What Does a Successful Field Marketing Campaign Look Like?

Posted 2 Thu Dec

We interviewed Luke, our Account Director on all things field marketing return on investment, take a look at what he had to say…

Why is it important to measure field marketing campaigns?

Ultimately, it’s essential to measure the results of the campaigns that we do because field marketing is a paid-for service. We’re sending people into stores, to physically do something, so it’s really important to measure what we’re doing, whether that’s checking compliance, merchandising products, supporting new launches, we’re there to make a difference and it’s important that we can measure that difference. The client needs to see a positive return on investment so they can see what the money they’re putting in is getting!

What can you measure and how?

The short answer is… everything! We can measure anything on the visits that we do. So obviously, it very much depends on the type of field marketing work that you’re doing and the objectives of the campaign. We set up surveys, the merchandisers can work through, and that guides them. It’s really important that that survey is built to hit the objectives of the client and that can be anything – it can be general call activities, or a checking compliance planogram and assessing if all the products are in the right position.

The client can see all of the information on live dashboards, meaning they can see exactly how we’re doing on each individual call. We can then put other information in, so when it’s sales, we can overlay that information into the dashboard so the client can see exactly the return that they’re getting. The important thing is that at the end of the campaign, to have a summary of what we’ve achieved, what the sales results are, and what some of the issues were so that we can learn for next time.  But yes… the short answer is we can measure anything and everything related to the activity!

What results matter?

I think it’s whatever matters to the client, and ourselves – there’s a lot of measurements that we put in place so that we can performance manage our teams in stores. Ultimately, the key measurement for me is sales because that’s what we’re helping the client to drive. I also think a really important one on particular campaigns is exceptional reporting – so a lot of our clients are really busy, they sometimes don’t have the time to really look through the data we’re providing. What they want to know is an overall top-level summary of how we’ve done, then also, if there are any exceptions. An exception could be a unit that we needed to build that hasn’t arrived in store, or the products haven’t been delivered. So it’s important that we get those exceptions so we can work on them. Results matter all around; we’ve got to pay back the investment that the clients made in us.

How do you decide on the right KPIs/goals?

The first thing we do is to make sure we’re really clear on the campaign objectives. We sit with the client and really run through what they want to achieve. Our (many!) years of experience can be useful here to advise the client as to the best measurements to include. At that point, once we’ve agreed on the objectives, we then look at the KPI’s and that’s the cornerstone of how we then plan the activity, so we always have the main metrics in mind. That could be how we brief the teams; whether that’s a written brief, we do lots of video briefing now, or face to face training, so they’re really clear on what the KPI’s are. They then get built into the surveys for the colleagues going into a store so they can see exactly what they’re being targeted on, and then finally that goes on to the reporting and the dashboard, so it’s really clear what we’re measuring.

How do you measure ROI?

I’m a big fan of simplicity with return on investment, so that is for every pound that a client’s spending on the activity, how many pounds worth of sales they are getting back. How you do that can be the challenge; if you have the EPoS sales data from the retailers that’s great, we can measure it straight away. Sometimes, you have to do it over a long period of time – there might be a promotional campaign, let’s say on a floor standing unit, that could be in situ for four weeks – so you have to measure the sales throughout the four weeks to look at the return. There are lots of different ways of doing it and sometimes, if there’s no EPoS available, there’s good old-fashioned counting, so counting how many products are left on the shelf so in theory, how many are sold.

Which metrics would you consider vanity metrics?

That’s a bit of a tough one! I think if you’ve got any vanity metrics in there, it can really take the colleague away from what they’re trying to do. You really don’t want to be putting things in that are going to take away from doing the job. I think it comes back to sitting down with the client, being sure of the objectives, agreeing on the metrics for every call, and if you do that correctly, you really shouldn’t be left with any vanity metrics or metrics that don’t mean much. Having said that – it is important not to just discount any metrics because these can help to build up the picture.

What does a typical field marketing report look like?

It’s sad to say this, but they excite me a little bit! I get excited by a good report. That’s because after campaigns we sit down with the client or more commonly these days, we sit down on zoom, and we’ll run through the reports. We always get really good feedback from clients on our reporting and how it looks. So, a good report for me would be firstly online, a dashboard, so that the client can look at it in live data. As soon as a campaign starts what we’ll be doing at this end is looking at those calls coming in, seeing how it’s doing. On the report itself, you’ll have various tiles, so you’ll have a graph with how many calls are completed, you’ll have your exceptions so any issues of deliveries, etc, photo galleries of the products in place, and then any specific questions or queries we’ve agreed for that particular activity. I think it’s really important then at the end of a campaign to provide summaries for the client, particularly if they’re very busy, and you want to run through the successes of the campaign. We’ll pull all the final information into a good old PowerPoint, and run through all of the activities. If it’s a regular activity then cumulative reporting is really good as well; then you can really look at how your measurements are going over a period of time, and really focus on the different areas. One thing we particularly like doing at the moment is looking at the sales data and really picking out focus stores. That can be focus stores that are high sales, big sellers so they might need more product, but it could also be low sellers – maybe their sales trend has dropped off. So we pick out those focus stores and that drives how we then set the objectives for the next business.

In your opinion what does a successful field marketing campaign look like?

Very simply, for me, hitting all the objectives that we agreed at the beginning. Obviously, if we can increase sales and get good sales data out of it and the client hits their targets, it’s important that we support that. But also, it’s always nice when we exceed expectations. The client will often have expectations or processes and if we can come away and achieve better than that, then, that’s what we’re aiming to do.

Thank you, Luke!

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