If you’re running a business, then you’ll need to ensure that your customers are aware of your existence and inclined to take advantage of it. It’s in this respect that field marketing can be enormously useful. With the help of a dedicated, specialised field sales agency, you’ll be able to get the word out about your store – and thereby maximise your sales. Let’s examine some of the ways in which such a collaboration might help accomplish this.
One of the most useful services a field marketing organisation will offer is product sampling. This technique involves giving away a small sample of your product for free, in order to demonstrate its worth. On the face of it, this technique might seem an expensive one – but it’s proven to convert potential customers into actual ones with enormous efficiency. What’s more, a sufficiently experienced and reputable field sales company will be able to deploy product sampling in such a way that the return on the initial investment is maximised. Not only will an effective product sampling campaign demonstrate the value of the product, it’ll also generate goodwill toward the company offering the freebie.
Product sampling is at its most effective when the merits of the product are self-evident. If you go for a wander in your local supermarket, for example, you might encounter a stand where small, probably sweet, treats are being handed out. The same virtue can be ascribed to other, non-edible products like washing powders – and such problems can be posted through letterboxes without worry.
In order to product sampling campaigns to be maximally effective, they should be targeted. Seek out those customers who are statistically likely to buy the product in question, or who have already displayed an interest in the product. That way, you’ll stand the best chance of generating a conversion. A specialist marketing agency with a large body of research to draw upon will be at an advantage in this regard.
As well as simply presenting customers with the product in question, you might consider demonstrating it in a public place. A specialist company, again, will be better equipped to do this, as the skills necessary to persuade people that a product is useful take time and practice to acquire. A product demonstration might be carried out at a public place, like a trade show, or, increasingly, via online video-sharing websites like Facebook and YouTube. Increasingly, media (and particularly video media) is being consumed via the internet, and so investing in the latter sort of marketing is likely to be increasingly effective
If you’re the owner or manager of a retail outlet, whether it’s online or physical, then you’ll know that customer service is imperative. Experiences of poor customer service will almost certainly be related from one person to another, and so the bad smell of your terrible service will spread throughout your potential clientele. Bad customer service, however, is a great deal like bad breath: you won’t be able to do anything about it until someone tells you that you have it.
That’s where a mystery shopper comes in. This anonymous person will enter your site and collect information on how well it’s performing. They’ll fill out a questionnaire, which you’ll help to devise. This will allow you to examine specific aspects of your business, and establish areas for improvement. This information will be invaluable when it comes to future decision-making.
A retail audit is much the same as a financial audit, in that it’s an examination of your company’s fitness. Instead of examining the finances, however, a retail audit will focus on the front end of your shop, and how effectively it’ll convert potential customers into actual ones. It’ll identify flaws, and recommend ways in which those flaws might be addressed.
There are several reasons why one might enlist the aid of an outsider to conduct a retail audit. Firstly, they’ll be more familiar with the way in which the exercise might be completed, making them better able to anticipate and circumvent problems and ensure that the whole process proceeds as smoothly and as thoroughly as can be. Secondly, they’ll have access to technologies which will help them, like tablet computers and bespoke software. Thirdly and perhaps most importantly, they’ll have no incentive to distort their findings – ensuring the information gathered is accurate. This impartiality will be especially crucial if the business is ever a part of takeover or merger negotiations, and a guarantee of its effectiveness is desired.