Magazine article Marketing

Forward Thinking Essays 2012: Field Marketing, Martin Ryan CPM (UK), Access All Areas

Magazine article Marketing

Forward Thinking Essays 2012: Field Marketing, Martin Ryan CPM (UK), Access All Areas

Article excerpt

Cloud computing presents an array of opportunities for field marketers and retailers to increase efficiency, but brands that do not embrace such technology are in danger of being left behind.

The pressure on field marketing to deliver faster, cheaper and better services is challenging outsource agencies to develop smarter solutions to drive sales.

Assuming that we have already recruited the best possible people and trained them to engage effectively with retail customers, the focus will increasingly be directed toward building communities, both internally and across retail networks.

Cloud technology is enhancing this process, allowing immediate data access, anywhere, any time. We can present everything from training materials to the latest product information, without having to provide and manage hardware and software. Groups can share insights and work together from any location, with benefits for field agents, retail staff and retail groups.

At CPM we are harnessing cloud technology to develop a complete solution to engage employees digitally at every stage of their working life. This management tool allows us to take on and induct new recruits, inspire them, target them and measure them - all via the cloud.

We're also creating a community of staff using a derivative of Twitter for field teams. Salesforce Chatter enables teams to have conversations and compare notes about responses they are receiving in-store on a daily basis.

The delivery of real-time sales data is allowing field marketers to deploy their people when and where they are most needed. Teams can instantly identify stores that are showing stock anomalies and people can be sent to locations where a problem needs to be fixed. This creates efficiencies and maximises the value of expensive human resources.

This is how savvy field marketers are moving away from low-skilled merchandise implementation to higher-skilled sales engagement - and this, too, is supported by technology that adds a whole new dimension to conversations.

CPM has been working with digital activation agency Knit to develop applications that make it possible to seamlessly communicate with people and simultaneously direct them to online activity, whether via mobile phones, touchscreens or using iPads for immediate consumer engagement.

We are rolling out rich-media-enabled tablet technology that allows sales agents to show a film or run through web-based instruction tools at any time to suit the retailer's schedule. …

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