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How In-Store Demo Experiences Generate Word-of-Mouth Marketing

In store sampling events have long been a staple of the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, but they're more important than ever these days. Due to the Internet and online shopping, CPG companies and brick-and-mortar retailers need to provide a more personalized experience in order to generate word of mouth marketing. Online sales and social media don't have nearly the effect that in-person interactions offer, and in-store demo events are the perfect opportunity to create a natural desire for products while increasing the potential for on-the-spot sales. In short, in-store demos beat out online reviews for generating word-of-mouth marketing any day of the week. To help you maximize these benefits and help you create the right environment for word-of-mouth marketing to spread using in-store demos, below are five tips:

Be Authentic

Consumers look for authenticity in a world of fake social media personalities and vague online promises. Shoppers are bombarded all day long with digital advertising, so offering a genuine experience in person can be memorable. This leads to sharing these experiences with friends, families, and colleagues. Authenticity extends to the professionals managing your event. Whether you refer to them as brand ambassadors or some other title, the people presenting your product must also be authentic and genuinely excited about your products and their benefits. The right attitude can go a long way in marketing a product, but a genuine human being who can demonstrate why a customer needs your products can generate word of mouth marketing ripples.

Offer Value in Your Demo Events

When the CPG brand in store demo, the apparent purpose is to let customers see, taste, and experience products, but what value does this assign to the occasion? Moreover, what does your event actually do to increase the odds of generating word-of-mouth marketing? Whenever you hold an in-store sampling or demo event, try to find an angle that resonates with the customer seeking value. Perhaps you could offer shoppers something to take with them that will be a valuable item for daily tasks. You could also consider providing a folder full of printed materials that contain tips related to the problem your product solves. Once again, the point is to create a valuable and memorable experience that will keep your company on a consumer's mind, as this can lead to word-of-mouth marketing.

Manage Your In-Store Events Properly

The proper management software can also make a big difference in how successful your in-store demos turn out, and successful in-store demos lead to word-of-mouth marketing. In-store demo management software like Demo Wizard can help you keep track of the various elements of planning and executing your event to focus on other aspects of your word-of-mouth retail marketing strategy. Coordination is often the key here, especially when holding multiple in-store demos or having consecutive events lined up. In-store demo management software can make the coordination of numerous or repeat events easy, allowing things to run smoothly and presenting your products in the best light. The result can be improved engagement and increased word-of-mouth marketing potential.

Give Shoppers a Reason to Share

It may also be a good idea to give shoppers a reason to share your message by offering a referral program. When a shopper checks out your in-store demo, provide them with cards to hand out to friends and family. In return, the shopper receives a discount for each referral on a future purchase. While this may not be the most organic way to generate word-of-mouth marketing, it can be an effective strategy, particularly in new markets where your CPG company isn't known. Suppose you don't want to deal with the hassle of setting up a system to track direct referrals. In that case, you could instead hand outdated referral discount cards with an expiration that can be redeemed on future purchases at in-store events. Using this approach, you encourage people to either refer others or, at the very least, return to purchase their own soon.

Promote Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Of course, you also need to promote the idea of word-of-mouth marketing by clearly letting shoppers know about your social media channels at your store sampling event. Digital word-of-mouth marketing is enormous these days, but if shoppers don't know how to find your company, they can't spread the word and direct friends and family to your company on the web. Make sure your signage and collateral contain logos for your company's social channels. If you have social channels for specific products or brands, include those as well. The goal is to give people a reason to market your company using word-of-mouth and know how and where to find you so that this word-of-marketing marketing is effective.

Always Follow Up

Whenever you hold an in-store demo, take some time to monitor the Internet, social media, review sites, and video sharing sites for mentions of your event or your company. If need be, follow up on comments to thank people for praise and to address negative comments professionally. You can also consider asking new customers where they heard about your company. This can help you to see where your in-store demo events are paying off and where your company may need to add more focus. Once again, you don't want to get intrusive by asking for a lot of personal information, but it will benefit your business to know which in-store demos are generating word-of-mouth marketing and which ones need more work.


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