Sampling ROI

Sampling That Satisfies: 4 Steps to Measure Your Sampling Program’s Success

January 13, 2016by Sara Tetzloff

You’ve determined that sampling is right for your brand and you put it into practice. How do you know if it’s working? Every brand and target is different, so metrics vary depending on your objectives. It’s up to us as marketers to set measurable goals and pick out which pieces work and which can evolve. However, these four steps are helpful guidelines for any sampling program.

Step 1: Define the objective
Tracking ROI on your sampling initiatives depends on the metrics you select. It could be as clear-cut as increased sales or social following. Or it could be more qualitative, like target sentiment. Determine what you’re trying to achieve through your efforts, being as specific as possible.

Step 2: Create metrics for those objectives
By tying metrics to your program objectives, you’re able to measure its success concisely and determine the ROI of your efforts.

Tracking quantifiable metrics like in-store purchase and e-commerce conversion should be simple. For initiatives with a coupon element, record promo code usage or in-store coupon redemption as an indicator of cost per sample. Increased sales of specific products during the promotion may also be an indicator of sampling success.

In addition to using provided insights and quantifiable metrics for sampling initiatives with a social component, monitor feedback within those networks as the sampling efforts are occurring to get a pulse on how the target is responding to the product. There are a number of third-party platforms that will help monitor sentiment analysis on social media.

Step 3: Balance the cost per sample to the value of a loyal customer
When deciding on a sampling program, consider how much you are spending for each target reached. Spending $100 on a $300MM customer may make sense. Investing that amount to capture a $10 one may not. Don’t forget to factor in costs for printing, postage and product that affect total price per sample.

Step 4: Evaluate
Throughout the sampling program, monitor the specified metrics frequently to determine if the program is meeting objectives. If not, make adjustments on the basis of your findings and continue to measure the program’s success.

If the price tag seems high for sampling opportunities, know that with the cost comes great opportunity for direct sales and ROI. Brands have successfully used sampling to launch new products in a big way and gain market share from competitors. One thing’s for sure: increasing sales, boosting conversion and fashioning brand loyalists is every marketer’s dream. Who wants a sample?

Have you had success in sampling? Share your story in the comments.

Subscribe to Blogworthy
Stay fueled.

Sign up for Hiebing Marketing Fuel, our monthly newsletter, and we’ll send even more real-world inspiration and information straight to your inbox.