Tinder or Collaborative Partnerships?

What Strategic Sourcing and Vendor Management should look at in a Field Marketing Partner

Looking for a quick one-off (or an off- and-on) date with a solution provider because you might need just that one installation or tracking, the Tinder-Approach will work fairly well for you. Check potential risks - financial background and proven experience -, then swipe for your best offer. 

Achieving long-term goals and striving for long-term relationship requires a different approach, starting with fully onboarding your stakeholders. They need to be aligned behind the cause and they need to provide procurement with their best information timely (this is especially valid in a multi-country RFP). Explain that you are not taking something away from them, but that you are trying to add convenience, simplicity, value, expertise, innovation. 
In an RFI/RFP process the more information you can share with your potential supplier, the more detailed and accurate proposals and cost estimates will be. If you are looking for a field marketing provider, ask questions actually relevant to evaluate field marketing providers, - not raw goods or manufacturing (in Europe not even in the most experiential marketing activities do Field Marketers experiment with illegal pesticides in retail stores or public places). Instead ask us how we recruit people, how we communicate with them, whether and how we educate and train, whether we provide career opportunities, whether we pay our people in time and in full. Find out whether your potential partner does have transition experience (industry to vendor, vendor to vendor). Ask us, how we manage processes, how we reduce, manage and communicate mistakes, - because, yes, we work with humans. 
In case of multinational RFPs check, how we collaborate internationally, whether we really know each other face to face, whether we really have physical presence in a country, whether we have platforms and tools for knowhow exchange, whether we have a common culture. Ask us what digital tools we use and what insights we can deliver beyond documentation of our activities. Question us about how we manage local implementation.
If you did find your “perfect match”, use vendor score cards, do joint workshops with your vendors, share your goals, use and measure tangible and swayable KPIs, go for a healthy balance between fixed and performance‑based payment to create sustainability. In case of extended payment terms, keep in mind 90-120 days might be feasible in case of storable raw materials, the “commodity” of Field Marketing are trained people, who need to be paid weekly latest monthly. 
Want to read more about Field Marketing?
Download for free:
Impactful, Innovative & Interdisciplinary: Identifying Field Marketing, defined Field Marketing as being about personal interaction, with a DNA consisting of the two strands sales and marketing. These two strands are reflected both in the service range of the majority of Field Marketing agencies, as well as in modern day hybrid services delivered for example by “brand ambassadors”, providing Availability, Activation, Engagement and Implementation Insights to Field Marketing clients across all industry sectors, all sizes, locally and globally, thus making it into a billion Euro industry in Europe.
Influences, Interactions & Innovations: Framing Field Marketing , is based on the results of an online survey with 59 Field Marketing agencies from 28 countries, and delivers insights into the capabilities and services within the frame of retailers’ and manufacturers’ pre-requisites, as well as an evaluation of the impact of current developments - retail restrictions, international projects, shopper marketing, online/mobile promotions, plus crowdsourcing and other trends - on budgets and services as seen by Field Marketing Agencies.
Coming September 12th:
Innovation Integration & Implementation: A Glimpse @ the Future of Field Marketing, is taking a glimpse at future needs and requirements in a shopper centric environment powered by digitalizationand technology. Part III looks at Field Marketing as a Glocal Business, New Alliances and Strategic Partnerships, as well as Scaling Up Plus Scaling Down of services.


written by Glaeser Kerstin (16 posts)

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