College Sampling

Written by Linda Alexander
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College sampling is a growing method of experiential marketing. While sampling was once rooted in in-store promotions, now it enjoys a presence at live events as well as in malls and the traditional in-store demo. Because sampling generates excitement and interest, companies rely on it to introduce new products and increase sales.

According to Promo magazine, about $1.5 billion dollars were spent on sampling in 2003, an increase of 10 percent over 2002. And the trend will continue, as college sampling gains popularity. College students are the current and future market for many products, and graduating students will soon have more disposable income.

Students Enjoy College Sampling Promotions

From a consumer perspective, college sampling programs are enjoyable because students like to try something for nothing. From a marketing viewpoint, it's been a proven winner over time. Offering samples of a product to a target audience can form the foundation of an integrated marketing campaign, especially with the younger generation, where members want the marketplace to come to them.

Sampling to any audience is easy to measure, another benefit to companies and yet another reason why it's growing in popularity. Online, college sampling also allows marketers to track products as well as to eliminate waste. Consumers can request the specific product samples they want, thus reducing the number of samples that get thrown out.

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