Are you using sampling in your marketing efforts? Ad Age had a quick article on some of the sampling efforts being undertaken by major marketers this summer.
What’s old is new again. Is it better to hit a prospect with 3 to 5 impressions and tell them about your product or is it better to put the product in their mouth or on their skin and show them how great it is?
If you think about it, the Web 2.0 technique of giving away your entire product dates back to the days of the local shopkeeper.
Back in the day, the general store owner would give you a taste of what was in the barrel to get you to purchase the product. Now, digital products and services providers allow you to use virtually all of their services free of charge, with the hope that you’ll come back repeatedly and purchase the premium (paid) product or generate pageviews to generate advertising revenue.
Sampling’s an old marketing technique, but it’s taken hold in Web 2.0 products and, with the advent of more granular tracking tools, is becoming more popular with traditional CPG.
As Winston Churchill once said, “The further back I look, the further forward I can see.” What other “old” marketing techniques can you think of that can be resurrected in your marketing efforts?
For the first time in a long time I took a few minutes to run through the Valpak co-op mailing I received last week.
After a few minutes of looking at the offers, I came up with a short list of things to consider if you’re using Valpak (or other co-ops) as a marketing channel. The short list is powered by my own past experience and might stimulate you to think of some other ideas.
Before I get started, here’s a rundown of what I found inside. There was a total of 43 inserts inside the envelope (which featured, bizarrely, a promotion for the television program CSI: NY on the OE and which distracted me from the 1:50,000 possibility that there might be a check for $100 inside). I sorted the inserts into three categories:
- National advertisers (19, 44% of the total). These included Netflix, DirecTV, Verizon, Omaha Steaks and others. Of those, 4 (27%) of the inserts did not use the standard 8 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ format and instead paid additional for a heavier and/or different stock insert.
- Regional/franchise (8, 19% of the total). Included here were ads for the local Gold’s Gym, Kaiser Permanente and Molly Maids. Of these, only 1 (12%) of the inserts deviated from the standard insert.
- Local advertisers (15, 35% of the total). These ranged from local dentists to home improvement providers to Anthony’s, a restaurant down the street–which included some coupons that might finally get me to take the family there!. Only 1 insert (7%) strayed from the Valpak standard format.
Valpak ran one house insert, promoting an offer of $350 to target 10,000 homes for new advertisers, a CPM of $35.
We can immediately see some ideas, just from this basic sort.
Over the years I, and my clients have labored mightily at our marketing efforts. Hours of careful thought about our marketing objectives, followed by more hours of careful analysis of past test results. And even more analysis of our lists and target audiences, followed by hour upon hour of agonized copywriting and creative development. Lastly, double- and triple-checking test emails, lettershop insertion samples and testing our telemarketing scripts in every imaginable way.
After all that careful planning and analysis, what could possibly go wrong?
Just three simple things:
- People don’t read.
- People don’t think.
- People don’t care.