Traditionally, experimental marketing has been extremely popular with brands, mainly because of how effective it is. Giving people the chance to experience a product or service enables them to see just how great it is, which often leads directly to a sale.
While experimental marketing has been put on hold whilst the COVID-19 pandemic raged, this looks set to change in the latter half of 2020. Now that retail stores are re-opening and some events are going ahead, brands have the opportunity to engage new customers and increase their market share via experimental marketing.
What is Experimental Marketing?
Sometimes known as ‘engagement marketing’, experimental marketing involves inviting people to interact with a brand or company. Often, firms give people the opportunity to try – or experiment with – a product or service.
As people are generally happy to try something new if they’re not being charged for it, it’s a relatively easy way to introduce your brand to new people within your target demographic. Overcoming this barrier and introducing your product or service to your target audience ensures you’re on their radar.
However, experimental marketing goes a step further than simply introducing your brand to people. It actively prompts engagement, which propels people further down the sales funnel and pushes them a step closer to making a purchase.
Whether it’s used in isolation or in conjunction with other promotional materials and strategies, experimental marketing can facilitate sales quickly and greatly increases the speed of a customer’s journey.
Does Experimental Marketing Work in the Food Industry?
Experimental marketing is widely used across a number of sectors, but it’s particularly popular in the food and beverage industry. In fact, expert food marketers will often use experimental marketing tactics to establish new brands or products in the market.
When introducing a new product, food producers have two major barriers to overcome. Firstly, they need to ensure their product stands out amongst the competition and, secondly, they need to persuade potential customers that the product tastes as good as it looks.
Experimental marketing makes it easy for food companies to do just this. With promotional staff on hand to engage and entice customers to try something new, their attention is diverted from competing products. Furthermore, the option to try a new product enables potential customers to confirm that they enjoy the new product and would like to eat it again.
A major benefit for food companies is the option to host experimental marketing events in locations where customers can make a purchase straight away. That’s why you’ll often seem experimental marketing promotions in supermarkets and grocery stores. By introducing your brand and engaging customers at the point of sale, you can facilitate sales easily and watch your revenue increase.
How is Experimental Marketing Evolving?
Although experimental marketing has been used for quite some time, it’s by no means out of date. In fact, the success rate it offers and the impressive results it yields is why brands continue to use this form of marketing.
Despite this, experimental marketing is evolving in response to the changing environment. Many brands are incorporating digital experiences into experimental marketing events, for example. When people choose to take part in these experiences, they typically share the content on social media platforms, which leads to increased brand awareness. Additionally, firms are using the face-to-face opportunity to gather data about their target audience and to gain their consent to send personalised content online.
Can Brands Benefit by Using Experimental Marketing?
Absolutely! Companies typically see great results from experimental marketing, both in terms of revenue and information gathering. As experimental marketing gives businesses the opportunity to enter into open-ended dialogue with their target audience, they have the chance to gather detailed data and gain genuine feedback.
Providing companies use reliable methods to record and analyse this data, it can be used to enhance their products and services in the future. Additionally, businesses can rely on experimental marketing to secure positive PR and media coverage. By turning experimental marketing sessions into much-anticipated events, for example, brands can generate buzz beforehand and enjoy the extra coverage they receive.
Does Experimental Marketing Work in a Digital Era?
While digital marketing has become increasingly popular, it hasn’t reduced the impact or effectiveness of experimental marketing. In fact, experimental marketing is one type of offline marketing that simply can’t be replicated online. Due to this, companies are still committed to using experimental marketing in cohesive strategies than span digital and real-life environments. By doing so, firms get the advantages of both forms of marketing and enjoy even better results.
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