By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
In a normal year, your field marketing team would be buried right about now. As the weather warms, conference season heats up. Events big and small dot the calendar, feeding your sales pipeline along the way.
This year of course every bit of that has been erased. And as you are likely painfully aware, losing the venue doesn’t always equate to a lower sales goal.
And to make matters even more complicated, you now have a field marketing team whose job has all but disappeared.
Just like any pivot, you have a number of opportunities to immediately transition those invaluable employees to other functions – even for just the time being.
Even employees who focus entirely on event logistics and operations can leverage those skills elsewhere.
For example, I bet most of your field marketing team doesn’t exist to put on events. That’s just the venue. Their value and expertise is in engaging, enabling and mobilizing the field – be that your sales team, broader customer-facing employees, customers and/or prospects.
If that’s the case, take this moment to challenge them to reimagine what field marketing could be. Should be. If the goal is field engagement – not just events – what else can be tried to get there?
Don’t expect them to immediately have all the answers. Give them some time and grace to brainstorm, vet, test and scale a few things. Give them the objective, minus the traditional venue and means, and see what kind of magic and innovation they come up with.
Same for improving field sales and marketing coordination. Be highly transparent and direct about what’s worked and what’s not in the past – event related or otherwise. With in-person events off the table, what else can you focus on to increase a coordinated, integrated approach to engaging target accounts?
And for those field marketers who are genius at events, put them in charge of employee events for awhile. Every company, even those that are largely distributed already, are actively searching for the right way to maintain and increase employee engagement, communication, morale and connectiveness.
That’s all gonna be virtual for a while, so why not ask your event marketers to figure out how to make the best of it? How to improve communication without killing productivity, how to maintain a team culture when everybody’s just a small image on a screen?
Field marketing is going to look different for awhile, and I bet as many companies lean into the innovation opportunities highlighted above and beyond, it’ll look far different (and better) for a long time to come.