Sampling is an activity that it is defined as “the action of distributing free samples of products in order to promote a business”. A recent study done by The Promotion Marketing Association (Redaccion en Publicidad, 2008) reveals that at the moment, “sampling is the king of marketing”. This process of giving free patterns allows different businesses and enterprises to saving costs and also to making that business known. Moreover, the main advantage of giving free samples is to shorten the time between the first contact and the product purchase period and this activity is becoming the most used tool in marketing (Marketing Directo).
It is important to highlight that 72% of respondents say that at some occasion they have bought an article after receiving a free sample.
The consumer goods companies were the first to found in sampling one of his best weapons to eliminate the possible reluctance of customers into the unknown. However, other sectors have been added gradually and now we can try almost any product, from a soft-drink to a car or a computer application. Determining how many sales can attract sampling is difficult but according to the company Carben, the rate of recall of a brand is from 66% to 93%, the purchase intent from 18% to 30% and the effective purchase from 10% to 26%.
Sampling strategy is considered a valid and effective method in order to attract new customers and to publicize new products. It is a widespread technique in mass markets, such as in the cosmetics industry.
Besides, the world of technology and specifically the entertainment and video games industries, have taken advantage of this sampling. It is very common to find progress or “demos” playable of their upcoming releases as “unique gifts” in specialized publications that allow them to get a more direct way to their target audience.
This strategy is generally used in launching new products, but it is also recommended for the recall of products, boost sales, difficult items or immediate expiration. An action of this kind can be developed through different routes: adapting the format of the product, sampling can be done at the point of sale, through the mailing of samples, by mail, magazines, through another product or on the street.
According to how to achieve a proper development of the campaign, they must be addressed various aspects such as target identification and a proper place to address him. It is also important to optimize each delivery and consider the price of promotional item. You can increase the notoriety introducing elements of animation and striking. Also is important to accompany the sample with a voucher can further encourage purchase. Studies reveal that the chances of buying increase a 180% if the voucher is attached to a sample. It is recommendable to perform a test and if it works, extend the campaign.
Trade shows are the best example of the use of this resource as a trade promotion strategy. In this type of events it is more common to find professional staff, shopping or hostesses distributing or offering all kinds of promotional free samples of articles or products on sale. Although sampling actions are not a new concept, it seems as if there is being a “resurrection” and resurgence of commercial and advertising use of these marketing techniques.
The research that has been previously mentioned reveals the loss of effectiveness of traditional spots that appear to be less influential than in the previous years. The %68 of those surveyed admit that the actions of sampling served them more in their final purchasing decisions than the direct promotions through other types of ads, television or radio, which are also comparatively because they are often much more costly and expensive. Therefore, sampling is considered a more controlled method and less risky when it comes to test or try different types of products. This happens because they have recently appeared on the market, reducing significantly the time it takes a customer to make the first purchase the product being promoted.
To finish up, sampling is an important component of any piece of research because of the significant impact that it can have on the quality of your results or findings.
Marketing Directo. (2006, 8 7). Retrieved 11 13, 2015, from http://www.marketingdirecto.com/actualidad/marketing/el-sampling-la-tendencia-de-moda-en-marketing-directo/
Publicidad, R. e. (2008). PuroMarketing . Retrieved 1113 2015, from http://www.puromarketing.com/9/4072/estrategias-marketing-resurgir-sampling.html