Effective product sampling, online video's impact, more

What is the best way to get a potential consumer to sample your product?

What is the best way to get a potential consumer to sample your product?

"The best way would be to reach them at the point of need," says Brand Connections' Brian Martin. "If you find the right 'when' moment - when they are in need -the product becomes a savior."

Marketers and their advertisers are quickly discovering the importance of reaching consumers at their point of need, he adds. In fact, statistics show "point of need" sampling yields a staggering product sample trial rate of more than 70%, 50% higher than the industry average.

"Rather than handing out a bar of soap at the train station to someone rushing off to work, which will likely wind up in the garbage," Martin suggests, "put that bar of soap next to a sink in their hotel room where they would welcome a branded product, can effortlessly use it, and have no other options. This type of 'advertrying' is fast-becoming the preferred option of today's marketers who need to generate the greatest return on their marketing investment."

Online video
How is the explosion of online video changing interactive requirements?

"In many ways, the 'death of the 30-second [TV] spot' -by way of functions like TiVo and the overall Internet - has fueled the proliferation of online video," says Ross Glick of Indelible Media.

Consumer adoption of emerging technology has created a world in which consumers drive marketers, not the reverse, and companies are spending big money to get a head start (the Google/YouTube deal, for example). The creativity and accessibility of online video is seductive to the consumer and equally attractive to the marketer, given its dynamic and easily updateable nature.

"As a result," says Glick, "multimedia agencies are now required to be fully equipped with an in-house skill set that integrates design, film/video [motion], and technology, backed by marketing and advertising strategy and support.

"Only when these elements are all combined under one roof," he adds, "can you ensure quality control over the entire production process and best serve the broadband experience."

Are radio stations podcasting or using podcasts?

Podcasting is an exciting technology that is allowing listeners to essentially program their own radio stations through their iPod or MP3 players, making radio even more portable and personal that it has been in the past.

"This technology has provided some challenges for traditional radio, and we're seeing that they are stepping up to the challenge to continue their listenership throughout the day," says Lynn Harris Medcalf of News Generation.

Many radio stations are now providing some of their content via podcasts, allowing the listener to pick and choose when and where to listen to their programming. One quick peek at a radio station's Web site will reveal which stations are podcasting their own programming for listeners to download.

"Since podcasting is for a consumer medium," notes Medcalf, "news broadcast stations aren't a natural audience for a podcast like an average radio listener would be."

Send your questions to toolbox@prweek.com. Please contact Irene Chang if you are interested in contributing to Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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