experiential marketing agency
May 30th, 2024 | 7 min read
  • Field Marketing

Field Marketing Strategies to Maximize Impact

With all the attention, advice, and budget lavished upon digital marketing efforts and media these days, it’s easy to think of marketing as a primarily digital practice. That’s not entirely wrong; digital marketing is absolutely a necessary part of doing business today.

But unless you’re selling a strictly digital product like software — and perhaps even then! — if you want to grow your brand, you can’t dodge the necessity of connecting with customers in the real world. The way you do that is field marketing.

What Is Field Marketing?

Field marketing is the super-strategy that encompasses experiential and event marketing and a host of other activities like print and outdoor advertising. It’s essentially any marketing strategy that achieves direct, in-person interactions with potential customers to build relationships and increase sales.

Field marketing “applies many of the same principles used in digital sales and marketing strategies: personalization, relationship-building, and audience targeting and takes them out into the physical world,” explains an article on drift.com. Field marketing can take place in a variety of settings, from retail centers and business districts to college campuses and music festivals. Regardless of location, field marketing commonly incorporates tactics like product sampling, product demonstrations, oversized props, colorful stage set-style installations, and the marriage of any of these with social media and other forms of digital marketing.

Successful Field Marketing Tactics

Product Sampling

The concept behind product sampling couldn’t be simpler: Consumers who try are simply more likely to buy. People love free stuff, and some of that love transfers over to the brands who give it to them. But product sampling as a marketing tactic has some other advantages, too: it boosts brand awareness by creating a literally firsthand experience with a product; it creates a positive impression that can ultimately feed customer loyalty; and it opens a window into the consumer’s mind by allowing instant feedback about the product and the experience. For all of these reasons and more, sampling is a mainstay at trade shows, activations, pop-ups, and other field marketing events.

A successful sampling campaign is about more than just free stuff, however. It starts by clearly articulating your goals, developing a keen understanding of the target audience, and creating a solid plan for followup.

lemon perfect product sampling campaign

Product Demos

Think of product demonstrations as the complement of sampling: where sampling gives consumers a (literal) taste of your brand, demonstrations show the brand in action in the best-case scenario. A demonstration is your brand’s opportunity to show your product being used by an “expert” who is trained, has practiced, and knows how to use the product as it’s intended. Not only does this let your audience see the best possible outcome, it also sets them up for success with the product. Post-sampling or post-purchase, that will pay off in a better experience and a willingness to return to your brand again and again.

Demos also create an opportunity for brands to identify and address customer pain points, while creating memorable, positive experiences that generate brand loyalty. As a field marketing tactic, product demonstrations are a low-cost, high-payoff way to create positive awareness for your brand and its products.

amika smooth over tour mobile popup

Trade Shows and Conferences

The whole point of a trade show, expo, or conference is to connect brands with their target audience, whether indirectly or directly. Trade show attendees are receptive to new products, ideas, and brands, which is one reason “Organic opportunities arise at events and conferences,” says an article on The Vendry. “You can network with potential clients and understand their needs/challenges in real-time with real-life exchanges.… A captive audience right there with full intent and attention is irreplaceable.”

Brands can make the most of their trade show space by investing in booth designs that are immersive and interactive — that create a unique experience for attendees. Oversized props create visual excitement that pulls in visitors, while custom installations add immersive depth and create a memorable experience.

product demo at trade show

Brand Activations

A one-off event that creates a singular, memorable experience, a brand activation is live, in-person, one-to-one marketing designed to build connection between consumers and your brand. The goal: to forge a brand-customer relationship that lasts by creating a memorably positive, even magical, experience.

Activations can happen pretty much anywhere — retail centers, college campuses, public places, trade shows, conferences, sporting events, concerts, festivals, or the brand’s own establishment — and they can also be open to anyone, target specific audiences, or offer an exclusive experience to a select group of invitees. Regardless of location or format, the best brand activation for your brand is one that fits your brand — one that reflects your brand’s values, products, and style and is designed with your target audience in mind.

Axe deodorant custom branded tour bus

Social Media

An audience of billions, round-the-clock availability, affordable cost: Social media is an ideal partner for field marketing. But successfully using social media channels to amplify the reach and impact of field events like brand activations and pop-up shops is more than adding a hashtag to your promotional materials.

Build social media into your field marketing from the earliest stages by including hashtags and QR codes in the design of printed materials, swag, and signage. Create a tech-friendly environment with free Wi-Fi and charging stations, which encourage visitors to spend more time in your location. Invite visitors to share content about your activation or trade show booth, and create incentives for them to do so — user-generated content is a powerful marketing tool.

giving out free ice cream for Klondike

Street Marketing

One of the oldest forms of field marketing persists because it works: street marketing creates one-on-one interactions between brand reps and consumers that can form the basis of a lasting relationship.

Street marketing comes in many forms, from old-school street teams of brand ambassadors handing out flyers and samples to large-scale guerilla marketing stunts.

As a marketing tactic, street marketing offers several advantages for your business, whether used alone or in concert with other guerrilla marketing techniques. Street marketing is highly visible, allows for two-way conversations between your brand and prospective customers, and creates an opportunity to build brand awareness while educating consumers about what makes your brand unique. It’s also relatively low-cost and frequently generates feedback on the fly, as ambassadors have the opportunity to conduct surveys or just talk to consumers to assess how your brand is perceived and their reaction to the event.

Street teams for brand experiences

Digital & Field Marketing

Rather than considering digital marketing and field marketing as separate, siloed strategies, think of them in tandem. Digital marketing’s vast reach can help promote your brand’s field marketing endeavors, whether you’re planning a brand activation, a pop-up, a sampling event, or any other direct interaction with the public. Your brand’s digital channels can also help fill in the blanks and answer consumers’ questions generated by contact with your brand at an activation or demonstration.

Field marketing, meanwhile, can be a great way to grow your social media following: encourage likes and follows by posting your social media handles and hashtags everywhere you can — on printed pieces, on branded merch, on your custom installations, props, and backdrops. And because it’s live and in-person, field marketing creates opportunities for visitors to share their experience of your brand via user-generated content, and for your team members to interact with them directly.

Digital marketing is low-cost, ubiquitous, and constantly changing and evolving — so it’s a natural spotlight hog when it comes to brands’ and consumers’ attention. But thinking of it as an alternative to field marketing is a mistake. Build a marketing strategy that seamlessly combines the two, and watch your brand’s awareness, reach, and success grow.


Promobile Marketing is a dynamic experiential marketing agency based in New York City. For over a decade, Promobile Marketing has collaborated with a range of brands—from budding startups to major CPG brands—on immersive marketing campaigns. Get in touch to discuss your next project.