August 28, 2018

Field Marketing Team

I had the benefit of visiting an industry-leading vendor. During the day-long visit, and employee described all of the low-cost / no-cost customer acquisition activities they performed. At one point, the employee said something very interesting.
  • "It's our job to hustle and create awareness, awareness that leads to people paying us."
The vendor employee led a team that employed dozens of tactics ... tactics that might cost no money, might cost a small amount of money. But the employee recognized an important fact ... it was important to not spend much money on marketing activities in order to obtain customers who spend money on marketing activities.

When I worked at Eddie Bauer, this team was called the "Field Marketing Team". A VP led a team of Directors/Managers who were responsible for a dozen +/- stores. They'd run all sorts of local programs designed to create awareness and get customers into stores. They had virtually no budget. When you don't have money to spend, you have to become VERY creative. If the Field Marketing Team didn't "anniversary" one of their events, you'd see a 10% - 20% drop in comp store sales in a market ... and you'd have a lot of angry Store Managers.

In other words, Field Marketing works.

When I worked at Nordstrom, Field Marketing was integrated within the Marketing Department. Nordstrom spent < 2% of net sales on marketing ... an unheard of percentage in modern marketing where a catalog brand is likely to spend 30% of net sales on marketing. In other words, the Marketing Department had to HUSTLE to generate sales on a shoestring budget.

At many companies, the Field Marketing department morphed into Public Relations. And Public Relations morphed into Press Releases and #engagement via Social Media.

Hustle and Hard Work are key elements of a Field Marketing Team. In modern marketing, those key elements are sorely missing. Is it any wonder so many readers get confused when we discuss low-cost / no-cost customer acquisition programs?

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