Don’t Make These Sampling Mistakes!
Product sampling can be very effective, but some companies are guilty of some nearly-fatal mistakes. We’ve rounded up some of the most popular so you can be sure to avoid them.
1. Sampling to current users. If your campaign’s goal is to boost your sales and create new brand loyalties (which, let’s be honest, whose isn’t??) sending samples to people who already use your product isn’t going to do that. If your goal is to deepen brand loyalty (i.e. keep current users happy) try using social media platforms instead.
2. Sampling without permission. Sending people samples of your product isn’t always welcome if they didn’t agree to it. You don’t want your brand to leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth.
3. Focusing on targeting versus trial. Just because you’re targeting business people doesn’t mean you should hand out shampoo samples at their office. They are likely to go home and forget about them. Instead, maybe catch them at the gym so they can use your shampoo post-workout.
4. Sampling without starting a conversation. It is important to give participants a chance to give feedback. Show them how they can do that! It can be as simple as a Facebook page or an email.
5. Sampling without measurement. There is a big difference between distribution and measurement. Measure your sampling effectiveness by looking at the investment you’re putting into sampling and the purchase conversion that results.
6. Thinking you don’t have anything to sample. A great example of this comes from Chase Sapphire credit cards. It is nearly impossible to sample credit cards, but Chase made a VIP experience for its cardholders to experience on ski slopes to drive loyalty and membership.
7. Eliminating sampling because it doesn’t work with your marketing-mix analysis tool. Just because something doesn’t fit into the model doesn’t mean that it’s not a great tactic for a brand. Maybe set aside funds for a sampling program outside of your model.
8. Not measuring the impact of sampling at new-product launch. Measurement is so important! Launches are often evaluated on an overall hit-or-miss basis, so few marketers bother to measure the sampling as a stand-alone element. If the launch fails, who cares that consumers who got a sample were 50 times more likely to buy the product? The brand manager might not, as he prepares for his next assignment, but the marketing director or general manager certainly should, so that they can establish benchmarks and apply them to the next, hopefully successful, new-product launch.
9. Not hiring a company to do the hard work for you! In our humble opinion, product sampling works best when you work with a company that knows what it’s doing. Contact us to start a new sampling program today!
This blog was created with help from Adage.