Results you won't get from a traditional sampling agency
Sampling vs data-driven sampling
Sampling has long since been a mainstay for FMCG businesses who are looking to grow their brands. However, as the digital world has quickly evolved, many traditional sampling methodologies have naturally become outdated and significantly less effective than the modern day alternative.
Unlike a traditional sampling, often facilitated by a sampling agency, a data-driven sampling methodology challenges the status-quo of traditional sampling by focussing more on the most fundamental question - why is the FMCG brand looking to sample?
For example, the key reasons why a brand is looking to sample may be to:
As well as offering advanced hyper-targeting capabilities, a focus on understanding the reasons behind why a brand wants to sample, enables data-driven sampling campaigns to be fully customised around the priority objectives that will help FMCG brands achieve their goals, as opposed to simply sending out as many un-targeted product samples as possible and hoping for the best.
It’s easy to see the difference in output when you compare traditional sampling activities to data-driving sampling, but first - what is data-driven sampling?
What is data-driven sampling
Data-driven sampling delivers more efficient volumes of hyper-targeted, more engaging and higher quality experiences – to consumers, in the comfort and safety of home.
In comparison to mass-drop sampling activities, data-driven sampling’s methodology focuses on ensuring that each aspect of the activity is accountable, measurable and efficient, offering industry leading returns across key areas of data insights, word of mouth, user-generated content, customer acquisition and beyond, making it easy for FMCG brands to know exactly what they got back from a sampling activity.
Most importantly, data-driven sampling seeks to answer those ‘why’ questions by challenging the status quo of sampling, and failing to adopt the old-fashioned sampling strategies often offered by sampling agencies.
Start with the
Start with the right audience...
It's really quite simple. Next level targeting creates next level results. Data-driven sampling tends to focus on the efficiency of the distribution as opposed to just the volume of distribution.
To do this, you'll go far beyond targeting just the basic demographics of consumers - considering lifestyle choices, attitudes, behaviours, shopping habits and even specific likes or needs to ensure you activate the audience who are most likely to become loyal, new customers.
Challenging the status-quo of sampling:
The methodology used in data-driven sampling demands a change in the measurement of success of sampling activities.
Instead of simply measuring success against the volume of products distributed, a data-driven sampling methodology measures the value returned by each and every product that reaches a target consumer’s hand - making the return on investment much easier to see and shout about!
Improving the efficiency and impact of sampling is simple, all an FMCG brand needs to do is challenge the status quo of traditional sampling methods and sampling agencies to demand more value in return for the products they’re sending out.
There are 4 key areas of comparison between traditional sampling methods and data-driven sampling that influence the value returned to FMCG brands, explore them below and begin challenging the status-quo for yourself:
Using traditional sampling methodologies, targeting is typically heavily restricted or non-existent – making it difficult to ensure you’re reaching the right consumers with your product sample.
Data-driven sampling reaches the right consumers, every time…
FMCG brands can select their ideal target audience, no matter how specific, ensuring that every person who receives a product matches one of the brands specific criteria, or is statistically likely to enjoy that particular product and brand. This hyper-targeting strategy goes far beyond basic demographics, leveraging consumers behavioural, attitudinal and lifestyle attributes as more accurate indicators of a products suitability for a consumer.
Naturally this aids the effectiveness of the sampling, reduces waste and ensures that the FMCG brand has the highest chance of achieving the optimum outcome – whether it’s winning a new, loyal customer, gaining a trusted recommendation or collecting priceless data insights.
Sampling agencies rarely account for the volume or value of product samples that are wasted in mass drop sampling activities. This often means that consumers receive a product regardless of their suitability for the sample, and in many cases, the same consumer receives multiple of the same product.
Comparatively, data-driven sampling uses advanced targeting capabilities, meaning that only one sample is distributed to any individual consumer, whilst allowing FMCG brands to eliminate waste in their sampling activities and ensure that every consumer does receive a sample is a match for that specific product and brand.
Traditional sampling methodologies typically attempt to measure value and success by simply noting number of product samples distributed.
In comparison, data-driven sampling concentrates on maximising the measurable value returned to FMCG brands – with full, in-depth campaign and product reporting built in as standard.
The results from each activity are unique – producing high value returns across several key areas, including activation and customer acquisition; awareness and influence; data and insights; and user-generated content.
For example, even a low volume pilot trial campaign distribution of just 10,000 units typically returns:
- 10,000 hyper targeted in-home trials
- 5,000+ consumer social posts
- 1,000,000+ digital campaign reach from earned media (UGC)
- 13,000+ pieces of written and visual user-generated content
- 9,000+ person focus group with custom data collection & insights
- 45%+ conversion from trial to follow-on purchase
Collecting data insights
Collecting useful and actionable data from traditional sampling methods is typically not possible, and when it is, the data collected is unlikely to be statistically significant, or robust enough to produce real learnings and value.
Data-driven sampling creates a unique opportunity to collect priceless data insights – that can be used internally, externally and everywhere in between. Bespoke data insight reports are created as standard – helping brands evolve their understanding, fast track development and optimise for success.
Data-driven sampling achieves a 90%+ survey response rate from consumers who receive product samples – meaning that even with lower volume distributions, the data is robust enough to truly validate assumptions and guide decision making. For example, FMCG brands can use unique data insights to test NPD concepts, optimise and evolve existing products, and even leverage shopper specific demand to help grow retail distribution and shelf space.