Explore Field Marketing Strategy with Alyse Okumura and UnboundB2B

Trends keep changing and marketers know there is no one-size-fits-all solution for all pain points or challenges. So as we are adapting to changes, field marketing strategy can be one of the changes. To give you the comprehension, we have the insights from Alyse Okumura, who has been in the field marketing long enough to share her knowledge. This article will tell you about the meaning, significance of in-person events, ABM, and much more.
Businesses in 2024 are trying their hands on all forms of marketing strategies including field marketing strategy as well. The reason for this is the field marketing market is exhibiting a CAGR of 10.14% from 2022 to 2031.
Also, it is an experiential form of marketing that includes on-site ventures such as sampling, merchandising, product demonstrations, street promotions, and more. However, with COVID-19 and changing B2B marketing trends, in-person field marketing quickly transformed into virtual events.
We are here with another expert insight from Alyse Okumura, Director of Field Marketing at Cohesity. She leads a field marketing team and is working with them for a little over six years. Cohesity is a B2B organization based in San Jose, CA.
Here are the field marketing strategies and insights Okumura shared with UnboundB2B:

UnboundB2B: Now that we’re in a mostly post-COVID world, what does field marketing success look like now?

Alyse Okumura: Before COVID, we were in-person a lot at events that obviously shifted for folks that do trade shows and in-person activities that came to a screeching halt. We all got very comfortable hosting Zoom meetings, being hosts. I have also been in your shoes, hosting my own virtual events and recordings and trying to make sure breakout rooms work. But with post-COVID, we’re now re-evaluating, right?
Trying to figure out how we meet our customers which a lot of folks are not used to. And we are trying to re-evaluate what type of activities work to fit your customer. Engaging clients from big traders because people do like to travel. So far I know travel budgets have also been affected as well. Trying to find the right mix of activities, maybe digital advertising, content syndication, or one-on-one engagements, and doing a little bit more research.
I feel that’s the other big piece, buyers themselves have gotten more educated as well and do their own research. The integration between field marketing and digital because as someone who has a more digital demand background, I fully understand as well as support that. My role for someone who’s in your role in field marketing is to help provide that air coverage, support, and engagement from the top of the funnel leads as somebody is moving into our systems.

UnboundB2B: How has your investment strategy and program planning changed since COVID-19 as well as the current economic conditions?

Alyse Okumura: I’ve noticed a shift in vendors and their offerings, I am not sure if you and your team have noticed it. Before there used to be more in-person events, right? And they’re adding more of these options for meetings today. I remember a vendor, maybe like 10 years ago where it was speed dating. And I just thought that was very interesting and funny as nobody wants to do speed dating with a buyer.
I’ve seen more and more of that offering, there’s like a full-day, executive summit. Then afterward they will offer you one-on-one meetings with these executives and do more one-on-one matching. So that’s been interesting to see even vendors offering that. And that’s something more of what we’re, me and my peers are looking at to get in touch with these people.

UnboundB2B: Have you found yourself running more events and field marketing activities for executives than you have in the past?

Alyse Okumura: We’ve noticed, and also used our own executive. In our space, we’re in the infrastructure IT space. Therefore, using our own CISO or CTO for executive roundtables and kind of like I said, using third parties. But how do you create maybe a bespoke package of an executive roundtable to where you’re not maybe selling? You’re creating a conversation and encouraging more of that building that relationship and engagement different than, hey, let me try to sell you something. And we’ve seen much more success with that. So flipping kind of the strategy instead of selling, but more into thought-leadership, engagement, and community style.
There’s more focus on the relationship-building aspect. Because of course, when you’re in that executive level position where people are trying to sell to you at any moment. Hence, creating an opportunity and environment where leaders can speak to each other, can learn from each other about industry trends, new products, technologies, and all of that. I believe it does lend to more benefits in the long run.

UnboundB2B: Where do you think ABM fits into field marketing? Also, for clarity, is the AQL, Account Qualified Lead?

Alyse Okumura: Yes, I have seen a lot of organizations call them MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads). There are a lot of definitions out there around lead qualification and AQL is a newer one. A semi-newer one as account-based marketing has become more prevalent across a lot of our enterprise teams’ industries.
With sales, we’re all learning what account-based marketing is at our different organizations. The size of your organization, and it’s also a lot of technology tools. I did some research and there’s a platform out there called 6sense that uses AI, and every different company uses some sort of technology.
We were just talking about AQL and you know, what our prospects are doing, how are they moving down the funnel? How do you bring in, maybe what they’re searching on Google, clicking on, you know, on third-party websites? I see there are a lot of different components.
And then with field marketing strategy, one thing I love about this role is that my team is an extension of sales and that connection between marketing and sales. And so we’re sitting down with our growth marketing team and saying here’s different types of content. How do we bring that into the sales conversation or what types of content really meet the needs of those account managers? And so, versus getting activities and programs out the door, it’s much more thoughtful.

UnboundB2B: What does 2024 look like in the field marketing world?

Alyse Okumura: I wish I had a crystal ball. I think kind of just bringing it back home to what we were initially talking about with one-on-one engagement and using different tools. Especially with AI being prevalent, how do you really get in touch with your prospects and customers and encourage that engagement? If we used a third party, how do we leverage it at the best or what does the follow-up look like?
Moreover, there are not so many in-person events or lunch and learn type things. But how do you engage that person in building that relationship and kind of turning that script on the customer? We shall see, I know we’re all trying to figure it out.

Concluding Thoughts

There are a multitude of marketing strategies and with changing buying patterns and habits, it is different to boost your B2B sales. Field marketing strategy is one of the effective ways used in the pre-covid period. Since the times are changing, it is gaining momentum slowly. Watch the full episode of the podcast Real Talk Real Results with guest Alyse Okumura.
This article is an edited excerpt from the conversation with Alyse Okumura, Director of Field Marketing at Cohesity.
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Chloe Harrington

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