A Sample is Worth a Thousand Words

30June 2014

artichoke in bloom
A new look at the artichoke.

I love to travel for many reasons, but as a marketing content producer, I find that seeing new places helps generate new ideas.

Last week, I shared some thoughts on personal branding generated by a tour bus guide in Santa Barbara.  During that same trip, our group visited the local Farmers Market, a veritable marketing classroom.

From my experience in food marketing, I know how important it is to engage the senses.  And that’s what happens at the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market.

The Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market is a feast from the moment you enter. In June, the output from local growers is at its peak, and the booths are piled high with beautiful, colorful and aromatic produce. Best of all, as you walk among the isles, you can sample succulent strawberries, juicy tomatoes, nuts of all kinds, olives, cheese and bread.

The Market itself is clean, well organized and features the best local farmers have to offer.  Every item is raised by local farmers, and includes organically raised meat and poultry, dairy, eggs, vegetables, fruit, herbs, flowers and wine.  At this Farmers Market, it’s possible to buy everything necessary to make a gourmet meal, from appetizer to dessert.

Needless to say, the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market generates plenty of word of mouth advertising.  They have an active Yelp profile with positive reviews, a Facebook Page with over 5,500 likes and 1,000 + Twitter followers.  On social media, they share photos, photos, and more photos, comments about happenings in the organic food world and of course, recipes.

While food marketers may seem to have an unfair advantage, those of us who market other products and services can offer “samples” as well.

In fact, this very blog is a sample.  My readers get a taste of my writing style.  Potential clients can also see how I make meaningful connections among seemingly disparate things, which is a great skill for a marketing professional.  They also learn more about me and the wide range of experiences I bring to producing engaging marketing materials.

Making use of the internet gives us the ability to offer samples such as e-books, white papers, and tip sheets.  With iTunes and YouTube, we can offer audio and video samples, too.  From these “free tastes” of our products, our potential clients can hear our voice, see us in action, and come to know, like and trust us.

A sample of a succulent strawberry or the aroma of freshly baked bread can inspire us to buy.  What kind of samples can you offer your customers?


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