Founded in 2010 by Proctor & Gamble veterans, Rick West and Henry Ho, and software engineer, Kelly Miller, Field Agent has been on a mission to “change the way the world collects business information.” The three friends and entrepreneurs correctly sensed that the smartphone, particularly with its photo, GPS, and data-collection capabilities, would revolutionize how companies capture information and insights inside stores, homes, and everywhere in between.
“The GPS and photo capabilities of the smartphone were the real game-changers,” said Rick West, Field Agent co-founder/CEO as well as Endeavor Entrepreneur. “A phone that could take pictures, that was one thing, but the smartphone could provide pictures along with all sorts of metadata. It was a game-changer for businesses in need of location-specific information and insights.”
So the trio developed an app, the Field Agent app, that has been downloaded over two million times, giving Field Agent an expansive, nationwide panel of everyday shoppers to capture photos/video, collect information, take shopper surveys, and buy products—resulting in a little extra cash for the app-user and valuable information for companies.
Over the years, Field Agent has found many fresh and innovative ways to put its panel of over two million “agents” to work for retail and brand clients, everything from display audits to mystery shops, price checks to in-home use tests.
Most recently, however, the company has developed a series of digital marketing tools to help marketers improve product sales.
“It only made sense for us to use our crowd of agents in other ways,” said West, “and what could be more normal than having our agents—all everyday shoppers—buy products and document their experiences with them?”
Among Field Agents digital marketing products: Digital Demo.
Digital Demos mobilize Field Agent app-users to visit stores or websites to purchase specific products for the first time. Agents then try these products at their homes, and even provide authentic feedback that becomes the basis for high-quality online articles published on one of two Field Agent-owned digital publications.
Because Field Agent’s “on-demand platform” can produce Digital Demos by the hundreds or even thousands, a single Digital Demo can, in one fell swoop, vastly improve a product’s online profile.
Field Agent has thus developed a scalable way to drive first purchase, boost product sales, generate online content, obtain product feedback, and even track repurchase.
Digital Demo has been a game-changer for Field Agent’s clients, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis.
Driving Product Trial, Pandemic or Not
Many CPG brands have found Digital Demo ideally suited for the brave, new world of retail forged by the coronavirus pandemic. Sarah Gillmer, director of digital marketing at Field Agent, says Digital Demo offers certainty—in the form of predictable, trackable trial, sales, content, and feedback—during a time of otherwise great uncertainty for the retail and packaged goods industries.
“During the pandemic, many shoppers are sticking to their list and are not as willing to consider new products,” Gillmer explained. “Digital Demo is a guaranteed, COVID-friendly way to get a new product in their hands.”