Ever wondered what field marketers do exactly? You’re not alone. Field marketing can be a tricky thing to define. In part, because so many field marketers seem to do it all.
In the past, field events were limited to a single geographic location and in many cases, they were a single, once-per-year affair. Back then, the term ‘field marketing’ had a fairly clear-cut definition. You have an area or “field,” and you market to it with the goal of increasing sales. Simple, right?
But the world of marketing has evolved.
Today, brand storytelling, connecting with customers, and collecting deeper account insights are all pivotal aspects of a successful field marketing strategy. And field events — whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid — have become the ultimate solution to achieving all of the above.
Let’s take a closer look at what field marketing is today, the various hats modern field marketers wear, plus proven tips to elevate your field marketing strategy.
Field marketing focuses on forging personal connections with a target audience, using experiential marketing to generate interest in a company's products, services, and brand.
On the surface level, some may view field marketing as little more than event planning in a given geographical area or “field.” Others will see it as a sales support function.
But more and more, companies are beginning to see field marketing as the complete package it really is — the sales, revenue, and brand-building function a modern marketing strategy can’t live without.
Because no matter how you define it, field marketing is crucial to a brand’s ability to connect with, educate, and convert current and future customers.
And with the corporate event marketing industry predicted to reach nearly $511 billion by 2030, field marketing is one area you can’t afford to overlook.
With technology finally making event data both attributable and actionable, field marketers are starting to claim their seat at the table — and they have a lot to juggle from day to day.
Today’s field marketer works closely with sales teams to generate and track qualified leads, craft detailed account-based marketing (ABM) campaigns, and maximize event ROI for optimal revenue impact.
In our endeavor to untangle the gray area around field marketing, we’ve connected with hundreds of leading field marketers across the globe. One of our favorite insights comes from expert Nina Butler, Senior Director of Revenue Marketing at Alyce:
The charter of field marketing is to create as many experiential moments as possible with buyers, to increase their intent sign, and to give our sales team the greatest likelihood of receiving a response. When we think about what channels are at our disposal to create those memorable moments, events are one of the ultimate ways to do it.
Part of what makes field marketing so tough to put a finger on is that it touches multiple revenue functions across the business. And while events are indeed a big part of it, they’re certainly not the only part.
For eons, the terms “field marketer”’ and “event marker” have been used interchangeably. But while event marketing can easily be a full-time role all on its own, it’s usually just one aspect of a field marketing position.
Don’t get us wrong. Event marketing is often a major part of the package — but when it comes under a field marketing umbrella, it tends to be more strategic and revenue-focused, with at least some ownership over generating or accelerating the sales pipeline.
Here are some common field marketing responsibilities that you may or may not see in an event marketing role:
Depending on an organization’s structure, it’s not uncommon to see field marketing sitting within the demand gen team.
But within that team, field marketing often plays a connective role, going beyond brand awareness and lead gen to help drive prospects through every stage of the pipeline.
A field marketer can do that by:
Field marketing isn’t the same as account-based marketing (ABM) — but it’s certainly an integral part of it.
One way to think about it is: demand gen builds prospect awareness, field marketers gather crucial account-level gems, and sales uses those golden data nuggets to provide prospects with personalized solutions that help convert them into paying customers.
All of this can happen as part of a greater ABM strategy. But for field marketers to really ace their part, they’ll need to:
Field marketers don’t exist solely to influence lead gen efforts. They’re a full-service marketing function that can also be used to keep customers happy and increase recurring revenue.
Because whether it’s accelerating product adoption, improving retention rates or building brand loyalty, field marketing touches every aspect of the sales cycle and beyond.
While not every customer marketing role has a field marketing component, it’s not at all rare to find field marketing roles where customer marketing is central.
This inevitably means more responsibilities, including:
In many organizations, field marketers have to be a jack of all trades. But they also have to be masters of those trades too.
That’s where having the right metrics to measure field marketing success is critical.
For field marketing insiders like Salesloft’s Director of Global Event Marketing Jennifer Cummings, being able to measure event success is key to the role.
“There's so much actionable data that you're getting from your platform now that can always be used more intentionally,” Jennifer explains.
“Sometimes they’re vanity metrics, like the number of people that logged on. But then there's stuff that's like, ‘Oh, I can actually do something with that — I can use this to personalize our follow-ups or improve the attendee experience.’”
If you’re looking for ways to measure field marketing success, here are some of the metrics you may want to focus on:
As you might’ve guessed by now, field marketing is a competitive world.
To make sure your field events rise above the noise, you’ll need to think outside the box with your field marketing strategies.
Start with these 10 powerful event engagement ideas to keep your attendees tuned in from beginning to end.
To discover more ways to win with field marketing, check out the many incredible successes of these inspiring field marketers. 🔥
Clearly, it’s time to redefine the role of the field marketer within your organization and give them as much agency, autonomy, and applause as you can.
By shifting your focus and viewing field marketers as the true growth levers they are, marketing and sales can tap into new revenue streams they never thought possible.