Magazine article Marketing

Gary Mac Manus: Reach - What's in a Name?

Magazine article Marketing

Gary Mac Manus: Reach - What's in a Name?

Article excerpt

Field-marketing companies worth their salt are the ones that have adapted to changing client needs, the economic environment and technological developments. The rest are mere people brokers.

There are many professions that have umbrella, catch-all titles - accountancy, law and banking, to name but a few. Subordinate to the title are many strands and variants of specialists, such as litigation lawyer, corporate lawyer and so on.

Field marketing is no different. Its areas of specialism can be captured under three headings: field sales, merchandising and experiential.

Within our sector we have a great ability to confuse our user base with incorrect use of terminology. Some agencies still differentiate their offer between 'strategic' and 'tactical', but having a long-term contract with a client to supply partor full-time people does not justify the use of the word strategic.

I wish people would stop kidding themselves and recognise that you can use the word only when at a high level, advising clients on the creation of their strategy, long-term planning and objectives. Only a few of us have attained that position.

Like most marketing disciplines, field marketing is being changed by shifting client needs, a variable economic environment and technological developments. The latter is driving the most change at a phenomenal pace, and without question is becoming a barrier to entry.

In the past, field-marketing companies delivered data, but that is not enough today. If you can't deliver the 'so what' and the solutions, then I am afraid you are going to be left behind.

Return on investment has been the buzz phrase and a theme of field marketing for several years. As a group of companies within our industry has proved, and created many algorithms to show, you can illustrate that for every pounds 1 spent, there is a return down to SKU level. …

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