Ask marketing managers, who have no experience with sampling, the question of what they think sampling means and you get this answer: ” A person receives a free sample of a certain product, in the hope that this person will purchase the product. ‘ This could be true, but we forget the research, the data, the psychology behind sampling and the value of customer feedback. In this blog it becomes clear what the effects of sampling are, how the consumer reacts to sampling and what the value is of customer feedback.
The number 1 reason why companies do not do sampling campaigns
”Sampling campaigns are expensive and not measurable”. This is a frequently heard quote from marketing managers who have no experience with sampling campaigns yet. Both assumptions are based on ignorance and above all are simple to refute.
To see if a sampling campaign is actually too expensive, we look at the Return On Investment (ROI). With the ROI you can measure how much a sampling campaign will to cost and deliver. The Return On Investment can be measured on the basis of the Sampling Calculator. You can read exactly how the Sampling Calculator works in this blog. It only calculates how much money you get as a company for your invested money. Brand recognition or customer satisfaction is not taken into account in the ROI.
Sampling campaigns are measurable and it becomes clear with the ROI. However, you can measure a lot of data with good sampling actions. For example, research by Arbitron and Edison Media Research shows that as many as 66% of consumers leave a brand due to poor service. A sampling action is the perfect moment to find out the wishes and needs of the customer to keep the churn rate as low as possible.
The 3 most important effects of sampling
Many things can be measured during a sampling campaign, but the effects of sampling actions in general have also been investigated. A number of surprising data have emerged in the area of sales and brand awareness.
1. Growth in sales and brand awareness figures
Research by Arbitron and Edison Media Research shows:
- 35% of customers trying a sample will buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip.
- 24% of respondents even say that the sampled product has replaced a product that they initially wanted to buy.
This percentage is even higher if you boost the sampling campaign with a product discount. In this way you not only stimulate the senses of the consumer, but also the wallet.
The trend of recent years is that modern consumers need to try out a product before making a purchase. This trend is supported by EMI EventTrack’s research into sampling at events. This shows that:
- 65% of consumers who come to events make a purchase.
- 78% of consumers who make a purchase indicate that they were given the opportunity to try the product.
In the short term, sampling gives the advantage that consumers buy your products faster. Sampling also has a long-term advantage. More than half of consumers who make a purchase at an event after trying a sample would buy the product again in the future.
Brand awareness figures
At least as important as the sales figures are the figures about brand awareness. You can sell many products in a short period of time, but if your brand awareness does not increase, your brand will have problems with sales in the long term. Below we discuss a number of striking figures about the effects on brand awareness in sampling.
The EMI EventTrack study shows that:
- Eight out of ten brands that use experiential marketing (eg sampling) have brand awareness as their goal.
- 81% of consumers will walk to a stand or shop to receive a free sample.
By having the consumer try a product, it develops a positive feeling with the product and with the brand. Sampling campaigns are therefore a powerful motivation for the consumer to come to your stand or shop.
It is also the case that consumers like to brag about unexpected events to make the other jealous. A good example of this is social media, where everyone shows how good and fun life is. This human characteristic also makes word-of-mouth advertising for your product.
2. Stimulate the brain
The effect of sampling is further fueled by the action of the human brain. The consumer is by nature a human being who wants to reduce anxiety. We do this by minimizing uncertainties. When buying a product that we do not know, there is always the uncertainty that the product is not to your liking. This uncertainty is minimized with sampling.
It also appears that encouraging a purchase helps someone who is not yet fully convinced. The so-called foot-in-the-door technique assumes that a small request increases the chance of a second, larger request. In sampling, the first request is to try a product. The consumer can try a product for free. This increases the chances that the customer meets the second, larger request, namely buying the product.
3. Obtain customer feedback
Customer feedback is the most valuable information a brand can have, because information is the basis of all marketing communications. During a sampling campaign you can get this valuable information from the target group. The target group receives a sample and provides you with detailed feedback when trying the sample. With this information you can improve your product or create new products that meet the wishes of the target group. Simple questions can already help you tremendously in improving or creating your product. For example, ask questions such as:
- What did you like about the product?
- Is there something you didn’t like about the product?
- What do you think about the price?
Requesting customer feedback is the most traditional way to find out what your customers want. Feedback questions have been happening for decades, but the way has changed. Where sporadically and randomly asked for feedback from customers, feedback is now periodically requested. More specific feedback is requested and the questionnaires are becoming shorter on average. This way you can improve the product at any specific point.
Sampling campaigns for your company?
Do you have questions regarding this blogpost or are you curious about what we can do for your company? You can always contact us. We can help you with your next sampling campaign.