Leading FM agency Gekko features in an article in Marketing magazine about the use of technology in the world of field marketing.
Marketers can spend all day in front of a screen checking on market research results and sales figures, but there’s nothing like getting out of the office and into stores to truly understand the way consumers shop. As novelist John le Carre warned: ‘A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.’
Tim Bedward from Epson, one of Gekko’s top clients, mentions that when it comes to selling high-ticket priced items face to face contact is still vital and that staff training in particular can really boost sales. Brands need to engage with store sales staff to make sure they understand the strong points of a product so they are enthused enough to promote it effectively to consumers. The staff – especially Christmas temps – need to be engaged just as much as the consumers.
‘Delivering practical training through iPads and interactive sessions can make a difference in how quickly your team is able to understand and immerse themselves in your company values and in the way they go forward and interact with customers,’ he says. ‘Shop floor staff are your key brand ambassadors for every consumer that enters the store. By involving an appropriate use of technology to enhance the training experience, it ensures you have an army of enthusiastic, empowered staff who build relationships with shoppers. Technology plays an invaluable role in maximising effectiveness and fostering positivity and a sense of team.’
The use of technology in training staff is helping real-world retailers fight back against the threat from online sales. This is the view of Daniel Todaro, managing director of field marketing agency Gekko, which specialises in consumer electronics. The agency worked with Epson to create a training plan for retail staff that was delivered by the field team via iPads.
This technology allows what Todaro calls a ‘one-device technology solution’ that comprises training, product presentation and demonstration materials, as well as photo capture and point-of-sale ordering. ‘Technology does not make the experience, it enhances it,’ he says. ‘Consumers (use) channels such as mobile to research, but expertly trained staff offer a level of guidance and reassurance that can give consumers confidence in their purchases that can’t be found online. People need to be at the centre of the field-marketing experience.’