Guest blog; The fight for survival goes on

A guest blog by Andrew Mooney, field marketing client services director at Momentum Instore

When the economic crisis hit the UK in 2007 few had a clear idea about the extent of the impact it would have and how long it would take the country to recover. Well, five years later and it feels like we still have not reached a turning point. Every week long established and well-known brands and retailers fall by the wayside, with still many more struggling to keep their heads above water.

What the most organised and forward thinking brand owners have realised though, is that effective field marketing has to form an integral part of their overall marketing mix if they want to not only win the battle for survival, but also grow their business. Spending significant amounts of money on TV and press advertising is all well and good but if you can’t get the fundamentals right instore it’s a complete waste of time and budgets.

To give promotional campaigns and NPD the best opportunity to succeed products have to be on shelf, well located and clearly visible to customers when a campaign goes live. If equipped with the right information store staff can add value and sales by selling at the point of purchase.

It is essential that the excitement created through advertising and marketing activity is carried through to where it really matters – the store environment. Without a strong field sales team to help deliver this your campaign could fall at the final hurdle.

Store staff should to be educated so that they become brand ambassadors. This is important especially for new product launches, when customers will have limited knowledge of the product’s features and benefits. For certain launches, such as mobile phones, computers and gadgets, ensuring that store staff understand the product is even more critical. If they don’t know how it works there’s no way they will be able to successfully sell it to customers. Another advantage of having trained field sales representatives supporting your brand is that they can action immediate feedback from the ‘frontline’, enabling you to make changes to your campaign quickly and maximising its effectiveness. They can also identify further opportunities within stores to up weight activity, through regular visits and face-to-face contact with store managers.

Essentially field marketing professionals provide a link between a brand and the people who actually sell its products, ensuring that in this competitive environment its values, benefits and USPs reach out to customers effectively to boost sales and get the absolute maximum return from every penny spent.

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