Marie Chevrier of Sampler visited with Andy Schuch on the most recent episode of 8th & Walton’s Saturday Morning Meeting for Suppliers. The topic? Product sampling.
Traditionally, sampling has worked like this:
- A supplier provides samples in-store, through direct mail, or perhaps in a print publication.
- Consumers try the sample.
- Some proportion of those who try the sample actually buy — it’s impossible to say what percentage with any accuracy. No information is captured, so it isn’t possible to reach out to them to promote future purchases.
- The rest of the people who received the sample don’t buy the product, and no information about them is captured.
Add to this typical scenario the shoppers who bring their families out for intensive sampling in lieu of lunch and the sample collectors who save up boxes of sample packets and never use them, and giving out samples can be costly and provide limited ROI.
Chevrier’s company, Sampler, lets clients provide their Facebook fans with opportunities to give samples to friends. Right away, sampling becomes measurable. Social proof strengthens the connection and makes it more likely that people who receive the samples will make purchases.
Sampler allows companies to connect with influencers such as niche bloggers or celebrity spokespeople as well.
It’s a great example of how social media can be connected effectively with in-store behaviors, gathering data along the way to power additional shopper marketing opportunities.
There’s a lot more inspiration in this episode of Saturday Morning Meeting. Watch the whole show above or enjoy the podcast below!