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Marketing Buzz 08/03

Giving out free samples to attract more business

Worth a Try
For years, cosmetic companies have used sampling as a way to build their businesses. But have you ever thought about stealing this technique from their makeup bag?

Don't be afraid to offer a free sample, even in the service arena. Maureen Murphy, president of DirectEffectz, a direct-marketing consulting firm in San Diego, offers a free marketing audit. "It gives them a taste of what I can do for them," she explains. And Monika Meszaros of Sweet Reflections Inc., a custom-chocolate company in Carlsbad, California, distributes boxes of chocolates at networking events.

Insperience Studio, an appliance showroom in Atlanta, lets consumers wash a load of laundry, chill a bottle of wine or even cook a meal. And Coffee Ambassador, a B2B coffee delivery service in San Diego, has its salespeople brew a pot of coffee for potential customers as an introduction to the product. "It lets prospects experience our product firsthand," says CEO Sean Curtis.

Even at charity events, it makes sense to let people sample your product or service. And at larger events, a free sample of your product or service can be a raffle prize.


If you haven't already done so, now's a good time to start protecting your brand. NameProtect has introduced VigilActive, an online brand-monitoring service that scours the Web for brand abuse 24/7.

Are you worried about trademark infringement, domain name abuse or even traffic diversion schemes? This service scans millions of Web pages, message postings and other content to help you better manage your brand. You choose your objectives, and VigilActive delivers relevant reports to you online. Reports are delivered monthly, quarterly, semiannually or yearly. Prices are approximately $4,000 to $6,000 per report.


of U.S.consumers trust print ads. Only
trust online pop-up ads.
SOURCE: PlanetFeedback

is the age at which most Americans believe adulthood begins.
SOURCE: The University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center

Marketing consultant and speaker Elizabeth Goodgold is the author of Duh! Marketing Awards (

This story appears in the August 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »