While the last two years have seen a spurt in digital marketing investments, brands are now looking to revive their offline marketing campaigns to counter the online fatigue. Irrespective of digital acceleration and technology advancements in the retail space, the need for personal connection and the experience of trying and buying is something that customers will always look forward to. Shopping is much more than a transaction and encompasses a wide range of experiences, from sampling to personalized interaction with a retail promoter.
As the fear of the covid-19 pandemic is subsiding down, timing is ripe for vertically integrated brands to kickstart their field marketing operations to establish direct communication with their socially alienated audience. Field marketing tactics like BTL activations, mall activations, doorstep sampling activities, and RWA/society activations will allow customers to unwind and engage with brands on a more personal level. Experiential retail marketing that drives direct sales conversations will be big in 2022, and brands have a small window to capture the market share and maximize on-shelf space. Let’s look at the field marketing trends that will help businesses maximize sales in 2022 and ahead.
In the age of online selling, door to door is a more personal and hands-on approach to retail sales. It engages customers face-to-face and gets the products directly in their hands. Brands pushing aggressively for offline activations in 2022 will leverage D2D marketing to grow their customer base, build long-lasting relationships, and sell all kinds of consumer products.
However, it is not easy to execute door-to-door marketing. Brands need a well-thought-out strategy to zero in on the promising prospects. It will help brands to be heard among the right audiences and find the right sales space in a competitive marketplace. Since door-to-door marketing is cost-effective and more targeted than any online D2C customer outreach program, smart enterprises will leverage it extensively in the future.
A common marketing strategy in the pre-pandemic era, in-store activations were rendered moot with the closing down of stores and malls worldwide. However, as the market is gradually regaining momentum, brands will look to create fresh, engaging, and immersive in-store experiences. In-store activations will be popular because it allows brands to interact and engage with customers right at the point of sale. Also, it enables customers to make informed decisions and drive repeat purchases.
Using attractive visual merchandising, price and offer promotions, and more can attract shoppers’ attention and lead them towards impulse or unplanned purchases. The entire retail marketing strategy survives on creating demands that did not exist before. Brands need to be creative in their approach to executing ROI-driven in-store activations.
Another major field marketing trend that brands will leverage in 2022 and beyond is sampling activities across residential societies, malls, and customers’ doorsteps. This is particularly beneficial among FMCG and CPG brands. Consumers worldwide enjoy samples because it allows them to try out free products. Furthermore, encouraging a trial of a product sample close to a point-of-purchase will drive high sales. This is further confirmed by a recent study which found that 35% of customers who try a sample will purchase the sampled product in the same shopping trip.
Smart brands are now looking to build engagement with customers away from the phone/tablet screen. Creating customer-centric topical pop-art installations, photo booths, or setting up brand stalls in RWA societies forges a point of contact between brands and customers. Orchestrating pop activations also deliver unique and shareable experiences to customers. It is a cost-effective medium to divulge retail entertainment at scale.
Creatively designed art installations, pop-up shops around customers’ premises will enable brands to cut through the clutter of advertisement hoardings and merchandising cacophony of malls and traditional marketplace.
There will be a significant uptake in the use of technology tools to design and execute a safe field sales service across markets. Brands will leverage health apps to keep track of the health and safety of their field sales force. Leading brands will deploy wearable social distancing and contact tracing gadgets to make physical events like trade shows and brand events safer. Furthermore, many field sales agencies are already using data-driven field force management tools to track, monitor, and assess the performance of their field sales force in real-time. Automated field sales management tools will also give them an in-depth analysis of underperforming markets and optimize their field sales strategy for improved ROI.
As businesses move past the covid-19 disruptions and customers look to unwind from 2 years of the digital rut, it is the right time for brands to execute full-fledged field sales service. They can either build an internal feet-on-street engine or leverage the services of a professional field sales agency to orchestrate a multi-pronged field sales service and maximize brand presence across key markets. Enterprises can reignite high-performing tactics like in-store activations, door-to-door marketing, and sampling activities using automated field sales management tools.