When planning marketing strategies, a company may wonder where sampling comes into play. If you have asked yourself, "What's the point of an in-store sampling company?", you have taken the first step to understanding a key component to successfully launching a new brand or product or growing the market of an existing one.
Not Just For New Products
There are many ways to market a product. Attractive displays, ad saturation and digital coupons are all common methods to attract attention and generate sales of a product or service. However, as many retailers will testify, nothing promotes a product quite like a free sample. Consider the opinion of Pattie Boden, owner of a Virginia pet supply business who has first-hand experience with the power of promotion when it comes to free in-store samples:
"We really believe in samples. Even if the company doesn't provide samples, we'll break open a bag and let people see it and sample it."
Free samples are a very helpful cog in a product's marketing wheel. When a company doesn't provide a free sample of their product, they are very likely losing sales! In fact, in such a case as Boden's, a pet food manufacturer is having to sacrifice an entire bag of product by choosing not to implement an in-store sampling strategy. Had this clever store owner not recognized the value in samples, the pet food manufacturer could have lost a great deal of pet food buyers for their product market.
So, although many business owners may have been under the impression that the services of an in-store sampling company may only be needed when launching a new product or service, the truth is actually quite different. If a company has a product they are interested in promoting, to grow the market for an existing product and generate stronger sales, you need the help of in-store sampling company just as much as if you were launching a new, unknown product.
Isn't It Easy?
"But why hire an in-store sampling company?" you ask. After all, it seems like a simple enough task to package small, sample sizes of your product and ship them off to retailers, right? Well, there's a bit more to it than that. An in-store sampling company has the skills, experience and knowledge to craft a professional sampling campaign that reaches the right consumers with a product packaged perfectly. Here are the elements of a professionally managed in-store sampling campaign:
- Comprehensive campaign planned according to budget.
- Strategies that make the most of a budget by minimizing waste and identifying the right target consumer markets.
- Post-sampling consumer contact strategy through email, snail mail, etc.
- Status tracking of samples in real-time through coupons or other redemptive methods.
- Reports that provide customer insights based on usage of samples and customer feedback.
- Metrics that measure the ROI of an in-store sampling campaign.
- Tie-in with other marketing strategies for the same product or brand to maximize market saturation.
- Manage a simultaneous social media campaign for featured product.
- Encourage sharing and recommendations among peers, converting customers into brand ambassadors.
Don't Underestimate Value
The expertise necessary to understand the metrics and measurements of a sampling promotion is, perhaps, the critical reason to partner with an in-store sampling company. Without the understanding that is key to making the most of this critical data, a marketing campaign can turn into a hit-or-miss fiasco. That's why a business should not underestimate the value of the professional services of an in-store sampling company when they plan their next big marketing campaign.
Instead of wondering if your next product will be a big fail, ensure that it will be a resounding success. Trust a professional brand manager who is prepared for this important assignment. Don't be left disappointed by missing significant benchmarks for growing a particular consumer market. Whether you are planning a new product launch or simply wanting to reinforce an existing brand, an in-store sampling company will implement the key marketing tactics for ultimate success.
For more information, on your next step, contact an experienced marketing specialist. Establish a working relationship with a brand strategy agency that will be committed to growing your company's reach, driving sales and establishing your company or brand name through greater loyalty with your customers.