It is safe to assume that most people have witnessed free sample marketing in some shape or form. Perhaps you were in a supermarket and saw a stall handing out free samples of cheese. Or maybe you were in a liquor store and someone had a stall with free samples of craft beer in small paper cups. It does happen to be an especially useful method for promoting food and drink. Other industries such as those concerned with beauty and health also use it to great effect.
If you are a company with a product, and you want an extremely speedy way to attract new customers, this is one way to do it. The people out there who have the highest chance of harbouring the desire to consume whatever it is that you have to sell will get to see what they think for free. And they will jump at the chance, seeing as they are not paying a dime. We can add a certain amount of psychology to the equation, as people love to feel that they have received a gift, however small it may have been.
After that, there is a good chance that they will spread the word far and wide. Perhaps they actually buy the product and share it with their friends. It means that your customers have the impression that your brand really values them, which they love. You may even create brand loyalty with some.
When most customers browse for goods to purchase, this browsing will usually be conducted in real life at a street-side store. Perhaps they decide to purchase whatever they choose online or at the RL store. Or maybe they don’t. Either way, they are sitting ducks for people offering free samples. And those free samples can result in them spending more money in store or online.
Don’t forget that there will be costs related to how much these giveaways are going to cost. It goes without saying that your money, along with your time, will be expended in these efforts. In fact, the collective amount of money that was spent on marketing in the year of 2009 amounts to 2.2 billion.
How much is being spent when it comes to individual campaigns depends on what product the company is trying to sell. If we are talking about a giveaway being conducted online digitally, such as an e-book, one initial investment is all that is needed. However, in the case of food products, including drinks, whenever salesperson distributes a batch of free samples, cash is spent on upfront.
If they didn’t increase sales, it is understandable to reason that nobody would use this method. And one would be right, because it still works even now. The amount that sales goes up has been known to be as much as 90%. After that, subsequent giveaways add to the effect and will result in brand loyalty forming. Revenue will skyrocket too.
Here are some of the discoveries that a 2017 study conducted by the Brigham Young University unearthed while looking at stores that incorporated this technique and the resulting sales:
If you want to pull this marketing method off without a hitch and reap the benefits, you will have to do the following things:
What kind of product you are selling will heavily influence the location you conduct the promotions. And how you do it as well. People from one demographic may be less interested than people from another. You will want to find out who is who and sell to them.
Supermarkets and shops have been mentioned already, but there are other places, products and methods that fall under the free sample marketing definition. Events can give away goodie bags full of cosmetics to women. Free samples sometimes arrive unsolicited in the mail.
In conclusion, it is a very effective way to increase sales and solidify brand loyalty among customers. Which is why it is a method that is still being used to this very day by companies all over the world.