What a Waste: Has Product Sampling Led To Global Warming?

How Innovation Has Made Sampling Better.......And Saved the Earth Tons of Trash!

If there was an area of marketing ripe for innovation it had to be sampling!

If you have any doubts, then the next time a smiley young person presses a face cream pack or International SIM card into your hand, just check the mountain of discarded packets round the corner.

Then just think of all that waste from all the sampling campaigns across all the cities and towns where teams are handing out sachets and packets heading to landfill sites and then you get an idea of the environmental problem. 

Whether from live sampling teams in co-ordinated sweatshirts or sachets glued into magazines pages, apart from the environmental waste of all that bubble wrap, traditional sampling’s problems are:

  • scatter-gun targeting meaning products go to people who will never become customers;
  • no feedback as to who liked and disliked the product and why; and
  • little conclusive link between the sample distribution and future purchases.

Yet sampling remains a valuable tool for marketers looking to introduce a new product or grow market share because it removes the ‘price barrier’ to adoption and lets potential customers try the product


▸ Continue reading

Why product sampling is dead

The two dullest words in the world:

This morning on my journey into work, I was given a free little can of pop, a crappy plastic ticket wallet, an international SIM card and a voucher for a free dental checkup (not by the same people who gave me the fizzy drink, obviously). The drink tasted... kinda fruity? Maybe? A bit like bubblegum? Whatever it tasted like, I'm buggered if I can remember the brand. The ticket wallet will go unused; the SIM card went straight in the bin and I'm pretty sure the dental 'checkup' would just be an excuse to upsell me expensive treatments once I turned up. So, you know: thanks but no thanks.

Running the free crap gamut at a busy train station these days is a bit like walking through the 'entertainment district' of a cheap winter sun resort: "My friend! Come inside my restaurant! Sit! Sit! Very tasty, good price, free drink! Your wife, she very beautiful - I give you three camel!" It's annoying, it's a wee bit aggressive and, fundamentally, it's pointless. If something's such a good deal or such a great product, it probably doesn't require some guy grabbing my arm and dragging me towards it, or shoving a


▸ Continue reading