Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful and time-tested methods of selling products in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. Among the many advantages that word-of-mouth marketing offers is that it cost a lot less than any other method of generating consumer demand. Additionally, word-of-mouth marketing is very effective for reaching local and even global markets thanks to the power of the Internet.
These days, consumers share their experiences not only with their personal friends and family but also with others on social media, via text message, and in group forums and chatrooms. People also leave reviews of their experiences with companies and products on dedicated review sites, many of which get a lot of traffic. This means that generating positive word-of-mouth marketing is imperative to success in the digital age, and surprisingly, one of the best ways to achieve this type of marketing is through store sampling events and demos of products.
If you’re wondering what steps you need to take to make sure your store sampling events generate word-of-mouth marketing, below are the key components you need:
One of the essential ingredients in any successful effort to succeed in word-of-mouth marketing is to have a quality product that can stand on its own. You obviously believe in your products or else you wouldn’t sell them, but you also need consumers to see the value and benefits of your products as well.
In-store demos provide an opportunity for consumers to experience your products up close and hands-on, and this is something the Internet can’t offer. Consumers these days spend a lot of time researching products through online reviews, YouTube videos, and more, all because they want to actually see how a product looks and performs, and whether it will meet their needs. Holding in-store sampling events is the perfect way to help consumers skip the hassles of searching and simply experience your products for themselves.
In addition to the potential to make on-the-spot sales, you also gain the opportunity to generate word-of-mouth marketing brand exposure. Even if someone doesn’t make a purchase, you’ve had the opportunity to make an impression. By giving consumers the chance to experience your products, you’ve already laid the groundwork to get them talking with friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues about their experience.
The next ingredient you need to be successful in garnering word-of-mouth marketing results is to work with the right presenters. The people who manage your in-store sampling and demo events serve as product evangelists and brand ambassadors, and it is their job to not only tell consumers what your products do but also why consumers need your products.
Once again, your in-store demo events are held in part to drive sales, but they should also be purposefully designed to get people talking. One of your goals when holding any in-store event should be to generate word-of-mouth marketing results by providing an experience that consumers will be excited to share with others. The professionals who help consumers experience your products play a major role in the impression that people walk away with, so it pays to ensure they understand the weight of their responsibilities.
Every professional who works your in-store demo event should be well-trained in your products and their advantages and benefits. They should not only be able to sell products by demonstrating all of the benefits of each, but they should also embody the things that make your company unique. These brand ambassadors have the ability to improve the odds of receiving word-of-mouth marketing influence through their ability to deliver memorable experiences.
On the other hand, your events and the brand ambassadors who work them can also create a negative impression. To help prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to utilize an in-store demo management platform like Demo Wizard. Demo Wizard takes a lot of the hassle out of coordinating store sampling events and can help ensure that your company promotes its products in the best light while creating opportunities for consumers to spread the word. When you use an in-store demo management platform, there are fewer chances for things to go wrong and more chances for things to go right.
After your in-store demo event has wrapped up, you should take a few days or even a few weeks to monitor social media to see the results. If you’ve been successful in generating word-of-mouth marketing from consumers, you should be able to find comments on social media related to your event, your brand, and/or your products. You can also look through review sites to see if anyone has posted about your event or your products.
Take the time to comment on positive experiences. This not only helps your company’s image but also allows you to further the relationship your in-store demo event started. If you come across negative comments or stories about negative experiences with your event, craft your replies carefully, but try to respond with sincerity, grace, and timeliness. Just as positive interactions can promote word-of-mouth marketing, negative experiences can as well, and you don’t want that kind of marketing affecting your products’ image.
If you collected any type of contact cards at your event, follow up with interested consumers. You may make a sale out of your follow-up contact, but even if you don’t, you’ve made an impression, and that impression can go on to generate further word-of-mouth marketing ripples.