The power behind clever product sampling

Whenever someone buys something, there is a process that they have to go through. It’s most commonly known as the buying journey and it’s nothing sinister – it’s just a normal path that we all follow whenever we part with our cash.

That process begins with the realization of a certain requirement or desire. After that, consumers normally do their research and judge their needs against all the objections that spring to mind. Next, we look at alternatives and then reconsider the situation.

Only after passing that final test will we actually make the purchase so, as you can see, businesses face a lot of hurdles to overcome. People can and do drop out of that buying journey at any time.

What product sampling does is help companies drastically reduce this process. It cuts out so much of the pain that it’s just not even funny. Clever sampling campaigns target a demographic that has a particular problem or wish. Then, because they’re given a sample, consumers don’t need to do their alternative research.

And whilst they might have objections, consumers are generally more receptive when they’ve been given something free. Plus, sampling campaigns give brands a chance to answer any objections there and then. Quite simply, consumers are able to race through this buying process quickly.

It doesn’t end there either. Freebies generate a feeling reciprocity, which not only could result in direct sales, but also in fostering brand loyalty. And let’s not forget about word-of-mouth recommendations that could yield long-term benefits.

Word-of-mouth marketing is the most powerful marketing strategy that there is. Research has shown that we’re far more likely to try and buy a product if someone that we know, like and trust has said is good.

If you think about it, there’s a good chance that you’ve bought or tested something on the basis of someone you know recommending it. What product sampling does is leverage the power of this kind of influence.

Ultimately, then, sampling campaigns are incredibly effective because they quicken the sales process. The human brain is strangely predictable and we all have to go through a variety of steps before we buy anything. That’s never going to change, so as marketers, we should concentrate on overcoming these hurdles.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on info@hotcow.co.uk.

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