The field marketing league tables look somewhat different this year, due to the passing of new corporate governance legislation - the Sarbanes-Oxley Act - in the US. To protect themselves from possible infringements, US marketing groups have decided to prohibit any of their subsidiaries from releasing financial information.
This means that five agencies - Arc, CPM, Ellert, Headcount and Momentum, all in last year's top ten - are now placed in a separate group without rankings.
Another major change is the demise of Mosaic, formerly FMCG, toward the end of last year. The loss of one of the industry's biggest players was a shock, although tempered by the knowledge that it was not due to any cooling toward field marketing services, but rather the problems of the agency's Canadian parent.
Most field marketers can claim to be suffering less than some other marketing sectors. Among the agencies that declared income this year and last, very few reduced their turnover, and the average increase was 26%.
That is on a par with overall growth in the years before the slowdown and shows a marked improvement over the 7% increase among non-US- owned agencies recorded in 2001. The 2001 figure did not include Sira, a large direct selling operation that grew rapidly from a standing start and whose inclusion would have raised the figure to 17%.
Growth of 26% is unlikely to stand for the industry as a whole, since the larger agencies - including those missing on account of Sarbanes-Oxley - will have been lucky to reach double figures in terms of turnover increase.
But business does seem to have picked up significantly, and there is little sign of the distress voiced by counterparts in other marketing disciplines, such as PR and direct marketing. Many agency heads say there is no shortage of pitches and some have never been busier.
Merchandising and auditing activity are at a premium, with FMCG and home entertainment brands concerned that their products are often not available in stores (see page 39).
"Companies recognise there is a problem in supermarkets," says Nick Fennell, managing director of Archway Management. He points out that Heinz, Kimberly-Clark and other leading brands are using field marketing for the first time to ensure retailers comply with negotiated stock agreements, a welcome development.
The buzz around experiential marketing shows little sign of abating, with the term 'brand experience' becoming an integral part of most marketer's vocabulary. Some newcomers to the table, such as The Works London and Professional Exhibitions, specialise in this activity.
CPM, which topped the league table in 2001 with turnover of nearly £57m, claims double-digit growth on last year. Managing director Mike Hughes believes this is a better performance than many agencies in other disciplines have been able to achieve. With significant signs of recovery in the US, he hopes the worst of the slowdown has passed, although it will take the rest of 2003 to work through.
The agency is carrying out projects for clients such as Manchester United, Camelot, BT and public sector organisations in consulting, as well as telemarketing and salesforce activity. Its consulting business has tripled this year. "We want to be seen as thinkers as well as doers, so are pushing hard there," Hughes says.
One reason for building that side of the business is a concern that supermarkets might muscle into the merchandising and auditing business. Some multiple retailers realise fixing problems at store level is a big business and offers them opportunities for extra income, Hughes suggests.
An argument against such a development is the fundamental lack of trust between manufacturers and retailers, with brands unwilling to let go of independent auditing. Although wanting to retain this kind of work, Hughes is now looking to reduce CPM's exposure in this area to minimise the threat from supermarkets.
Price pressure is having a stimulating effect on CPM's syndication business, with clients cutting costs by sharing merchandising and auditing visits with other companies. That trend is likely to continue for at least another two years, Hughes predicts.
Ellert Field Marketing, too, has seen growth in its syndication service, which has gained as many as 40 clients in the past 18 months and doubled in size in two years. The agency has 1000 field staff involved in syndicated services at any one time, working in both supermarkets and independents.
Managing director Kathryn Smith attributes the success partly to the fact that this team is constantly in touch with the target retailers.
"We know the store managers by first name and are familiar with procedures, which counts for a lot," she says.
Smith sees general signs of growth in retail and tactical divisions, particularly the major grocery multiples. "The service is certainly moving up the value chain," she says. One of Ellert's biggest tactical clients is Britvic, whose launch of Freekee Soda recently involved visits to 33,000 independent outlets within five weeks.
Momentum has had a good year, which managing director Derek Noakes partly attributes to a decision three years ago to get out of utilities, avoiding exposure to the market's downturn. Wins include L'Oreal, Food Brokers and Nike.
Noakes is keen to promote the idea of 'through-the-line' activity, with field marketing offered together with sales promotion, events and sponsorship.
This is driven by its relationship with McCann-Erickson, with new business coming through contacts with clients via other channels. One is American Express, for which it is carrying out pan-European activity.
Integration can also help provide consistency. "In the past, brands have had memorable TV ads, but what happened in-store was not connected to it at all," Noakes says.
Headcount has been in the spotlight this year, and not always in a good way. The agency has finally passed into the hands of WPP as a result of Cordiant's much-publicised difficulties. WPP chairman Sir Martin Sorrell recently said many companies believe that up to 80% of brand decisions are now made in-store, which suggests that acquiring a top field marketing agency was an important element in the group's calculations.
However, Headcount lost two major accounts last year, American Express and ITV Digital, for which it had been recruiting new accounts, significantly reducing its income. "A lot of projected strategic spend was stopped, and some test exercises that can lead to huge strategic work were halted," says Lynda Edge, Headcount's commercial director.
Yet business has picked up over the past four months, Edge adds, with pitches for both strategic and tactical activity. Compliance in supermarkets remains a major issue, and the agency has been handling merchandising and auditing activity for a number of FMCG brands, as well as sampling and roadshow campaigns.
Toward the end of 2002, the situation for FDS Group had rarely looked better. Used to expanding by 30% to 40% year on year, it was poised for similar growth and had the extra fillip of winning Marketing's Field Marketing Agency of the Year award.
The bright outlook was all the more remarkable for having apparently overcome the effects of a fire that devastated its Whitstable headquarters during the summer. However, its plans were knocked sideways by the long-term effects of the incident.
The speed with which the company adjusted, moving its data and systems to alternative premises, led it to underestimate the amount of management time that would have to be devoted to insurance issues and reassuring anxious clients.
"The fire itself made no real difference, but it created a nervous atmosphere," says group chairman Alison Williams. "New business development went on the back burner while we nurtured the existing accounts."
In the circumstances, Williams, who also chairs the Field Marketing Council, is comfortable with the group's overall growth of 8%, with several new wins and the benefits now coming through of recent wins such as KP and Asda.
The agency has also continued to do well from existing clients such as Lever Faberge, for which it supported the launch of Sunsilk's Frizz Control Cream. FDS distributed a million samples over 20 days, using branded scooters to drive around 35 towns.
The agency's utilities business fell last year, but field marketing, which has been separated under the management of James Moyies, showed a healthy 30% growth.
Moyies reports that for much of the past 12 months, tactical work has been weak, with a lot of decisions put on hold. Yet there has recently been a bounce back. "Some people have held off for a couple of years, but they can't do that forever," he says.
In the longer term, FDS expects to do well from recent diversification around a data capture and reporting system called Matador, and an Australian change management programme that it has used to improve its own development processes.
Two years ago DSPS bought Quest, a larger company whose name it adopted.
In March it acquired the merchandising arm of Arc Field Marketing in Cirencester, retaining Philip Cottier, who headed that section, as sales and marketing director. Having almost quadrupled in size in little more than 20 months it has now renamed itself the brand company.
Path to growth
Managing director Gareth Onions sees credible scale as the route to success, but during a slowdown it is hard to achieve this other than by a process of acquisition. With his background in finance, the complexities involved in this process are less daunting than they might be to other agencies.
The brand company has been broadening its client base, increasing its activity in publishing and other sectors.
"Now we have all the people and infrastructure we need to grow, and are well-placed to handle any contractual arrangement up for review," Onions says. "Remaining independent means we can respond quickly."
The demise of Mosaic has released a storehouse of talent into the market, and it is not sitting idle. One product of the break-up is Field Sales Solutions, a new agency with Mike Cottman as chairman and Kate Carr as managing director.
Steve McQuillan, Cottman's long-term business partner, is also involved as co-founder and non-executive director. All parted from Mosaic some time before its troubles developed, so were not involved in the events that led to its collapse.
The agency got off to a good start at Christmas, and now owns the old FMCG building in Thame, Oxfordshire. It is funded largely by Cottman's and McQuillan's own capital, and turnover is already running at £5m a year. Cottman expects this to reach double digits within three years, a phenomenal rate of growth.
One tactic is to have HR, field recruitment and finance directors with blue-chip reputations in the industry in place from the start. "Most get the clients first, whereas we have gone for the complete infrastructure," Cottman says.
One early client is Cadbury. The team has had a relationship with the company for many years. Coca-Cola has made a small beginning, which Cottman hopes will grow, and the agency is doing significant work for Exxon. Cottman hopes to create new areas of business as FMCG did with its Prudential cash collection.
"With so many field marketing companies around there is a need for some innovative thinking," he says. One plan is to grab a slice of the big public sector contracts being won by government management services companies such as Capita. "Small agencies can't hope to be tied to government in the way they are, but can coat-tail those relationships to offer their own services," he says.
Another start-up with a Mosaic background is Gekko, jointly managed by Daniel Todaro, former client services director of Mosaic Technology, which specialised in IT merchandising, staff training and face-to-face demonstration.
Todaro helped set up the new agency to re-occupy this niche, and it has successfully completed its first full year.
This is an important market, with companies such as Logica having no fewer than 86 products and variants on the market, requiring not only the monitoring of stock, but also educating retail agents and consumers about how the devices work.
Getting clients in the trough of the IT recession has been tough, but Todaro is upbeat about the prospects. "Agencies have to work a lot harder to justify the spend," he says. "But there is money out there, and if you can put together creative solutions for a brand, the budget is available."
One reason some agencies are seeing an increase in one-off tactical campaigns is the squeeze on budgets and rationalising of staff in client companies.
However, there can be something of a dilemma here for field marketers.
"This type of activity is profitable, but you do not have the comfort of a contract and are therefore more susceptible to economic winds of change," says David Louis, managing director of The Blue Water Agency.
Louis' solution is to take the middle ground and negotiate contract work that runs throughout the year - what he describes as "part-time retained work". Both parties seem comfortable with this approach, he says.
Louis also notes a growing shift in decision-making from marketers to financial directors and board members. And instead of rosters made up of several field marketing agencies, companies are now prefer to work with just one, to maximise consistency and enable greater synergy with other marketing activities.
Such pressures have spurred the agency to adapt and streamline its operation, with improved in-house systems, and an increased emphasis on field staff in terms of selection, briefing, training and supervision. That has enabled it to offset inevitable losses in the downturn, with useful wins such as Nokia, the Post Office and Philips Lighting.
Integration is a big theme with major agencies, but some smaller ones have also been looking at ways to maximise the effect of their field marketing operations with other disciplines.
LoewyBe, rebranded from MHP, has been using direct marketing and PR to back up its £1m sampling campaign for cereal and snack food firm Jordans to drive traffic to stores, using freelancers to run those elements. "It's not a question of an agency wanting a bigger slice of the pie, but of looking to maximise the budget," says managing director Sharon Richey. She sees the line between marketing disciplines continuing to blur.
SMC Field Marketing has found a useful market for retail testing, taking over the contributions hitherto handled by other agencies in designing, carrying out research programmes and implementing the results in-store.
It has recently worked with a major soft drinks manufacturer to carry out in-store tests on varieties of pack design and position to optimise sales.
"There is an opportunity here to blend the traditional elements of field marketing with research skills to offer a complete testing solution," says managing director Andy Shipton. He also reports an increased demand for mystery shopping services, which is becoming more specialised and now often includes covert videoing of customer interactions with staff.
A growing trend is for sales promotion agencies to extend their offer with field marketing. This has proved successful for Lime, an offshoot of Triangle, which in its second full year of trading has achieved growth beyond its expectations. "Clients in sectors other than FMCG are seeing face-to-face activity as an opportunity - for instance, retailers and public sector organisations," says managing director Nick Adams.
One client is John Lewis Direct, for which the agency has won customers from the youth market by setting up gaming competitions, raising awareness of the johnlewis.com web site.
Adams reports that clients are looking for short-term delivery of results, with clients wanting an effect on sales within eight weeks. "Face to face can turn things around that quickly and show impact on a short- term basis," he says.
Almost without exception, experiential agencies note a major concern among clients with the evaluation of results and return on investment.
"Too often agencies are getting away with measuring the effectiveness of a campaign purely by reporting on the number of consumer contacts or samples distributed," Adams argues.
However, ambitious agencies such as Lime, iD and The Works are putting methodologies in place for delivering this. Some, such as RPM, are developing their own systems, and others are hiring researchers to quantify results, as PromostaffUK is with ACNielsen.
The steady growth of experiential activity is one of the key trends of below-the-line marketing, with a recent survey highlighting the importance to marketers of the concept of brand experience. Nearly 70% said it was relevant or highly relevant to their sector and almost all planned to spend at least as much on brand experience as in the past 12 months.
The research was commissioned by RPM, the largest of the experiential specialists, which after a slight dip last year has resumed its rapid growth. In the first five months of 2003, the agency won 12 clients worth more than £2m, including Martini, Weetabix and Grand Marnier.
RPM continues to value its independence, which managing director Ross Urquhart says has contributed to a number of new business wins from clients keen to work with an agency unconstrained by parent or group pressures.
One effect of economic pressures is that brands are more interested in achieving sales from experiential campaigns than in brand-building. "The emphasis is more on short-term volume targets, which means you need to be cleverer in your creative to achieve cut-through," Urquhart says.
Recent campaigns have included the launch of Hot Noodle, for which the agency used a Russian roulette-style drinking game in student bars, and a sampling exercise for Martini aimed at women, creating an Italian piazza at consumer exhibitions.
Grocery brands remain big users of face-to-face activity, with campaigns such as Mini Cheddars, in which a group of builders suddenly became talented circus performers in front of an unsuspecting public.
Two teams of eight 'builders', played by RPM staff, set up workmen's tents in city centre high streets. Periodically, they performed individual feats such as juggling with packs of Mini Cheddars, bouncing on pogo sticks and hula-hooping, while handing out samples.
"Experiential events have become the latest marketing fashion, but they are here to stay because they generate sustained long-term purchasing by consumers," says Ben Pincus, managing director of The Works London.
Earlier this summer The Works promoted Waitrose own-label drinks brands at the Hampton Court Music Festival. The agency used a bar branded with unusual design and light effects, and drinks served by actors to make it a memorable experience.
Experiential marketers too are looking at ways to increase the effectiveness of campaigns by broadening to other disciplines. At Carbon Marketing, which has rebranded from First People, client services director Scott Desborough recommends that different mechanics be used to prolong the initial impact.
"What you often get is a lovely day out for all concerned, followed by a spike in sales but no long-term improvement," he says. "To improve on that we prefer to use all the relevant elements of the marketing mix." That might mean capturing data and following up with a direct marketing campaign, using mail, e-mail and SMS, and also offering sales promotion vouchers.
Relatively few UK agencies carry out significant overseas activity, although those that do are stepping it up. CPM International has associates in most major countries, including Russia and China, and some in South America.
Significant exceptions are India and Japan, a gap it is looking to fill, as well as Eastern Europe, where it will move more slowly.
The agency aims to share best practice, particularly in less-developed areas. For instance, it has shared its internet reporting skills with associates in countries such as Russia.
The international sector is growing, although some markets are easier than others, says Tom Preece, chief executive of CPM International. Germany, in particular, is difficult during a serious downturn. "But the important thing is that the multiple brand owners have recognised the importance of face to face," he says. While the UK still leads in terms of scale and sophistication, other countries such as France are catching up quickly.
Genuinely pan-European campaigns are still unusual, with most activity initiated by individual countries. A notable exception this year was Momentum's work for Stella Artois, reprising the lager brand's successful UK outdoor film screenings in Croatia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. This involved the creation of a premium outdoor cinema, together with bars where movie-goers could relax with a chilled beer.
A total of 34 events have been planned for the summer, managed centrally by the agency's event marketing team in the UK. "Momentum helped us create the ideal conditions, not only to improve brand awareness but also to drive trial and increase sales," says Ann Vereecken, global brand manager for Stella Artois.
Momentum also ran a competition in Europe on behalf of American Express, as part of a two-year sponsorship deal with MTV Networks. The prize was an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona, with VIP tickets to the awards ceremony in the Palau Sant Jordi. The agency handled the logistics and delegated the management of 100 prize winners.
The rapid growth of the UK sector is a worry to some, with fears that a lack of standards among some agencies offering field marketing is giving the industry a bad name. "There are too many tin-pot agencies that think face-to-face campaigning just means dressing a few people in branded T-shirts and giving out samples," says Tracey Wills, client services director at PromostaffUK.
Bad experiences put clients off field marketing, and encourage them to turn instead to PR and advertising agencies with whom they have trusted relationships. Partly for this reason, Wills estimates that nearly a third of PromostaffUK's work comes through agencies that work directly for FMCG brands, a proportion she would like to see reduced in favour of direct relationships.
Yet Paul Ephremsen, managing director of iD, is convinced companies that know what they are doing will avoid the johnny-come-lately agencies and choose those with experience. "The value of the key players lies in their staffing expertise," he says. "They are able to build a unique database of field staff and develop relationships over a number of years." Knowledge of venues and excellent reporting technology also count for a lot, he adds.
Quality of staff plays an important role in what is pre-eminently a people business. An agency's ability to field staff with selling skills and empathise with consumers can be an important element in its success.
Archway's Fennell notes that many are starting to upgrade their staffing standards, and positions that a few years ago would have been held by part-timers are now being filled by well-qualified full-timers.
"There is a need to provide the right service to the right customer," he says. "The big FMCG contracts are being handled by a broader spread of teams, showing more flexibility to clients' needs instead of one size fits all."
For instance, it requires different skills to talk to a supermarket regional manager than an individual store manager or the owner of a corner shop. Flexibility gives agencies a potentially bigger share of the client's cake.
The increasing load of employment legislation continues to be a challenge for a sector with very large field forces, although one that most insist they can handle. There have been particular worries around the proposed Agency Workers Directive, which would give part-timers rights to the same pay and conditions as full-time staff. If passed, the law would prove a big administrative burden, as a typical agency has some staff who work 20 days a month and others who do a mere eight hours.
"The price for being compliant adds 20% to the staffing cost, and clients are not by and large willing to absorb this cost," says Anthony Mauder, business development director of ODM, a financial services specialist with clients such as American Express, Morgan Stanley and HBOS. But an agency that strives to be ahead of the field in its treatment of staff can gain competitive advantage, he adds.
Clearly there is a job here for the Field Marketing Council (FMC) to lobby against the proposals and educate those responsible in the likely effects. These are activities in which the Direct Marketing Association, of which the FMC forms part, has extensive experience.
"It is the lack of understanding about tactical employees that leads to the most difficulties," says FDS's Williams. "This type of employee is neither permanent, part-time nor temporary in the European Union definition, and this makes it difficult for field marketers to correctly administer some of its proposed rulings."
On the business side, this has been an encouraging year, with agencies performing robustly and taking full advantage of their ability to offer bottom-line results. And the view, widely expressed in recent years, that field marketers are among the best-placed of all marketing disciplines to weather a slowdown would seem, by and large, to have been confirmed.
TOP FIVE FOR GROWTH, LARGER AGENCIES
Rnk Agency Turnover 2002 Turnover 2001 %
(pounds) (pounds) change
1 PromostaffUK 6,852,000 2,464,000 178.08
2 The brand company 8,900,000 5,170,000 72.15
3 SMC Field Marketing 3,412,000 2,324,000 46.82
4 The Works London 5,829,000 4,065,000 43.39
5 Marketing Dynamic Int'l 3,909,000 2,839,000 37.69
TOP FIVE FOR GROWTH, SMALLER AGENCIES
Rnk Agency Turnover 2002 Turnover 2001 %
(pounds) (pounds) change
1 NOP Field Marketing 604,000 117,000 416.24
2 Capital Event Marketing 2,070,000 884,000 134.16
3 Stradbrooke Marketing 1,200,000 650,000 84.62
4 Link Communication 1,420,000 890,000 59.55
5 Lime 2,100,000 1,500,000 40.00
TOP FIELD MARKETING AGENCIES 1-31
Rnk Agency Turnover Turnover %
2002 (pounds) 2001 (pounds) change
1 FDS Group 18,024,000 16,649,000 8.26
2 Sira Group 16,500,000 12,297,000 34.18
3 REL Field Marketing 9,300,000 8,400,000 10.71
4 The brand company (prev.
Quest Field Marketing) 8,900,000 5,170,000 72.15
5 RPM 8,520,000 6,806,000 25.18
6 The Russell Organisation 7,400,000 6,600,000 12.12
7 PromostaffUK 6,852,000 2,464,000 178.08
8 iD 5,960,000 5,600,000 6.43
9 Trinity Executives 5,912,000 4,363,000 35.50
10 The Works London 5,829,000 4,065,000 43.39
11 ODM 4,600,000 4,300,000 6.98
12 Carbon Marketing
(previously First People) 4,002,000 3,368,000 18.82
13 Marketing Dynamic Int'l 3,909,000 2,839,000 37.69
14 SMC Field Marketing 3,412,000 2,324,000 46.82
15 PMI FM 3,200,000 2,400,000 33.33
16 QSMP 2,900,000 2,900,000 -
17 Professional Exhibitions 2,813,000 3,209,000 -12.34
18 Sure Field Marketing 2,805,000 2,468,000 13.65
19 The Blue Water Agency 2,698,000 2,498,000 8.01
20 LoewyBe (previously MHP) 2,670,000 1,949,000 36.99
21 Lime 2,100,000 1,500,000 40.00
22 Capital Event Marketing 2,070,000 884,000 134.16
23 Zoo People 1,875,000 1,783,000 5.16
24 Raisley 1,760,000 2,326,000 -24.33
25 Gekko Partners 1,467,000 - -
26 Link Communication 1,420,000 890,000 59.55
27 Stradbrooke Marketing 1,200,000 650,000 84.62
28 The UK Field Mktng Co 784,000 747,000 4.95
29 MBA Field Marketing 723,000 - -
30 NOP Field Marketing 604,000 117,000 416.24
31 NMS (UK) 463,000 447,000 3.58
Rnk Agency HQ:field Additional % contract
staff overseas vs tactical
1 FDS Group 107:1689 - 81:19
2 Sira Group 100:850 - 100:0
3 REL Field Marketing 65:1500 - 80:20
4 The brand company (prev.
Quest Field Marketing) 50:1000 - 50:50
5 RPM 55:2800 - 99:1
6 The Russell Organisation 120:67 - 90:10
7 PromostaffUK 20:n/a 957,000 25:75
8 iD 52:3400 - 15:85
9 Trinity Executives 20:385 - 70:30
10 The Works London 25:n/a - 50:50
11 ODM 25:350 - 70:30
12 Carbon Marketing
(previously First People) 25:n/a - 10:90
13 Marketing Dynamic Int'l 14:60 - 65:35
14 SMC Field Marketing 16:195 150,000 70:30
15 PMI FM 40:2500 - 50:50
16 QSMP 15:210 - 48:52
17 Professional Exhibitions 32:20 145,000 80:20
18 Sure Field Marketing 15:n/a - 85:15
19 The Blue Water Agency 12:100 - 50:50
20 LoewyBe (previously MHP) 18:125 - 45:55
21 Lime 10:60 - 80:20
22 Capital Event Marketing 15:3500 - 60:40
23 Zoo People 19:600 - 58:42
24 Raisley 6:173 - 25:75
25 Gekko Partners 10:49 - 70:30
26 Link Communication 12:700 - 25:75
27 Stradbrooke Marketing 7:25 - 90:10
28 The UK Field Mktng Co 7:250 - 40:60
29 MBA Field Marketing 5:50 - 60:40
30 NOP Field Marketing 7:n/a - 60:40
31 NMS (UK) 4:50 - 60:40
1 FDS Group
Founded 1981, privately owned. Group chairman Alison Williams, MD
field marketing James Moyies, MD direct sales Keith Tate.Clients
include T-Mobile, MBNA, Interbrew UK, Npower. Member of FMC.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.fds-uk.com
2 Sira Group
Founded 2002, privately owned. Chairman George Milford Haven, MD
Vip Amin. Clients include London Electricity, Scottish Power.
3 REL Field Marketing
Founded 1995, privately owned. CEO Patrick Rooney, divisional MDs
Phil Taylor, Terry Blake. Clients include Waitrose, Ferrero,
Morrisons. Member of FMC. E-mail email@example.com; web site
4 The brand company (prev. Quest Field Marketing)
Founded 1983, privately owned. MD Gareth Onions, commercial
director David Webb. Clients not given. Member of FMC. E-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.thebrandcompany.co.uk
Founded 1993, privately owned. MD Ross Urquhart, directors Hugh
Robertson, Lee Farrant. Clients include HP Bulmer, Unilever,
Adidas. E-mail email@example.com; web site www.rpmltd.com
6 The Russell Organisation
Founded 1982, privately owned. CEO Rob Allen, MD Keith O'Loughlin.
Clients include Honda, Orange, BMW. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
web site www.russellorg.co.uk
Founded 2001, privately owned, subsidiary of Jump. Chairman
Barnett Fletcher, MD Linda Denne, client services director Tracey
Wills. Clients include Sainsbury's, Vodafone, Nestle. E-mail
email@example.com; web site www.promostaffuk.com
Founded 1994, privately owned. MD Paul Ephremsen, director Paul
Soanes, board director Nicola Roberts. Clients include Lever
Faberge,Unilever Bestfoods, Philip Morris, Seat, Tetley. Member of
FMC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.idinfo.com
9 Trinity Executives
Founded 1989, privately owned. Joint MDs Sally Anderson, Sheila
Lyons. Clients include Imperial Tobacco, Sara Lee, Reckitt
Benckiser, Wyeth. Member of FMC. E-mail email@example.com;
web site www.trinitygroup.co.uk
10 The Works London
Founded 1997, privately owned. MD Ben Pincus, client services
director Clare Foot. Clients include SAP, Coca-Cola GB, Canon
Europe. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site
Founded 1999, privately owned. Chairman Antony Lane, MD Simon
Dawes, business development director Antony Mauder. Clients
include HBOS, Sainsbury's Bank, American Express, Morgan Stanley.
Member of FMC. E-mail email@example.com; web site
12 Carbon Marketing (previously First People)
Founded 1996, privately owned. MD Wendy Hooper, client services
director Scott Desborough. Clients include Alpro (UK), Quaker,
Nestle UK. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site
13 Marketing Dynamic International
Founded 1991, privately owned. MD Paul Narraway, client services
director Mel Redman, operations director Ann Buckingham. Clients
include NTL, Warner Brothers, Carnival Cruise Lines, Tchibo, The
Link. E-mail email@example.com; web site www.mdi-ltd.co.uk
14 SMC Field Marketing
Founded in 1999, privately owned, MD Andy Shipton, client services
director Janet Birkmyre. Clients include Barclaycard, Citigroup,
Littlewoods, MBNA, Tesco. Member of FMC. E-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.smc.co.uk
15 PMI FM
Founded 1991, privately owned. MD Gail Tunesi, client services
director Emily Larcombe, business development director Laurence
Stone. Clients include Samsung Electronics, Walkers, Universal
Studios. E-mail email@example.com; web site www.pmifm.co.uk
Founded 1993, privately owned. Chairman Graeme Carpenter, MD
Julian Bull. Clients include Gallaher, Coors, KLM. Member of FMC.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.qsmp.co.uk
17 Professional Exhibitions
Founded 1989, privately owned, subsidiary of JH Austin Group. MD
Jonathan Austin, client services directors Justin Isles, Neil
Austin. Clients include Peugeot, Nissan, William Lawson (Dewars).
E-mail email@example.com; web site www.pro-ex.co.uk
18 Sure Field Marketing
Founded 1997, privately owned. MD Richard Finch. Clients include
20th Century Fox, Mirror Group Newspapers, Canon UK. Member of
FMC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.surefm.co.uk
19 The Blue Water Agency
Founded 1996, privately owned. MD David Louis, client services
director Raj Nagji, financial controller Rachael Lindsay. Clients
include Diageo, Nokia, Post Office. Member of FMC. E-mail
20 LoewyBe (previously MHP)
Founded 1985, privately owned. Chairman Bryan Wilsher, MD Sharon
Richey, client services director Lynette Baer. Clients include
McCain Foods, Procter & Gamble, The Jacob's Bakery. Member of FMC.
E-mail email@example.com; web site www.loewybe.com
Founded 2001, subsidiary of Publicis Groupe SA. Chairman Kevin
Twittey, MD Nick Adams. Clients include Transport for London,
Cadbury, Diageo. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site
22 Capital Event Marketing
Founded 1998, privately owned. Chairman Mark Jackson, MD Paul
Cowpland, client services director Kevin Harbut. No clients given.
E-mail email@example.com; web site
23 Zoo People
Founded 1997, privately owned. CEO Fay Branch, MD Martin Kiddle.
Clients include Beverage Brands, Ernest & Julio Gallo, Total Home
Entertainment. Member of FMC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web
Founded 1999, privately owned. Chairman/MD David Foster, client
services director Grant Finney. No clients given. Member of FMC.
E-mail email@example.com, web site www.raisley.com
25 Gekko Partners
Founded 2002, privately owned. Partners Amanda Poxton, Angela
Rosier; Daniel Todaro, Aly Kassam. No clients given. E-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.gekko-uk.com
26 Link Communication
Founded 1997, privately owned. MD Joel Kaufman, client services
director Rachael George. Clients include TK Maxx, Guardian &
Observer Newspapers, Rover MG. E-mail
email@example.com; web site
27 Stradbrooke Marketing
Founded 1998, privately owned. MD Mike Francis, client services
director Jane Francis. Clients include MBNA Europe, Citi
Financial, Professional Golfers Association. E-mail
28 The UK Field Marketing Company
Founded 1999, privately owned. MD Bobby Collins. Clients include
Burton's Foods, Procter & Gamble UK, British Sugar. Member of FMC.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.ukfm.co.uk
29 MBA Field Marketing
Founded 2002, privately owned. MD Michael Bouchier, client
services directors Nickie Ostacchini, Theresa Albon. Clients
include Alvern Media, Sony, Innocent Drinks. E-mail
email@example.com; web site www.mbafieldmarketing.co.uk
30 NOP Field Marketing
Founded 2001, division of NOP World. Chairman Chris White, MD Alan
Holliday. Clients include Freeserve, DSG, BT. Member of FMC.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; web site www.nopworld.com
31 NMS (UK)
Founded 1999, privately owned. MD Nigel Carnell, client services
director Russell Bennett. Clients include Bosch Siemens Home
Appliances, MegaBloks, Akzo Nobel. Member of FMC. E-mail
email@example.com; web site www.nationalmarketing.co.uk
AGENCIES AFFECTED BY US SARBANES-OXLEY ACT
Agency HQ: field % contract
staff vs tactical
ARC Field Marketing (prev. IMP Face to Face) 22:1000 75:25
Founded 1968, division of ARC Integrated
Marketing, subsidiary of Publicis Groupe SA.
Chairman John Quarrey, MD Tanya Sergant.
Clients include Tesco, Procter & Gamble, Fiat
CPM UK 800:4000 80:20
Founded 1936, subsidiary of Omnicom. MD
Mike Hughes, commercial directors Jane
Cottrell and Nick Jones. Clients include
Masterfoods, Asda, BT. Member of FMC
Ellert Field Marketing 103:1056 92:8
Founded 1980, subsidiary of Havas Advertising.
MD Kathryn Smith, retail services director
Graeme Mason. Clients include Sky, PayPoint,
Masterfoods. Member of FMC
Headcount Worldwide Field Marketing 50:1200 60:40
Founded 1994, subsidiary of Cordiant Comms.
MD Mike Garnham, commercial director
Lynda Edge. Clients include BAA,
Momentum 195:1000 80:20
Founded 1995, subsid of McCann-Erickson
Worldgroup (IPG). MD field marketing
Derek Noakes, bus dev director Tim Harper.
Clients include P&G, Siemens,
Johnson & Johnson Visioncare
HOW FIELD MARKETING IS USED
2002 (%) 2001 (%)
Selling 33.3 28.7
Roadshows 23.0 16.1
Face-to-face 18.7 15.2
Merchandising 16.4 21.8
Auditing 3.9 5.9
Communications/training 4.0 4.9
Other 0.7 1.5
Cash collection 0.0 5.9
TOP 15 USERS OF FIELD MARKETING
Rnk Sector 2002 2001
1 Food/confectionery/soft drinks 26.6 24.1
2 Utilities 12.7 11.6
3 Home entertainment 7.7 7.4
4 Retail 7.2 6.3
5 Telecoms 7.1 10.3
6 Financial services 5.9 4.2
7 Alcohol 5.7 7.6
8 Other groceries/cosmetics 5.5 6.8
9 Motor 5.1 3.8
10 Other 3.8 4.2
11 IT/electrical 3.6 4.8
12 Tobacco 2.9 3.4
13 B2B 2.7 1.2
14 Publishing 2.3 3.1
15 Pharmaceutical 1.2 1.2
WHO USES FIELD MARKETING?
Usually Marketing asks agencies to break down their turnover in terms of percentage. These are then aggregated and presented as monetary totals.
This exercise is somewhat disrupted this year by the inability of US-owned agencies to report their turnovers.
However, almost all agencies have provided a sector breakdown of this year's activity, and by filling in gaps using last year's turnover figures where necessary - with some adjustments as appropriate - it has been possible to reach an approximation.
Predictably, the growing demand for compliance activity in FMCG and home entertainment is confirmed in the table, and together these now account for more than one-third of the total. Increases are also recorded in retail, automotive, and business-to-business.
Utilities show a slight rise, although this is likely to be accounted for by the significant growth of Sira, a large contract selling specialist.
Only a handful of traditional field marketing agencies handle this activity, and with most it is declining. On the other hand, telecoms clearly registers an expected fall.
The involvement of tobacco companies is still relatively minor, although this could increase as they look for ways to offset the loss of advertising.
Ensuring the visibility of products at point of sale is now more crucial than ever, and at least three major companies are said to have put out pitches in the past 12 months.
Several agencies have commented on a big surge in the financial sector, both in credit card recruitment and insurance, where competition is steadily increasing, particularly in areas such as general, household and pet cover.
This is one of the few areas where clients permit their agencies to work with competitors, and some work with as many as four or five.
Mike Francis, managing director of credit card sales specialist Stradbrooke Marketing, says clients enjoyed a record year in 2002, and new business levels remain high in 2003. "There is evidence that direct sales continue to be a valuable source of new business and are often used to cover shortfalls in other channels, such as direct marketing and leaflets," he says.
Field marketers also find themselves talking to a business audience more often. The Russell Organisation has been targeting small and medium-sized businesses for Orange. The agency is also increasing its activity for automotive clients in corporate and fleet sales and running promotions on behalf of dealers.