True story! I was in a Philadelphia gastropub (2/14/06) when a sampling crew handing out at random, Valentine’s Candy Hearts made with Splenda, dumped off four cases in order to go home early. Back then it confirmed for me how wasteful mass sampling is as a marketing tactic.
Recently I have read numerous articles about marketers using the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 to conduct consumer research, thus get closer to the needs of their customers. Frito-Lay is using Facebook feedback to develop new potato chip flavors. Estée Lauder engages with its online community to determine what shades of cosmetics to market. Walmart just acquired its own social media company to analyze market trends.
Smart Marketing 2.0; definitely a cost effective way of conducting consumer market research or better yet sampling a new product versus just standing on a street corner and handing out freebies. Learn from General Mills who created Qué Rica Vida, the Hispanic lifestyle website targeting Hispanic mothers. The site was created five years ago to become the go-to destination for Hispanic consumers and aggregate information about living a healthier lifestyle. Currently the website has 300 thousand plus registered members. General Mills is now testing an online sampling program via Qué Rica Vida. Registered members receive a special offer via email – for $18, delivered to your door, you will receive a sampling kit of new General Mills products (e.g., cereals, dinner kits, etc.) before they are available on shelf. The kits have a $30 value plus include $8 worth of coupons for the new products. Smart Marketing 2.0!
Are you utilizing Smart Marketing 2.0?