Despite what you might assume, there are few more effective ways of getting the word out about a new product than with the help of a product sampling campaign. Repeatedly, they’ve been shown to produce a return on the investment – even if the product in question isn’t perfectly suited to the strategy.
In order to get the best from your product sampling campaign, however, you’ll want to first ask yourself a few questions. Let’s run through them.
Is the product suitable for sampling?
While most products you’ll find are suitable for a sampling campaign, there are a few whose attributes make them better suited than others. These include items that can be produced cheaply, but whose benefits are immediately obvious – and impossible to convey through words or images. These might include small sweet snacks, or packs of dishwasher salt. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule of thumb – you might offer a customer a test-drive of an expensive motorcar, for example.
Is the audience suitable for sampling?
In order to get the best possible return on the resources you invest into your campaign, you’ll want to narrow down your list of suitable recipients. The more that you know about them beforehand, the better able you’ll be to ensure that they’re a good match for the product, and that the money you spend has the greatest possible effect.
Do the recipients want a sample?
Of course, a considerable component of this process comes from simply asking the would-be customer if they’d like a free sample before sending one. Not only will this ensure that the product and the customer are a good match; it’ll also create goodwill on the part of the customer, who will probably appreciate being consulted. Moreover, they’ll be more likely to actually use the product if it’s solicited rather than simply send out blindly.
Do you have a plan?
A product sampling campaign shouldn’t just be a series of haphazard samples sent out without any rhyme or reason. You should form a plan of what you’re looking to achieve, and then measure your success based on your objectives after you’ve put your plan into action. An experienced product sampling agency like Tactical Solutions will help you to formulate this plan, and give you the best possible chance of getting a good return on your investment.
Are you collecting feedback?
A product sampling campaign isn’t just an opportunity to put your product out there in the market – it’s also a great place to solicit feedback on your product. If you find that your audience have a number of specific complaints which are common to all of them, then you’ll want to use that information to make improvements to future versions of the product. In order to do that, however, you’ll need to collect feedback from your customers. Bundle an optional questionnaire alongside your product sample, and gently invite your customers to tell you what they think of it. If a gentle invitation isn’t enough, you might try offering a little incentive in exchange for feedback – the chance to be entered into a prize draw, for example, or money-off vouchers for a future purchase.
Are you encouraging conversation?
As well as letting your customers tell you what they think of the product directly, it’s worth taking every opportunity to invite them to do so via social media. Word-of-mouth counts for a great deal when it comes to marketing in the information age – and the natural advertising you’ll get when enthused customers are out there preaching on your behalf can be priceless. Encourage your customers to share their feelings on the sample via your Facebook or Twitter presences. Many companies are naturally wary of such things, as negative feedback can be quite damaging – but by putting yourself out there, you’ll be able to show that your faith in your product is absolute and unwavering.
Are you up to the job?
As we’ve seen, product sampling is a complex marketing strategy that requires a little bit of nous to be effective. That’s why it’s worth considering bringing in a specialist organisation to assist you – particularly if you’re a smaller business without much knowledge or experience in the area. A field marketing company like Tactical Solutions will be able to provide product sampling services alongside a host of other helpful marketing techniques. Since a specialist company will spend more of their time and resources doing product sampling, it follows that they’ll be able to bring superior expertise and technology to the table – which savvy business leaders would do well to take advantage of.