If I had a nickel for every time I heard a variation of this question, I wouldn’t need to write this blog. Whenever the discussion about the value of in-store sampling or in-store product demo, I always ask - “compared to what”? CPG retail marketing strategy has a number of tools to create and/or improve customer demand which is the main goal of such investment.
There are many people who would argue that nebulous terms like “brand awareness”, etc are also critical elements of retail marketing strategy. I would respectfully disagree with pursuing a goal that cannot be quantified in a meaningful way. Brand is what consumers think about a provider of products, based on their personal experience with these products or the personal experience of other consumers, they can relate too.Therefore if products, collectively marketed by a brand A, consistently deliver an experience that exceeds consumer expectations over a period of time, the reputation of brand A is being built and its value is increasing. From this perspective any funds invested in activities promoting a brand outside of experiential marketing channels, are very expensive - because they deliver results which are very hard to measure or not relatable to actual business goals, i.e. Low or No Return on these investments.
There are many definitions of a retail marketing strategy that can be found online, in magazine articles and in thick paper books, but in simple words they all agree that retail marketing strategy is any set of activities that increase retail shoppers' traffic AND increase sales of the products in stores. Marketing managers often use in store promotions to stimulate sales of the products and improve customer experience.
So, why do so many CPG brand builders think that in-store sampling is more expensive than other marketing investments?Here are a few reasons why some retail marketing strategy practitioners hold this opinion:
In conclusion, an in-store sampling is not “expensive” or “cheap”, it can be valuable or wasteful. It is not just WHAT you choose to do, it is HOW you decide to execute it. If you are ready to extract measurable value from your in-store experiential marketing investment, we can help to make it a reality.