How to Maximize Your Product Sampling Campaign
Many college marketers are tasked with getting on campus to interact with students, press the flesh, and hype up their new product or service. Some fall into the trap of overthinking their execution and feel that a full-fledged event is in order. Not so. Well-timed, professionally executed “pocket promotions” can eliminate the need for full-scale campus events and tours. Designing tents, securing permits, and navigating other logistical hurdles can take months and cause you to miss an opportunity to be on campus right away.
Pocket promotions work well when your timing is, well, timely. For example, a timely pocket promotion might be a beverage company handing out free product to a campus that has just won an NCAA championship. Small pocket promotions work even better when the promotion is part of a larger national campaign you are running. A hypothetical example of this might be Taco Bell dovetailing a late-night college bar promotion with the national release of a new menu item. Methods like this work because you are bringing an extension of your campaign into niche markets for direct impact.
Understand that a pocket promotion is a short-lived event (just a few hours) promotion in a highly targeted area (on campus, at a beach, tailgating event, etc.) where, usually, a street team is interacting with a consumer one-on-one about something very specific with a mixture of some custom media. Maybe you are promoting a new movie release, or creating awareness about drunk driving. No matter what your message, it needs to be quick and to the point and offer an opportunity for people to walk away from your conversation understanding what you want them to do while encouraging them to share it with their friends.
Here are some pros and cons to pocket promotions: