A product sampling campaign can be so exciting. You think 'all they need to do is try my product and they will be hooked.' Many go into their product sampling campaign with that mindset and they end up with a lot of money down the drain and nothing to show for it. How did they spend so much on samples and come back empty-handed? Product sampling can be an effective way to grow your business but you have to have the right strategy. So, how can a company make the sampling investment work for them?
It must be quality over quantity:
Many companies still walk into the product sampling simply thinking it's a number game. That's the traditional way, but it is not necessarily the most effective way according to my total retail. To a certain extent, it is a numbers game, but you still need to get your samples in front of quality prospects if you intend to get a positive return on your investment. You must have some strategy here. There are many people who come and go out of the discount grocery store. But, if you are sampling artisan desserts at a premium price you may not have much luck despite the number of people you meet. However, if you sample your products at a small specialty store in a well-off neighborhood you may have a higher success rate. Even though there are fewer people at the smaller store you will get quality prospects who are more likely to purchase your product after sampling.
Sampling the right product:
Determining which product to sample is vital to your success. You want it to be something that many people would enjoy, not something too specialized. You don't know who you are going to get with the sample. If you have something very specialized your chances of getting a person who likes that specific product goes down. If your sample is something most people will like you will have more luck with your campaign states Inc. Sampling is great if you are introducing a new product. This attracts new business and retains your valuable repeat customers.
To have an effective sampling campaign you need to know who your target market is. Where do they shop? How much would they pay for your product? What problem would you solve for them? How can you prove that with your sample? You need to figure that out before you begin your campaign. Trying to figure that out after the campaign by looking at your sales will end up costing you. Not everyone that samples will buy. But, if you strive to effectively reach your target market you stand a higher chance at earning a profitable return on your investment and new customers.
Gather valuable information about your customer:
You need a call to action on your marketing plan states Chief Marketer. Without a call-to-action, you risk walking away from this campaign empty-handed. Ask them questions. Try to find out what attracted them to your samples and what they enjoy about them. If they don't buy why not? This will help you down the line to fine tune your marketing strategy.
Create an exchange:
Whether you are getting an email address or social media exposure there should be something in it for you if you are giving away product. Be core recommends creating an exchange rate or barter with your prospect to 'earn' their free sample. In their example, they exchanged the product with their customers for social media exposure. Customers earned product by sharing the company on their social media profiles. The more likes and shares they got on social media the more product they earned. You could also 'buy' email addresses so you can continue to contact prospects via your newsletter. Even with all the 'free samples' they gave out this will pay off for them in the long run.
Product sampling is an effective way to get your product in front of prospects. It is a great opportunity to grow your business and earn more customers. However, if don't have a marketing strategy going in it will be nothing more than an expensive attempt to grow your business. Plan everything out properly and you will have customers banging down your door for your excellent products.