The Future of Field is Now With Rebecca Martins

Join Nina Butler and Rebecca Martins for a conversation about the way that Field Marketing has changed in the past year, and how the Zuora team is looking towards the future of Field.
Becky Martin The Future Of Field Marketing

Join Nina Butler and Rebecca Martins for a conversation about the way that Field Marketing has changed in the past year, and how the Zuora team is looking towards the future of Field.

Field marketers have had a tough year. From their main channel of events being completely reimagined on the fly, to the entire concept of field marketing being rethought for a digital world, there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding what the future of field marketing looks like.

Luckily, Rebecca Martins is a veteran in the field marketing space and has helped her team at Zuora redefine what their place in the larger organization looks like, and how they stay a critical part of the revenue strategy of the organization.

Field marketing today is different from what it was five years ago when Rebecca joined the Zuora team. She helped guide the organization away from their spray-and-pray tactics and start to think more about creating one-to-one experiences for their target accounts.

Now that’s easy to say in theory, but there’s a huge struggle a lot of field marketers struggle with and that’s decoupling themselves from the concept of events.

“[Field Marketing] almost becomes synonymous with event marketing, and it’s not to say building events and events in general aren’t a critical lever of what we do… But this shift in the way of moving away from physical events allowed a lot of field marketing teams and marketing organizations to redefine our role in our charter.”

Where some field marketing teams panicked in the beginning of the pandemic with their main channel of execution pulled out from under them, Rebecca was excited for the next evolution of her team within Zuora and within the marketing world.

With that evolution came the focus of account based marketing efforts and moving away from larger scale efforts targeted to a larger audience that were easy to stand up as one-to-many experiences.

What Nina and Rebecca uncovered is that with the move to an account based marketing focus, there is starting to be a convergence of demand generation, customer marketing, field marketing, and ABM to form one larger forcing revenue function.

With this closer partnership, marketing teams are starting to work in fewer silo’s, understanding the digital, demand, and ABM strategies for their target accounts instead of running so many programs targeted to a much wider audience.

Where Rebecca sees field marketing fitting into this motion is acting as the glue that brings the different channels together, not just on the marketing side anymore but on all sides of the revenue funnel – from sales to customer success.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the field marketing teams should be responsible for owning every single program, rather they should be responsible for holding the systems accountable for executing the programs.

This is a lot of change to a function of marketing in a really short period of time – but there are so many aspects of field marketing that remain a consistent truth to Rebecca.

The field marketing teams have always been the hub that carries updates from the corporate teams and distributes them out through their respective programs, while also keeping their ear to the ground and communicating feedback back into the corporate structure based on what they’re hearing from prospects and customers.

Pipeline for field marketers remains the top KPI for all initiatives run by each member of the team. That still should be consistent to what everyone’s goals were in pre-COVID years.

In fact, Rebecca believes now that it’s even more clear that pipeline should be exactly what field marketing teams focus on.

“And of course we miss events… I think a silver lining though, is the ability to think more broadly about that mix, especially as it relates to that one to few and one to one motion.”

Not every team is going to be as flexible as others. Not every team’s current budget is going to allow for this kind of transformation. But Rebecca stresses that this is and was an iterative process for the Zuora team as well.

The way her team thought about their new direction was to take a look at the goals of the company, the mission of the company, and how those translated down to their own manifesto. What is the new vision for field marketing at Zuora?

This is now their guiding light for how they go about trying new things and experimenting with channels, programs, and yes, events.

This can and could be a crawl, walk, run approach, especially when you start to work closely with other teams in a more cross-functional way. Buy-in and alignment will be crucial, and that takes time.

To watch the full episode with Nina and Rebecca, check out their video here!

March 18, 2021
Stacy O.