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The Increasing Importance of In-store Data in the Field Marketing Sector
Image Credit  Matthias Ripp Creative Commons license

The Increasing Importance of In-store Data in the Field Marketing Sector

Hardly a day goes by without a field marketing agency launching a shiny innovation for checking that stores are stocking brands in the right away. They are handing their staff PDA’s, tablets and smartphones to record data and to photograph merchandising on shelves. They have launched web-based training programmes for agents and online portals where brands can see how retailers are treating their products.

Field marketing has been around for many years but its role is becoming broader and increasingly critical as retailers/brands look for:

  • Efficiency gains.
  • Improved sales in an increasingly competitive landscape.
  • Greater customer loyalty.
  • Enhanced customer experience and interaction.

With suppliers facing a reduced field force across the convenience/retail sector, the benefits of using a retail field marketing agency provides retailers with robust data that can help target their investment better, as well as targeting opportunities and category development.

Mobile technology has revolutionised the field marketing sector, and fewer devices have done it better than the tablet. Retail support services will use this technology to collect data on special promotions for customers. For example the tablet technology collects point of sale compliance data to record the location, stock availability and accurate pricing, which can make all the different to the top line sales for brand owners and retailers. This technology is transforming the industry.

The tablet technology works alongside current customer systems providing tailored in-store data vital to sales success. This covers:

  • Powerful integrated call management and mobile workforce system, that allows retail support services team to control, inform and manage the company’s field team.
  • Store visits, where data is captured straight onto a tablet, downloaded to the retail support services data warehouse every 20 minutes, creating a “real time” data solution.
  • Analysis of what makes promotions and product performance better or worse than previous reviews.
  • Pre-defined questions that are tailored for each store type, to assess compliance across promotional and core range products. These take into account every aspect, from product location and price, to the correct use of shelf labels.

Technology can essentially improve the relationship between the field marketing team and its clients. It opens up new ways of working, such as sharing live in-store insight, updating briefs in real-time and providing teams with specific action plans for each store. It will also reduce the time between identifying an issue and discussing this with retailers.

However, this technology does not change the core role of our field teams to drive in-store execution.

Innovative technology has significantly boosted the services that field marketing agencies offer. The benefit of using hand-held units means that data can be produced rapidly and accurately. You can look at a report on the same day. Before, many clients relied on paper reporting which is not an effective solution as they did not receive the information until it was too late.

83% of unplanned purchases are driven by promotions, so accurate price and clear POS is essential to attract customers.

The success of any POS implementation campaign sits with the right relationship and importantly, the right brief. The process of defining the brief needs to involve the field marketing company, as the agency has knowledge and experience that will ensure that the best team is put in place for the job.

POS execution and promotional compliance

Looking for a promotion in store has become part of a Customers shopping ritual – there are 1,000’s running at any one time, it is therefore so important that every-one involved in a promotional activity takes total accountability for their own individual step along the way.

Clare Johns

Clare Johns

Category Development Manager at eXPD8. With over 10 years field marketing experience and a number more in sales I have had the great opportunity to work for many amazing Brands and Retailers.

During this time I have seen how the industry has developed and become ever more challenging, working for eXPD8 has really changed the way I work with my clients. The investment in technology has meant that we can execute ever more exciting and creative briefs accompanied by real time reporting.  For the 1st time in my career I am working for a company that has taken away the need for paper briefs, which is both green for the environment, cheaper and more efficient for the client and easier to create internally. I know the challenging environment we work in will only become harder but with such an exciting arena to work in, it is one I will hopefully work in for many more years.

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