RPM is achieving a reputation for high-quality brand-building in
events and roadshows, and has been chosen as field marketing Agency of
the Year. Its market has received a double hit from the economic
slowdown and the foot-and-mouth outbreak, which dampened enthusiasm for
summer events. Despite this, the agency has held on to all its clients
and won £1.2m of new business.
RPM has been promoting events as a brand-building alternative to mass
advertising. Clients such as Lipton Ice Tea and Amarula are making this
a central part of their marketing strategies. The agency has also
pioneered the industry's first brand experience evaluation model and is
campaigning for greater recognition of the value of the medium in
influencing both consumer attitudes and behaviour.
That seems to be paying off. "During the advertising downturn of the
past two months, we have never been busier with new-business pitches,"
says managing director Ross Urquhart. "It's an indication that companies
recognise the value brand experience can deliver."
The agency is now projecting growth of 30%-40% next year, from 20% in
As part of its strategy, RPM has started to work more directly with
clients, reducing its agency work from almost one-third of turnover in
2000 to less than 2%. "This has enabled us to deliver better quality
solutions and is reflected both in our results for this year and our
projections for next," says Urquhart.
The company has expanded by beefing up its senior team and opening a new
office in London. On the HR side it has brought in an imaginative new
training and incentive scheme that rewards staff who come up with
The creativity of RPM's solutions has been recognised, for instance in
the two Marketing Event awards it won for its Adidas stand at Marathon
Expo. Another example of its approach is its work for Strongbow in
creating live experiences to recruit new drinkers to the youth market.
Its "Loafing Lounge" provides a focus of activity at UK dance music
events, where festival-goers can meet, relax and sample the cider.
The lounge is designed in the style of an exclusive club, a giant
dome-like structure housing DJs, an underlit dance-floor, plasma
screens, video games and a large bar. Traffic is driven to the lounge by
teams of rocket-packers who tour the festival sites, giving out samples
"We knew we had to create something of genuine value if we were to drive
up Strongbow's credibility," says Urquhart. "The key was to provide a
memorable experience and make sure the brand was aligned with it in a
subtle, credible way."
This year RPM extended the concept to Ibiza with a 14-week "Summer of
Loaf" campaign. This included Monday night parties at Cafe Mambo with DJ
Roger Sanchez, free "sundown loafing massages" and extensive bar and
beach-front sampling. It also created a permanent Strongbow Loafing
Lounge in the backroom of the world-famous Eden club.
Almost half a million 18 to 24 -year-olds sampled the drink and,
according to research, one in four have now become regular Strongbow
drinkers. In Ibiza, the campaign has reinvigorated local sales. The
experience also secured strong press and broadcast coverage in national,
dance and regional media, including a three-minute prime-time plug from
BBC Radio One DJ Chris Moyles.
CPM has been carrying out face-to-face sampling to promote Guinness
Extra Cold, Guinness Draught chilled at a constant 4deg C and offered in
response to increasing demand for cooler beers.
CPM operatives visited 1,500 on-trade outlets across the country, in one
of the largest sampling campaigns ever mounted by the brand. The plan
was to drive traffic into the on-trade stocking Guinness Extra Cold. As
well as face-to-face sampling, consumers were involved in interactive
dice games with the chance for 12 people to win £5,000 each.
Each outlet hosted a sampler whose task was to distribute 80 "first
pint" vouchers to all male drinkers aged 18 to 34. Once most were
drinking Guinness Extra Cold, the sampler launched an interactive dice
game that could be played by everyone in the outlet, or by smaller
groups. Winners were given vouchers for Guinness Extra Cold.
A second mechanic involved two operatives entering an outlet with a
metal briefcase. They distributed combination lock codes, with the
successful code opening the briefcase to win £5,000 and free pints
of Guinness Extra Cold for everyone in the bar. All outlets were
merchandised prior to the activity by the field staff with the
announcement of a Guinness Extra Cold night.
This has been a good year for FMCG, says business development director
John Stocker. The agency is well-placed to benefit from the need for
auditing activity and has pulled in some big-name clients.
One is Post Office Counters, which displays in-store marketing material
in 12,000 post offices across the UK. Each branch regularly receives
instructions on the positioning of posters and leaflets, but these are
not always acted on, so the material is not always readily accessible to
FMCG was appointed in June to a two-year contract to check compliance,
completing a full audit every six months. About 260 staff carry out the
initial work, identifying branches that are failing to position the
material correctly and pointing out to managers the need for compliance.
A follow-up audit of these branches is then carried out.
"Point-of-sale compliance is often overlooked, but our experience is
that getting this right is an important factor in driving sales," says
"Too often the communications in-store do not receive the attention they
deserve. The result is that the medium fails at the final hurdle and the
money invested in it is lost. On many occasions, this also negates much
of the great marketing activity already in place elsewhere."
Brann Ellert has been running a business-to-business campaign for Toyota
Fleet since last year. The integrated campaign, based on classic CRM
principles, was launched with a data-acquisition exercise that saw
Toyota's prospect pool expand from 2,500 to almost 20,000 contacts.
The agency first arranged visits by a dedicated Toyota Fleet and Ellert
field-sales force. In the year to the end of September, 2,000
appointments were scheduled.
Sales representatives introduce prospects to the Toyota range, seeking
to build an understanding of their individual needs and the solutions
Toyota can provide.
All customer data gathered through the programme is fed into a central
CRM system that ranks prospects according to their position in the
buying cycle. This system enables Toyota to develop and implement
effective and fully integrated direct mail, telemarketing and
TOP 20 FIELD MARKETING AGENCIES
Rank Company Turnover 2000 Turnover 1999 %
(pounds) (pounds) change
1 CPM UK 75,303,000 56,929,000 32.28
2 Aspen Field Marketing 47,901,000 33,661,000 42.30
3 FMCG 45,518,000 36,880,000 23.42
4 Brann Ellert 40,912,000 33,055,000 23.77
5 Headcount Worldwide Field
Marketing 31,530,000 26,435,000 19.27
6 Momentum 23,383,000 14,350,000 62.95
7 FDS Field Marketing 15,853,000 10,899,000 45.45
8 Mosaic Technology UK 13,309,000 9,789,000 35.96
9 IMP Field Marketing/Face to
Face 12,074,000 10,835,000 11.44
10 Merchandising Sales Force 9,671,000 9,789,000 -1.21
11 Network Field Marketing &
Promotions Co 7,434,000 5,583,000 33.15
12 REL Field Marketing 7,400,000 5,900,000 25.42
13 RPM 7,517,000 6,186,000 21.52
14 iD 6,108,000 4,038,000 51.26
15 Pareto Marketing 5,400,000 3,800,000 42.11
16 Quest Field Marketing Services 5,183,000 4,033,000 28.36
17 Trinity Executives 4,346,000 3,571,000 21.70
18 i2i Face to Face Marketing 3,916,000 n/a n/a
19 DSPS Field Marketing 3,585,000 3,520,000 1.85
20 Creative Sampling 3,170,000 1,250,000 153.60
Source: Marketing league tables.
MERCHANDISING SALES FORCE
Merchandising Sales Force (MSF) has carried out a number of
demonstrations in Safeway on behalf of Pernod Ricard UK, promoting Soho
At the 54 stores taking part, 8,000 samples were given out. According to
EPOS data, on the Friday prior to the campaign only one bottle of Soho
Litchi Liqueur was sold in all 54 stores. On the days of the
demonstration sales totalled more than £4,000, a massive
"The demonstrators received many positive comments," says Kay Ellis, MSF
director of demonstrations. "Pernod Ricard can expect to see increased
sales following the activity, particularly during the run-up to
Despite the economic downturn, Headcount remains confident of a strong
future because companies often turn to the highly measurable activities
field marketers can provide.
One recent activity has been to monitor the top four supermarkets'
agreements with Kerry Foods. Headcount operatives have carried out
monthly audits, checking planogram, price and promotional compliance
across Wall's and Richmond sausage and bacon products. Poor compliance
figures in many cases have led to extension of the activity.
According to Kerry Foods customer marketing manager Sarah Davies, the
company employs professional auditors to ensure regular and consistent
updates. "Having reliable quantitative data is far more effective than
our team occasionally popping in to check," she says.
The company enjoys the status of category champion for its brands in
several major supermarkets. Working with retailers ensures that both the
brand and own-label perspectives are reflected and that the space and
position allocated to each product can be justified.
Return on investment can be measured to some extent in the testing phase
by checking against control stores, but otherwise results come in terms
of greater compliance with planogram agreements.
ID ran a national sampling campaign to educate consumers about the
heritage of Wyndham and Etchart Estate wines. A versatile stand in the
form of an al fresco bar was erected in front of selected Asda and
About 55,000 samples were delivered to 44 stores over six weeks. The
graphic display provided information about the wine's background and
staff trained in wine-tasting served consumers.
"The strategy of our grocery sampling campaign is to use trials of the
wines at point of purchase to drive immediate and consistent sales of
the two brands," says joint managing director Paul Soanes.
"The innovative stand and sampling method creates a dynamic and yet
relaxing environment in which to sample the wines and an excellent focal
point at the front of the store." The average uplift in sales for both
brands was more than 500% on the day of activity; one week later, growth
continued at nearly 300%. Event managers negotiated in-store presence in
the wine aisle in 75% of stores, encouraging further sales uplift.
The agency is running a new phase of sampling activity at ten Asda
stores in and around London, leading into the Christmas period. "We
expect to reach the great results that were attained in our previous
campaigns," Soanes says.
Important wins from Interbrew and Nestle have given FDS an increasing
presence in fmcg. It also expanded its work with Npower, its emphasis on
effective processes and training ensuring growing returns for the
One Npower campaign this year has involved the launch of "smart socket"
telephony. The aim is to maximise levels of domestic distribution in
specific regions by visiting consumers in their homes. Monitoring
systems have been set up to provide the client with detailed information
Recruitment and HR are handled by well-structured administration
processes, with the aim of turning contracts into orders as quickly as
Field managers are given detailed data, such as territory targeting that
helps avoid duplication and excessive travel.
Training gets great attention too, with operators given two days in the
classroom followed by on-the-job coaching. There is special emphasis on
an ethical approach, with back-checks made on at least 10% of each
"What has made this such a profitable campaign has been a constant
analysis of systems in recruiting, working practice and training," says
marketing director James Moyies.
Managing director Derek Noakes says this has been a fantastic year for
Momentum. Turnover is growing fast and the agency has acquired a number
of new clients, including Camelot, Foodbrokers and the Metropolitan
One specialism is brand experience. The agency carried out an
eye-catching activity on behalf of American Express to boost interest in
its New Green card.
To achieve this it used Amex's sponsorship of golfing champion Tiger
Woods, whose youthful, sporty and trendy profile challenges the
conservative image of the card.
The mechanic was an exhibition of the master's golfing skills in
London's Hyde Park, organised by Momentum. More than 5,000 people saw
Woods performing and talking about his experiences.
Invitations were offered via telephone hotline, ensuring data-capture
for prospective card members.
Football pitches were converted into a landscaped golf course,
surrounded by three branded grandstands. The show was hosted by
ex-England football star Gary Lineker and attended by other sporting
celebrities. Three members of the audience were offered the opportunity
to win £1m if they achieved a hole in one.
The event led to a 26% increase in the number of calls and new
acquisitions, exceeding objectives. Other effects included a 24%
boosting of brand awareness and a 25% increase in web applications. The
event also generated considerable media interest in the national press
and broadcast media, with global coverage in five large European
I2I FACE TO FACE
The £20m launch of Bird's Eye Walls frozen meal brand enjoy!, run
by i2i Face To Face Marketing earlier this year, involved what is
thought to be the UK's largest hot-food sampling campaign, reaching more
than three million people.
Twenty two teams were on the road for three months from February,
visiting multiple grocers, train stations, high streets, city centres
and key events such as the Ideal Home Exhibition.
The campaign was a complex exercise involving detailed journey planning,
control of frozen product, hot-food sampling of 13 recipes and theatre
chef demonstrations to bring the brand to life.
"We believe all brands can be effectively sampled provided you use an
agency with creativity and imagination plus strong logistical control,"
says Bruce Burnett, i2i managing director. "Combining elements such as
frozen storage and cooking with consumer communication is complex, but
it is not insurmountable."
Burnett adds: "The past few years have seen strong growth in sales of
ethnic foods, organic foods and foods that are trying to build new
market sectors. Sampling plays a key role in demonstrating and
communicating the benefits to consumers."