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Eclectic Thought Samples From Larry Burns

Sampling as POME – Do You Believe Me Now?

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Procter and Gamble, one of the largest ad spenders in the world, recently announced that they are going to “plow more marketing spending into sampling.” Those of us in the CPG world know it’s really true because there is a new acronym to go along with this statement. Chairman-CEO A.G. Lafley calls sampling a “Point of Market Entry (or POME  – a new P&G acronym).”

A story on the Advertising Age website (adage.com), reports that P&G has been cutting and consolidating their internal marketing sections for the past two years, but will be put a greater focus on sampling and digital media within its marketing spend. Speaking about digital media, P&G Global Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said he believes that concise, better targeted ads are more effective in “delivering top-of-mind awareness.”

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Pinterest is Pinning the Future

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I’ve been talking to many people in the industry over the past couple of weeks about the growing influence of the visual aspects of the web, and one thing that really fascinates me is Pinterest.

How, and why are people sharing their ideas in a visual way, and what are they sharing?

One interesting statistic about Pinterest: only about 15 percent of all posts/pins actually have useful explanatory text associated with the visual content, aside from the URL citing the source of the image. When you consider traditional search engines, these visual pins create a challenge. Since in so many cases there is no text, you have to wonder what results typical search engines will return. So, visual sites like Pinterest become search engines in and of themselves.

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World’s Biggest Advertiser P&G Shifts Focus to Sampling

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FINALLY …. this article speaks far more loudly than our efforts have been able to produce.  It is true SAMPLING WORKS!   Favorite line “For example, Swiffer, despite having been on the market for 15 years and generating $1 billion in annual sales globally, still has only been tried by 10% of people in the U.S.”

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A Funny Coincidence? Or The Gift Of Foresight?

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A new fitness craze has swept through the country’s young people over the last few years. Have you heard of obstacle course competitions like Tough Mudder, Spartan Race and American Ninja Warrior? In sharp contrast to traditional races, these competitors participate by doing things like trudging through mud and leaping over walls.

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Reflections from the Boston MARTECH Conference: Make Me Feel Like I Matter and You’ll Win My Wallet

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In late August, I attended MARTECH, a marketing and technology conference. These worlds – and these words – have needed to come together for a very long time. It was way past time for the many talented people who have been combining marketing and technology for years, working the shadows of our industry, to “come out” – because the combination of marketing, technology and management really needs to happen now, for all of us, and in a large way.

The conference reinforced some of my ideas about this concept and once again highlighted how legitimately rare it is to find people who excel in both realms – dubbed “unicorns” in conference materials because they’re so scarce. Right now, the marketing industry truly needs these gifted people. Otherwise, the genuine art of marketing will be trampled by the starkness of a purely numbers-based approach. Yes, I do expect marketing to be measured; I am not a “creative” who whines that things “cannot be measured.” Clearly, marketing results are measurable. I just believe that the ability to combine art and technology is required to yield the best results for a business.

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Women’s Health Got 43,000 New Subscribers After Sponsoring a Birchbox Package. Curated sample boxes provide a win for marketers

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Adweek runs article on BirchBox program – interesting read.  Basically,  using samples to generate signups which has always been a strong use case for online sampling .  My favorite line is a quote “”I think word is starting to go around that we have a really engaged audience” .

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Sampling Optimized – Context is Everything In a Sampling Society

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In the world of product sampling and marketing in general, we’re hearing more and more about using compelling visual content with fewer and fewer words. Visual content apparently allows marketers to more effectively reach consumers at both conscious and unconscious levels. The idea of visually compelling marketing really boils down to how you engage someone’s multiple senses through marketing. The visual taps the brain, whether it’s a fast car driving around hairpin turns, or a beautiful mountain stream and we can see that marketers use many kinds of subtle imagery in attempts to attract and woo customers.

While marketeers use visuals in all forms of marketing, product samples are the only strategic element that truly provides the full sensory experience to the consumer, whether it’s color, taste, sound, size or smell. The product sample doesn’t just provide sensory data; it’s gives them the full experience. That’s a unique and precious benefit sampling programs give to potential brand customers — a full experience of the product you’re attempting to persuade them to purchase.

But, there is more to it than just ‘sampling your product’. My personal bias is that customers need to experience the product (preferably without distractions) in the right context. “Marketing One to One” has been with us for a long time (Peppers and Rogers wrote the book in 1993!) and sampling has always played a role in any individual’s product experience . It means something – like shampoo should be experienced in your shower, food and cooking supplies should be tried in your kitchen and cleaning products should be tested on your own stains. The entire notion of exceptional content and visually compelling marketing is essentially attempting to give a person the opportunity to experience a product as fully as possible – so they perceive its value, understand its worth and make a conscious decision to buy it the next time they need it.

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Welcome To Sampling On Steroids

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One man’s opinion but the examples are useful to see ….  and wonder about.  Favorite line : ”Rarely a day in ad land goes by without us talking about the increase in consumer demand; the need to constantly push boundaries and provide delight.”

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PG Web Extra: A Taste of Sampling

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A solid article in Progressive Grocer, when one is interviewed one NEVER knows how it will turn out.   This is well more than decent.  My favorite line/quote, although quite obvious… “.. explains Burns, who concedes that this type of “hypertargeting” is easier to do online than in stores.”

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“Digital Disruption, Data, and Consumer Desire – Impacts on Best Practices in Product Sampling

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From the May 2014 Virtual LEAD Marketing Coference: Best Practice ideas that enable successful product sampling efforts in today’s rapidly changing digital marketing world, presented by Larry Burns of Start Sampling. Included are discussions of our shared exponential market reality changes, the digital Eco-system in brief, growing use of behavioral data for ROI proof, new targeting (and analytic) options, retailers moves to drive more value from their consumer knowledge, changing consumer expectations impact on marketers, and a question and answer session.