Sampling Q&A With Brad Horowitz

Elite Marking Group CEO Brad Horowitz recently sat down with Event Marketer Magazine to answer a few hot topic questions about Product Sampling Campaigns. Check it out below.

Is generating trial as critical as ever?
Consumers are inundated with digital, social and mobile ads. The online review system has proven unreliable and consumers are more educated than ever. We are seeing a “showroom” model where consumers are yearning to interact with brands prior to online purchase.

Tell us about your sampling capabilities.
Elite Marketing Group is a full-service experiential agency. From concept through execution, we manage the entire sampling experience. As leaders in on-site customer acquisition and field sales, we love to apply drive-to components and sales to our campaigns to deliver greater ROI. Our digital team makes this possible as it integrates event technology solutions and our creative team develops experiential concepts to layer over our campaigns.

How is sampling evolving?
Sampling is constantly evolving with advancing technologies. Sampling programs are using upfront data collection for more customized trial experiences and incorporating AR/VR for deeper engagements. Agencies are better able to measure the success of programs through data collection and surveying.

What’s trending in sampling?
Field Sales. Selling on-site helps subsidize campaigns and hook consumers earlier in the cycle. We can sell physical inventory on-site or through digital means.

What type of sampling is hot for 2020?
Mobile Marketing Tours are making a comeback! We love tours due to their flexibility, quality control and platform for experiential activations. The additional driving impressions are a bonus!

Tell us a few clients that you execute sampling campaigns for.
Danone North America, Organic Valley and Sahale Snacks.

Your sampling campaigns are so successful for clients because…..?
We are focused on our clients KPIs and objectives. Our staff (employees) are closely managed and recruited for their brand knowledge and relevancy.

How do you get consumers to sample better or longer or more often?
Targeting the right consumer at the right time and place. Great staff that engage in conversations with consumers. Providing an engaging and exciting sampling experience that showcases real use of the product or service to deliver a more meaningful and memorable interaction.

Is there a client category that speak sampling better than others…and why?
Packaged foods, snacks and beverages because they can be consumed on the spot, allowing our ambassadors to answer questions and gather feedback immediately.

What investments are you making into your sampling offerings?
We are investing in staff and technology. We’ve seen a great benefit from turning our sampling staff from Brand Ambassadors to Brand Experts and have enhanced staff protocols. Additionally, Elite has an IT lab where we are constantly advancing event technologies. This includes applications for staff to track program metrics, data collection technology incorporating vast security measures and enhancements like AR, VR and interactive vending machines.

Top three sampling mistakes you see other sampling programs
commonly making
1) Commoditizing sampling programs and executing simply based on cost.
2) Sampling from a basic table or bags.
3) Just sampling. We see the biggest success in working with other clients to extend sampling campaigns through experiential concepts, social media, drive to store and PR.

What’s one great sampling tip?
Sample your product or service with a complimentary product or service to compound impact and subsidize costs. For example, sample milk with cookies!