I read “Taking a Step Back” (MW July 31) first with interest and then with surprise, mixed with confusion. Some of the people who chose to “go back to the shop floor” have been running businesses for more than five and in some cases ten years, so how can this one trip be such a revelation?
Field staff in an agency need their senior managers to understand the realities involved in their job. How else do you motivate a rep in the field who spends most of the day driving themselves around central London? However it looked like Alison, who had the luxury of her own driver, failed to grasp this concept.
I also don’t understand why it took an article to get these people to do this. The directors and office staff of Gekko Partners regularly work in the field because we understand it’s vital to understanding and appreciating the work done there.
Field marketing may not be glamorous but it is an industry that accounts for a significant share of overall marketing spend. If we are ever going to be taken seriously, articles such as these need to reflect the reality of field marketing and demonstrate that the people running these businesses have a good understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced – for their staff and clients.
It’s not just “a good idea” to go back to the floor every once in while – it’s a necessity.
Joint managing director