The Benefits of Product Sampling and Demonstration

June 30, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Physically giving your target audience the opportunity to ‘experience’ your product, be it tasting, smelling or using, can be thought of as the bare bones of field marketing; it is a primitive way of showcasing what your business is all about ‘in the field’. The fact that this basic method of putting your product on show should not be devalued on account of its simplicity, neither should it be dismissed as ineffectively pushing your product in your customer’s faces. Quite ironically, the very idea of product sampling and demonstration itself has been tried and tested and has stuck as an effective marketing practice.

Food taste testing is the most common example of product sampling, but beyond the typical image of a friendly old lady handing out free bits of Cheddar on a cocktail stick is an effective observation of the customer psyche.

The taste test can be considered to be of equal importance if not potentially more effective than other, more complicated product marketing aspects such as packaging and placement within the store. In many studies, this has been related to the human understanding of risk; it makes perfect sense for a customer to doubt a product they haven’t tried before, through fear of wasting their money if they don’t like it. Customers also habitually buy products and remain loyal to familiar brands. On the premise of being free, a taste test eliminates the element of risk for the potential customer.

On a slightly more basic level, the very notion of ‘giving something away’ free of cost excites customers, and can help generate a buzz around a new company attempting to create a successful brand name.

Regarding products that need explaining (e.g. items with a function), many television adverts attempt to speak directly to the viewer on their level, and advertisers of a product have the unenviable task of trying to answer all of the key questions they think a user will have, and all in an average of 30 seconds. This is where demonstrating a product in the field succeeds; physically engaging with potential buyers will create the ‘bond’ that many advertisements try to imply. This also allows the customer to ask questions that would otherwise go unanswered.

As a very primitive form of field marketing, product sampling has over time been developed to work for many different types of customer. While many customers will enjoy the interaction with a company representative, other customers prefer to make up their own mind (or at least feel like they haven’t been influenced), but still reap the benefits of sampling something for free. To adhere to these types of customers many companies offer free samples to be taken away and used in privacy, or even sent to them for free. Such products include shampoo, magazines, and software on a disk. This principle of engaging with the potential buyers away from the standard marketing environment of the phone or office reflects the very essence of field marketing’s purpose.

If you’re looking for professional input in your company’s field marketing campaign, contact Cosine to see just what they casn offer you and your business. There are also opportunities for jobs on Cosine’s website if you think field marketing is an area you’d like to get involved in.

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