Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Are free samples beneficial for advertising and marketing purposes?

Waseem Saddique explains why free samples are hugely beneficial for generating business in a difficult economic climate.

The answer is YES! At present we live in a something for nothing culture as economic recession bites, not just for businesses, but consumers. As businesses look to entice customers back into spending, it’s not uncommon to see sale signs spring up, special offers on the increase and more commonly free samples being given away.

Whilst in relative terms it’s easier for a product based business to offer free samples, there has been an increase in service providers being able to offer what are affectionately termed ‘freebies’.

Waseem Saddique comments: “As a marketing services business, I often look at ways I can help clients who have very little budget for advertising. For instance, offering a client a free, small-size advert that proves to be effective in terms of their needs, gives them confidence that advertising works and encourages them to spend more utilising my services.”

Giving people incentives to use your service is incredibly powerful and by far the best way to approach this is to offer something for free. Make the client matter, give something back to those who invest so heavily in your business as it not only strengthens your relationship with existing clients, but increases your reach to potential new clients also.

In a recent study carried out by BDRC Continental (a well-respected research company), they discovered that, on average, spontaneous brand awareness campaigns (like offering something for free) can increase a company’s noticeability by 90%.

Furthermore, the possibility of purchase or use of a service rises by a staggering 91% as well as exponential increases in word-of-mouth, which is hugely influenced by the presence of free samples. The key is to get people talking; it’s the best form of advertising available! (Source: Marketing Week, 2012).

Offering a free product or service also gets consumers engaged with your business, interaction increases and therefore, awareness of your brand is made bigger. Social networking sites can play a huge part in your campaign. Offering a free product or service on a social networking site means that you can effectively target your required audience, as well as reaching a whole new range of clients you may never have considered before.

Sometimes businesses neglect the finer details and fall into the trap of thinking that massive advertising campaigns, with all their glitz and glamour, are the way to attract customers. In some cases this may be true, but more commonly, certainly given the current economic climate, it’s the personal touch that is proving to be more valuable in reaching consumers.

Making consumers feel valued and wanted is the key to the success of your business. It’s what keeps them coming back, they learn to trust the brand, the image and embrace the attention to detail that you as a business put into your efforts.

Waseem Saddique concludes: “As CEO of Waseem Saddique Marketing Services, I have recognised the value of establishing solid relationships with consumers. Occasionally offering free services has increased the visibility of my business and I would encourage companies to consider the ‘free sample’ a viable option for promoting their business.”