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PRODUCT SAMPLING MARKETING and Why It's Essential

Product sampling increases brand awareness, shares your story, and drives sales

Get your brand sample into people's hands, homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces

Reach ideal audiences at the right time with product sampling campaigns

Align your brand sampling program with specific lifestyle activities

Incentivize sales with onsite incentives and promo codes

Extend product sampling impact with social media

Show how sampling campaigns activate sales with unique call-to-actions

 

What is product sampling marketing?

Product sampling marketing is the distribution of trial-size samples for people to experience a brand and incentivize sales.

A strategic product sampling campaign makes a brand appealing, memorable, and shareable.

It can take place in a variety of environments; on public sidewalks, inside stadiums, outside transit stations and in-store.

Typically samples are presented to people via a well-trained brand ambassador to converse with people, answer questions, and demo brand benefits.  

Ideally, your product sampling marketing strategy is a multi-sensory experience involving smell, taste, touch, and sound. 

Initiatives can take on many forms ranging from micro-experiences consisting of a trial-size sample and a few words to an elaborate experiential marketing brand demo.

Strategic and creative product sampling marketing weaves the brand story throughout presentation, conversation, and call-to-action.

Although product sampling is predominantly leveraged to introduce people to new products, smart brands set up year-round initiatives to ensure a continual flow of new customers. 

Note product sampling is often categorized under shopper marketing or retail marketing by specific brands and agencies.

 

Product sampling marketing campaign strategy checklist:

 

1.) Establish your goals (e.g., awareness, demoing product relevancy, sign-ups, immediate sales, etc.) 

2.) Know your ideal customer, and choose locations they frequent

3.) Integrate sampling booths or signage to pique people's interest from afar

4.) Utilize well trained and outfitted brand ambassadors

5.) Support with a logistics team to receive, store, and transport, specifically for sampling products at events

6.) Use trial-size, packaged, product samples so people can easily place them in their pocket or purse

7.) Include an irresistible call-to-activation to incentivize purchases

8.) Integrate social media activities, contests, and promotions whenever possible 

9.) Budget for an onsite manager to oversee set up, make improvements in real-time, and document the sampling

10.) Measure estimated impressions, engagements, consumer comments, and social media impact

11.) Secure proper insurance to cover the public, location, and the sampling staff

 

Once you have your product sampling marketing strategies in place, it is time to create a concept to attract, engage, and motivate people to purchase your product. 

 

Top 10 product sampling ideas and tactics:

 

1.) Surprise-and-delight commuters with a product sample outside transit stations

2.) Standout with costumed characters and attention-generating signage

3.) Activate sampling near locations where people can make a purchase

4.) Integrate influencer visits as part of your sampling campaign

5.) Promote sampling activations before, during, and after on your social media channels

6.) Target trade shows, competitor shops/happenings, and people heading to festivals

7.) Incentivize people to share the sampling experience on social media

8.) Complement sampling efforts with geotargeted social media buys

9.) Tie-in your sampling concept with a holiday, national days, and awareness months

10.) Build-in a charitable or cause marketing call-to-action

 

Product sampling marketing is a natural fit for most consumer product goods (CPG) brands, and with a bit of creativity, it can work well for service-based businesses and apps too.

We offering product sampling nationwide from New York City to Los Angeles to Chicago and every city in-between. 

ALT TERRAIN helps companies streamline their product sampling needs from staffing to booth build-outs to logistics. 

Contact ALT TERRAIN for experiential, brand story-centric product sampling marketing ideas, strategies, pricing, and company examples.

 

Get your brand into people's hands!

Product sampling marketing FAQ

Product sampling marketing is the act of giving trial-size samples to people for them to experience your brand.

This form of marketing takes place in supermarkets, on-the-street, at events, and host of other locations.

Product sampling is primarily utilized by consumer product companies (CPGs) as it converts a high percentage of people into customers.

Connect with ALT TERRAIN to learn more about product sampling strategies and pricing. 

Product sampling best practices:

1.) Focus on one main goal (e.g. on-the-spot sale, online purchase, etc.)

2.) Select sampling locations where your desired customer frequents

3.) Train your staff on the brand history, story, benefits, and FAQs

4.) Create a presence that piques people's interest, represents the brand well, stimulates the senses, and functions for your logistical needs

5.) Ensure safety and cleanliness of your space, setup, staff, and customers

6.) Outfit your sampling staff with, at a minimum, branded caps and shirts

7.) Include a irresistible, time-sensitive offer people to purchase the product

8.) Document your sampling activation in real-time for quality assurance and content marketing purposes

Product sampling marketing rates vary widely depending upon the venue, setup, number of activation dates, staffing needs, and numerous other factors.

Share your brand sampling goals with ALT TERRAIN and we'll be glad to provide you an estimate.

Product sampling conversion rates depending upon the product, location, and offer, although it tends to be in the 5-25% range making it one of the more effective ways to create new customers. 

Here is a list of the most common product sampling marketing strategies:

1.) Sample products as close to the purchase point as possible

2.) Sample products during people's mass transit commutes

3.) Sample at festivals, concerts, and similar events to associate your brand with people's enjoyable memories

4.) Sample products to students on-and-off campus

5.) Sample at or near high-profile locations or happenings for content marketing purposes

For product sampling marketing strategies for your brand, please get in touch with ALT TERRAIN for a complimentary proposal.

Essential information to share with an agency to produce an effective product sampling marketing initiative:

1.) Brand goals

2.) Ideal customer profile

3.) Cities

4.) Dates

5.) Size, weight, and type of product sample

6.) Product sample logistics (e.g., pick-up, storage, etc.)

7.) Offers available to incentive purchase 

8.) Marketing assets available (e.g., sampling booths, table covers, tents, outfits, props, etc.)

9.) Any existing supermarket or venue partnerships

10.) What other marketing elements are in-the-mix (e.g., digital, sponsorships, outdoor advertising, etc.) at the same time as the sampling initiative