Product sampling is a fantastic way for a brand to connect directly with consumers. Allowing a potential customer to trial or taste a product before parting way with any hard-earned money can strongly influence a purchase decision. However, there have been (major) drawbacks of this generic, mass sampling approach. High wastage (little to no targeting capabilities) & distribution costs have been the primary issues driving brands away.
Cue TARGETED SAMPLING. This channel offers brands the opportunity to sample (en masse) to targeted individuals – ensuring lower wastage, higher trial-to-purchase conversion and engaged consumer feedback.
We’ve noticed the UK leading the way in recent months with a handful of targeted sampling campaigns; most notably, Kellogg’s.
Kellogg’s focused their marketing campaign on those who ate breakfast at work – suitably dubbed the ‘deskfast’ demographic. Kellogg’s ran a nation-wide campaign, which saw more than 150,000 women being served breakfast in their own offices with the brand’s new Special K Multi-Grain Porridge Pots.
This strategy is a clear driver to increase brand advocacy amongst targeted consumers. The unique approach offers strong cut-through in an otherwise saturated market. Considering the sampling context (in the office, at your desk), the approach would have minimised the potential for wastage as well as increasing awareness of this new product among like-minded office workers.
As a follow-up to the sampling activity, the targeted consumers were encouraged to complete an online survey expressing their thoughts and feedback on the product – a 360 move for the brand to ensure they gained value in return.
Targeted sampling is clearly a beneficial marketing tactic for brands such as Kelloggs, who in today’s market have more access to consumer insights and information than ever before. With the ability to connect directly with both current and potential consumers, brands are able to promote their products in a whole new way; influencing purchase choice and increasing brand affinity.
Targeted sampling heightens word of mouth amongst consumers, increases awareness of new products and cements customer loyalty; it is a low-cost approach, which offers a high value return for brands. It will be interesting to see how many big-name companies jump on-board the targeted sampling bandwagon in the second-half of 2014.