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Thursday 20 December 2007

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Technology has made many things a lot easier, especially for the consumer. However, consumers still expect to be able to try before they buy. Advertrying is a strategy used to bring the product into the consumer’s palms, so they can give it a thorough “road-test”.

Advertrying is the next step in the marketing strategy after promotion. The primary function of advertrying is not to entice customers into the door. The promotion and advertising stage deals with that. Advertrying lets the consumer know if they want to purchase that product.

A fantastic example is in the computer-console market. Today there are three major manufacturers: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. There has never been a better and more diverse product range to choose from and the majority of consumers do not know which way to go. Some have their allegiances to certain products, some base it on reviews and specification. However, they still need to try all three before they can make that important final decision. It is here they can ascertain if they can live with the product, if it is fast enough and if it feels the way they want their ideal consol to feel.

A February 2007 survey conducted by the Product Sampling Council of the Promotional Marketing Association found that nine out of ten consumers say they would purchase a good or service if they experienced it and were satisfied. This is an astronomical amount, but yet is it that surprising? How can we make a purchasing decision without looking, feeling and sizing-up all of the options? You can’t simply look at a catalogue of fridges and pick one that looks like the best one. What about the size? Will it fit? How is the inside of the fridge organised? Can I fit my Christmas turkey and all the side dishes, deserts and alcohol in it comfortably?

It may sound simple. “How hard can letting a customer give the product a thorough road-test be?” The product must be set-up correctly with all functions correctly installed, the sales-assistant must know everything there is to know about it, there must be examples available for-sale at that point etc.

60% of product samples go untried. How can you be sure the scent you added to the page of a magazine has been smelt and assessed? You can’t! This does not just apply to FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), it can apply to anything from software, accountant services, websites to houses or cars.

Advertrying is more important than many of us think.


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