Welcome to the first instalment of our Product Sampling guides. Part 1 of our guide gives an overview of the things to consider when planning your product sampling campaign. This first part of the guides is designed to give you the information you need to start planning a successful product sampling campaign.
What Do You Want To Sample?
This is often the first question we will ask a customer when they call EXECUTIONAL. This will shape locations, timings, equipment and the product sampling staff required to implement your campaign. So, first off, let’s categorise the product to be sampled by looking at the preparation required and look at these two approaches:
Non-Ambient Products – Requiring Preparation
Think of this as products which need any type of preparation before they are ready to be distributed to your targeted audience in the field. Immediate examples of this are food products that need cooking, heating or chilling before they can be served (from ice cream to hot curry). This type of product sampling requires much more consideration than ambient products, in terms of equipment required, timing considerations, suitable sampling locations and the health and safety of preparing products in the field.
Ambient Products – Ready To Sample
This is products that are immediately ready to distribute to the targeted audience. This is generally ambient products that require no preparation, can be distributed in their original packaging and can be consumed immediately (e.g. drinks, packaged snacks, confectionery). It can also be sample sized products which give the consumer a small example of a larger product (e.g. cosmetics). This form of ambient product sampling is the simplest and gives the largest scope for location choice. Within reason, this type of product sampling can take place across any type of location (which we will come on to later in the locations section).
Who Do You Want To Sample To?
This forms the second question when we speak to our customers: who do you want to target? In some instances the answer to that question is ‘everyone’ but in many cases, our clients want to tap into a particular target audience. Think of this as who you want to be the one to purchase your product going forward and is likely to become part of your customer base, if not already. Once we know who to target, we will advise on locations to target e.g. train stations, supermarkets, shopping centres, high streets, etc. and also what other locations would be good to explore. Our product sampling campaigns are usually multi-location utilising varying locations over different days and times to tap into your potential customer base at the most relevant times of the day, month or year.
Where Do You Want To Sample?
Clients do not always know where they can perform product sampling and we will advise based on the product to be sampled and the target audience you want to engage. Below are some of our ‘off the shelf’ sampling locations which will often form parts of a larger product sampling strategy. Please note, we have performed sampling in most UK locations so please do not be afraid to ask if you are considering locations which could be viewed as a little less mainstream
Organising Permissions & “Red Tape”
Often, the most time-consuming element of any product sampling campaign is organising and purchasing the promotional space to perform your product sampling activity. This is often overlooked at enquiry stage with clients knowing where they want to sample but not realising the various elements of permissions and planning which need to be considered before the sampling can begin. Many times depending on final costs and considerations, permissions for promotional space can sway decisions on the final location selection, so it is always good to have this on your mind when planning a campaign. Having many years of organising promotional activity, EXECUTIONAL will talk you through and can fully manage the “red tape” and permissions required for any UK location. This can include organising all health and safety considerations such as risk assessments, etc. We will also advise on the different ways to leverage promotional space at reduced costs and get your product the best possible deal.
With any promotional campaign and specifically with product sampling, as a client, you want to know how the campaign went: What did your future customers think? Will they buy this product now? Had they heard of the brand before receiving a sample? And a variety of questions that will help to plan future campaigns and marketing, making your product become a household name or category leader.
EXECUTIONAL believe that the reporting of the campaign is just as important as the activity itself, it is what helps you as a marketer. This reporting element should be discussed as part of any campaign plan, finding out the information and data that you want to receive from a sampling campaign. EXECUTIONAL can then look at the ways that the feedback can be provided, along with photography and video consideration, during and post campaign that allows everyone in your business to see the positive effect of product sampling.
Now the basics are out of the way, our next instalment will cover experiential supermarket sampling and the hows, whens and what ifs which come with this high impact sampling strategy.
In The Interim…
If you have an immediate requirement for product sampling then please pick up the phone and speak to one of our experienced product sampling specialists. We hope to start working with you soon.