We recapped a three market sampling pilot for an agency partner today. It’s not uncommon for our agency partners to ask us to fly with them to the brands they serve and take the lead on the insights and analytics of the recap. That was today.
This particular program was a three market pilot test. Teams sampled consumers in three markets; each of which were considered key strength markets for the brand (i.e., solid historical sales, good distribution channel relationships, limited relevant competition).
Within these markets, they executed for 18 weeks at a variety of venues, hitting some venues multiple times. In doing so they reached many consumers who had limited (if any) previous brand experience from a variety of age groups.
What We Learned From An Experiential 3-Market Pilot?
We learned that that the market with a larger, more demographically diverse activation footprint didn’t perform as well as the market with a more concentrated routing among a homogeneous consumer group. The difference between the control/ test purchase intention data was almost 10 or more points stronger in the concentrated markets.
- The brand manager (wisely) attributes this to the fact that when you’re concentrating your efforts, you own the space. When you’re spread out, you’re doing a little everywhere which makes it harder to make a splash.
We also saw strong reinforcement around the theory of “message to market” match. The brand did it’s homework and had great brand strategy research under it’s belt (not our work but great work). They know who their target consumer is, and why he buys. During this pilot, we monitored through a unique survey method, how well the team was reaching this coveted demographic.
When the brand ambassadors were on target, purchase intent soared. When the consumers sampled were off target, future purchase intent wasn’t as strong. By linking this critical survey data to venue and market, we were able to clearly deconstruct those situations which got the sampling to the greatest number of the the right kind of person.
I’d say the pilot was a success. And the metrics PortMA delivered did their job. We were able to clearly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot and use this to aid in the routing of next year’s activation. The recap profiled the type of markets that positioned the teams for the greatest success.
In addition, it provided insight to the locations within these markets that will yield the greatest short-term sales impact.
Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/3137422976/