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Reasons to allocate more budget to voice sampling – right now

Notebooks on a deskRecently, we talked over options for getting brand samples to potential customers, looking at ways to overcome the challenges of pandemic lockdowns using 3PL strategies.

Specifically, we talked about microsites but we also mentioned voice sampling, which is the rising star of experiential marketing. More and more brands are including it in their marketing toolkit.

The problem is, generally speaking, your sample budgets are too small to be effective in these shifting sands of the new normal.

Voice sampling 101

We established the power of microsites is that they:

  • Solve the problem of getting your samples out there
  • Act as a revenue channel for subscriptions, which are enjoying an uplift
  • Collect data of customers who’ve shown interest in your product

Voice sampling also gets your product out there and collects valuable customer data, just like a microsite.

But its superpower is that it sweeps aside barriers to getting a sample quickly and efficiently. For customers short on time, patience and attention, it’s genius.

Once your ad campaign has offered a free sample, all they need to do is ask their smart speaker (or Google Assistant on their phone).

A specialist company like our partner Send Me A Sample receives the order – and, just like that, it’s done. Via a third-party logistics company like Granby, their sample is on its way. Plus, their marketing data is captured for future use.

Example of 3PL fulfilment for voice samples

Before Christmas, we delivered a last minute project for a global company that was running a TV advert that encouraged people to use voice to order free samples.

It was a challenging project to source packaging on time – Christmas and lockdown e-commerce habits have created issues for 3PL companies countrywide. Fortunately, we have good packaging partners and we quickly turned 90,000 units into 30,000 samples ready for sending out.

This is a popular brand and they’d made engagement easy through voice sampling. They’d spent a fair amount on the advert and airtime, too. These 30,000 samples were snatched up in no time – all the samples went on Day 1 of the campaign.

Customers continued to see the advert and tried to order samples – but there was none to be had. There might have been thousands of disappointed customers.

While the theory of building a buzz through scarcity marketing is arguable, the most likely reason for there not being enough samples was because they didn’t have the budget – in other words, they hadn’t allocated a bigger budget.

And what’s the most costly item for voice samples after advertising (and in some cases, product)? Delivery.

How to overcome samples delivery (postage) costs

Granby minimises the cost of delivery via Royal Mail using Mailsort, a sorting programme. This runs address data and pre-sorts the packages for Royal Mail by location, thereby cutting the cost of postage.

This is just one of the ways we can make samples budgets go further when it comes to delivery. It’s not as cost effective as face-to-face has historically been, but we don’t know when that’s going to be back on the cards.

Once you accept that postage costs can be handled more efficiently than you thought, what’s standing in the way of dreaming much bigger for your sampling campaign?

Reasons to make bigger sampling campaigns

Whether you use microsites, voice sampling or both, there’s no doubting the opportunities a sampling campaign can open up.

But the old budgets are not sufficient for the current retail and e-commerce conditions, Sadly, we don’t know when things will be back to normal – or if there will be a new normal and what this might look like.

In all honesty, you probably needed to reallocate spend and adjust your budgets up from last March – please don’t get caught out for 2021.

In a nutshell

  • Customers who want to give you their details in order to sample are good prospects
  • Their data can be used to remarket other products and nurture loyalty
  • A bigger campaign will create delight, satisfaction and a word-of-mouth buzz
  • You’ve already invested in an advert and airtime – maximise investment with a commitment to go all the way
  • Disappointed would-be samplers might not give you a second chance
  • Remote brand experiences like samples are currently the only reliable way to get your product out there

If you’d like to know how to get started with a sampling campaign, don’t hesitate to get in touch for chat.

Photo by Thomas Kolnowski on Unsplash

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