Exhibit 16-13 Armor All uses on-package samples for related products
Exhibit 16-14 The
Sunflower Group's SiteLinkPlus provides companies with a fulfillment service for samples
On-package sampling, where a sample of a product is attached to another item, is another common sampling method (see Exhibit 16-13). This procedure can be very cost-effective, particularly for multiproduct firms that attach a sample of a new product to an existing brand's package. A drawback is that since the sample is distributed only to consumers who purchase the item to which it is attached, the sample will not reach nonusers of the carrier brand. Marketers can expand this sampling method by attaching the sample to multiple carrier brands and including samples with products not made by their company.
Event sampling has become one of the fastest-growing and most popular ways of distributing samples. Many marketers are using sampling programs that are part of integrated marketing programs that feature events, media tie-ins, and other activities that provide consumers with a total sense of a brand rather than just a few tastes of a food or beverage or a trial size of a packaged-goods product. Event sampling can take place in stores as well as at a variety of other venues such as concerts, sporting events, and other places.
Other Methods of Sampling The four sampling methods just discussed are the most common, but several other methods are also used. Marketers may insert packets in magazines or newspapers (particularly Sunday supplements). Some tobacco and cereal companies send samples to consumers who call toll-free numbers to request them or mail in sample request forms. As discussed in Chapter 14, these sampling methods are becoming popular because they can help marketers build a database for direct marketing.
Many companies also use specialized sample distribution services such as Advo Inc. and D. L. Blair. These firms help the company identify consumers who are nonusers of a product or users of a competing brand and develop appropriate procedures for distributing a sample to them. Many college students receive sample packs at the beginning of the semester that contain trial sizes of such products as mouthwash, toothpaste, headache remedies, and deodorant.
The Internet is yet another way companies are making it possible for consumers to sample their products, and it is adding a whole new level of targeting to the mix by giving consumers the opportunity to choose the samples they want. Catalina Marketing's ValuPage.com sampling and distribution service now has over one million members. The Sunflower Group's SiteLinkPlus program offers companies a fulfillment service from their brand or corporate websites for samples, coupons, and premiums (Exhibit 16-14). The service asks consumers qualifying questions on brand loyalty, product usage, and lifestyles that can be used by marketers to target their samples and other promotional offers more effectively.
Some companies cut back on their sampling programs in recent years because they felt they were too expensive, wasteful, and fraught with distribution problems. However, several factors have led to a resurgence in sampling recently. First, big companies like Advo and Time Warner have entered the sampling business, which creates more competition and helps keep sampling costs down. Also, a combination of technology and creativity is driving new sampling methods that let marketers target more
efficiently. Yet another factor may be the everyday low-pricing strategies that have prompted companies such as Procter & Gamble to move away from coupons and other price promotions in favor of samples. Many marketers are finding that sampling meets the complementary goals of introducing consumers to their products and getting retailers to support their promotional programs.
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