One Blog |July 6, 2011 | Point-of-Sale Marketing Management

Harness the Full Power of Alcohol Beverage Samples

Denis Clark

Take it up a Notch and Capture Consumer Feedback

On May 26, Inc. Magazine published a story titled, “How to Use Samples to Promote Your Product.” The article starts off outlining how a start-up coffee shop named Gordon Grade Coffee Company aimed to use a large-scale sampling effort at a university during finals time. With the usual goal of translating sales into actual business, such an effort (especially during an important time in a company’s ramp up stage) has risk, but also significant potential. The article discusses a variety of products and emphasizes the need to know why you’re sampling, what product is best to sample, and what audience to target.
 
In OnTrak Software’s business, which focuses on tracking, managing and measuring alcohol beverage samples and other marketing materials, the importance of HOW to sample is obviously quite relevant. However, OnTrak takes sampling much further. Once beverage distributors have a strong sampling plan in place, OnTrak encourages alcohol beverage distributors to “sample” its SampleTrak solution. Samples are great, but why not use them to actually gain consumer feedback? It’s the logical next step instead of simply waiting to see if samples eventually translate into more sales.
 
Let’s face it – the effectiveness of samples can be a problem if a restaurant or store doesn’t track the information they need to see what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, if an audit trail for inventory isn’t maintained, do you really know where samples are going, or what percentage is truly being used for its intended purpose? Without tracking, samples really can’t serve a definitive role in your long-term business strategy.
 
Here’s what beverage distributor’s can turn to: SampleTrak software can help you capitalize on market share opportunities and get more from sampling programs by providing detailed information – from what wine or other beverage was sampled and where, to who sampled it and the customer’s tasting response. SampleTrak ties it all together in order to show how it correlates to your sales. Once you know what’s really going on with your samples, you’re ready to fully harness their potential.
 
In The Inc. article, it mentions that the coffee company was planning on offering more than 2,000 samples of its product during one major campaign. Imagine the value of tracking the feedback from each and every one of those samples. Now THAT’S data any company would want.
 
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