t fall into this trap. There are many different niche industry events with sponsorship opportunities. You could host your own event or teach a class, too. The bottom line is that you should know what your audience cares about and where key people are likely to be. The rest will fall into place.
2. Know the Foot Traffic Plan
Thinking of sponsoring an event?
Before you write a check or commit to exhibiting, ask the event organizer to share his or her plans. Conference strategists spend months planning, and they’re paying attention to every last detail. They know exactly where the highest traffic event areas are, and they know where people are going to be at any given time.
What will event attendees be interested in browsing? How much downtime are they likely to have?
Make sure that you know the answers to these questions before committing to any field marketing campaign—especially if you’re planning to host your own.
3. Know Your Goals
How will you convert the people you meet into buyers?
The biggest challenge with field marketing is that it’s often limited to the moment. Events, especially, can be quite chaotic with attendees browsing multiple demo tables and meeting dozens of new people. You want to make sure that you keep in touch with everyone you meet in a substantial and meaningful way.
It all comes down to lead generation and lead nurturing.
Don’t force your audience to sign up for your email list. Rather, give them a clear incentive to keep engaging with and learning about your company. You never know where people will be in a few months or even a few years. Nurture relationships for the long-haul.
Nothing comes close to the value of in-person interaction. You have very few opportunities to meet and engage with your target audience. That’s why field marketing is important—it’s a practice that ensures that you’re always present and visible.
Make the most out of every opportunity by knowing your events, understanding foot traffic patterns, and establishing goals upfront. In addition to meeting great people, you’ll also want to build upon and nurture those relationships for long-term engagement.