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spacer.gif Product Sampling & Distribution
Try it! You'll like it!
Free product sampling works! Sampling is the art of distributing free products and information to consumers that brands really want to reach. One marketing survey of annual promotion practices notes that 9 out of 10 manufacturers use sampling to introduce new products, launch line extensions, and build their consumer franchises.

Unfortunately, research indicates that general market sampling programs reach fewer than 5 percent of ethnic consumers — African-Americans and Hispanics. SMSi can reach this market segment with non-traditional, grassroots sampling strategies. Using new tools and techniques like micromarketing and ethnic identification, SMSi has helped leading brands increase product sales and market share.

SMSi's access to multicultural and urban markets has helped major companies like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, and Johnson & Johnson launch significant sampling initiatives in the urban market.

Why target ethnic consumers with free product samples and promotions?

  • Brand loyalty among ethnic consumers is high — once these consumers enter a brand franchise, they remain there.
  • The ethnic, urban segment of the population is the fastest growing consumer group. In many urban areas, the minority is the majority (Miami, 72 percent of the population, and New York City, 52 percent).
  • Because ethnic consumers tend to get very few samples, the ones they do receive have a great impact because they are viewed as gifts.
  • The marketing opportunities are worth it. Ethnic consumers have high consumption in many important categories when compared with the general market: health and beauty care, beverages, analgesics, household cleaners, dry groceries, and snacks, and a host of others.

The SMSi family of networks
For optimal results, many traditional, general-market sampling approaches are ineffective because their programs fail to reach consumers in a "culturally appropriate" manner. Since 1978, SMSi has developed community-based, grassroots networks that reach African-American and Hispanic consumers where they live, work, play, shop, groom, worship, and learn. Our flagship network, the Church Family Network®, reaches 2.7 million Hispanic and African-American households. Other networks reach consumers through beauty salons, barbershops, and entertainment venues in urban neighborhoods and on college campuses.

Through these unique networks, SMSi distributes tens of millions of free product samples, informational circulars, brochures, supplements, and promotional offers each year.

The company employs bilingual market managers and field representatives in the top 20 urban markets in the United States. These professionals utilize a variety of tools to distribute free product samples, product literature, and promotional offers: SMSi networks; street corner distribution, implementing branded mobile vans; and awareness of local markets and population diversity. to We conduct these programs nationally, regionally, or locally — in the market or markets of your choice.

Product sampling works for ethnic consumers, and product sampling works for companies. That's why we say, "Try it! You'll like it!"

Learn more about the SMSi networks.

Contact SMSi about how your company can benefit from its sampling and distribution strategies.

Read more about effective product sampling strategies

"A Case for Ethnic Sampling," by Lafayette Jones
See the article on the Promo magazine website.

"Try It You'll Like It...Reaching Ethnic Consumers with Free Product Samples," by Lafayette Jones
From Exposé magazine.
Download here.


Segmented Marketing Services, Inc.
4265 Brownsboro Road, Suite 225
Winston-Salem, NC 27106-3425
Tel. 336.759.7477
Fax. 336.759.7212