During the holidays, many of us made a 2013 resolution list. My list includes fixing my back problem, teaching my 3-year-old to swim, attending Pilates more regularly, and the list goes on.

Based on my conversations with EMEA CMOs at organizations of all sizes and industries, one resolution consistently tops their list: Redefine the EMEA field marketing function.

Field marketing is often seen as the “execution muscle,” with a heavy focus on events. EMEA CMOs have clearly expressed the need for field marketers to become what they call a “business partner” to sales and the broader organization. A new profile is starting to emerge for the field marketing function, which shifts from:

  • A focus on events to an understanding of the buyer’s journey in its totality
  • A tactical orientation to a focus on strategic execution, meaning that field marketers need to adapt go-to-market strategies to reflect local market conditions, but at the same time they must continue to be good at execution
  • A focus on sales support (often in a reactive fashion) to a proactive search for opportunities and challenges (requiring solid analytics skills) and identification of relevant marketing strategies to address them
  • Use of local (and mainly traditional) media to mastery of new media and delivery of integrated programs that align with buyers’ needs
  • Managing local agencies to actively partnering with agencies to execute the local marketing strategy
  • This evolution will transform the field marketing function for years to come, requiring EMEA CMOs to answer the following questions: What skills are critical for the field marketer of the future? What organizational implications must be addressed to make this shift? Are new functional interlocks required?

    We are kicking off a new research project to address these questions and further develop the profile of the future field marketer. If your organization wishes to participate, feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear from you!