Spring is in the air and summer will be here before we know it. Along with nice weather comes event and marketing activation season, and while these take place all year round, we typically see a significant boost during the warmer months. One of the most fruitful activations you can deploy during the spring and summer months are product samplings. With the busy sampling season around the corner we wanted to share what we feel are the most important sampling techniques to consider for a successful activation – creativity, engagement and incentive.
In terms of sampling techniques, you should first consider creativity. Creativity is a key element to any successful activation. It typically sets the tone for an entire program. Whether the vision for your activation is big or small, creativity plays a critical role in its success. In order to get creative, our advice is this: when planning any sort of execution, ask the following simple questions. “What is the purpose of this campaign? What have I seen others accomplish? How can I make it better?”. Remember, you want to excite consumers! So, where do you start? Well, we’d recommend a good, old fashioned brainstorm. Get the sticky notes and whiteboard markers out and get to work! You wouldn’t believe what an hour spent with your team can come up with. At the end of the day, something as simple as playful uniforms or as big as a PR stunt could give your activation the attention you’re striving for.
Now that you’ve gotten creative and captured the attention of your desired audience, it’s time to think about how you hold onto it. What are you able to offer them in terms of engagement? Our advice is this, make consumers feel as if they are missing out if they don’t participate! It should be easy, fun and interactive. At the end of the day, you want to get them talking and ideally sharing. Engagement can be achieved in a myriad of ways including conversation, product demonstrations, games, surveys, and photo-ops just to name a few. The longer you can keep them engaged the better. So, think about your target demographic, what would be of interest to them and keep them talking.
Last not but certainly not least on our list of sampling techniques is the incentive. Simply put, what’s in it for the consumer? All be will for naught if you don’t get consumers to care about your efforts. Free samples or a gift is a great way to start, especially for food & beverages brands, but there are other considerations. For example, consider discount codes, free trials, BOGO offers and more. Essentially, with any call to action, it’s only fair that you provide something in exchange for a consumer’s time, money or information. By giving consumers a little motivation, you are bound to garner far better results.
So, riddle us this, why haven’t you planned your summer sampling yet? Big budget or not, a little creativity, engagement and incentive will go a lot further than a bit of luck and fairy dust. Whether you are in food & beverage, technology, retail or more, sampling activations have a lot to offer. So, get out there and get planning. We can’t wait to see you on the streets this summer and see what you’ve come up with.