One lunch hour in Mombasa, my son and I walked into a supermarket and our nostrils were accosted by an aroma. We followed it to find two cheerful ladies grilling and selling the brand of sausages their aprons displayed, at a hundred bob a piece. We had ours grilled as we paid. Two hundred shillings later, we were munching away at a freshly grilled hotdog and primed to the brand name. Such is the power of selling from FMCG experiential marketing.

Don’t just sample, sell. They are already in buy mode

Five months later at a supermarket in Nairobi, same scenario, only, no selling-merely sampling. The girl grilling is eager to get everyone to try a piece, and shoppers flock to do so. Upon sampling, she uses pester power (getting kids to pester their parents) plus a free packet of bread rolls (to make the sausage sandwich with, I suppose) to get “samplers” to buy. In the half hour period I’m there, 18 people sample and one shopper buys. He is awarded with a packet of bread rolls. In Mombasa, over the same period of time, the two ladies make 10 cash sales. In both instances, (fast moving consumer goods) FMCG experiential marketing is at play. The only difference is that the Mombasa experience has managed to seamlessly incorporate a selling experience.

People derive much greater satisfaction from purchasing experiences than they do from purchasing goods. As a result, framing a sale in experiential (as opposed to material) terms is more likely to lead to satisfied customers and repeat business. That explains why with FMCG experiential marketing is all the rage. From caravans on the road to sampling in the supermarkets and all in between. I do not doubt that at its introductory stage, experiential marketing was a hit. Now that it’s common (especially sampling), it needs to evolve into selling. Why?

FMCG experiential marketing. Trends change

Time was, when buying freshly baked bread from the supermarket was novel; today, what’s trending is buying any manner of food from the same outlets. Supermarkets caught onto the fact that shoppers are already in “buy mode”when in the supermarket and, possibly informed by the success of freshly baked bread, evolved there offering into cakes, juice, milk and entire meals. However, many FMCGs (fast-moving-consumer-goods companies) still haven’t. They still prefer merely sampling.

FMCG experiential marketing

Hope is not a strategy. FMCG experiential marketing

Also, I find the merchandisers (the ladies getting you to try the sausage or cornflakes) incline heavily on hope. That is, the experience, pester power and giveaway to induce the purchase. And as has been said before, hope is not a strategy. Marketers will argue that the samples and giveaways are a marketing expense already catered for and to be recouped through sales with the passage of time, now that brand awareness has been created. On the other hand, business will be interested in seeing a faster return on investment during such experiential marketing sessions; and if the Mombasa experience is anything to go by, it is possible.

Sales, not marketing, orientation

The whole set up (process) however, must have a sales orientation, not a marketing one. Starting from the timing and purpose of being there (to sell sausage sandwiches, for instance) to the training of the merchandiser. Keeping in mind that the shopper is already in “buy mode” and is not new to experiential marketing, this is what I envisage. I envisage cash sale shaving booths for men-not just a sniff of how the after shave lotion smells. Further, I see cash sales of bowls of cereals for the child as the parent shops, and cups of hot tea while we shop especially this cold season we’re just coming out off.

Farfetched? What do you think?

Check out our short courses and other services here. Or, if you would like to have your sales team sell more, we can help. In order for us to do so we propose a free consultation meeting or a call. If in agreement please complete the form below and we will get in touch after receiving your details, none of which will be public. Thank you.

Views – 463

About Author

Related posts

Make what you can sell, don’t sell what you can make.

Imagine how frustrating it must be selling the process of getting a sacco loan complete with guarantors to tech-savvy Generation Y. Make what you can sell, don’t sell what you can make. This is the mantra start-ups are forever reminded of. It is also relevant to existing businesses overtaken by time. The curse of many

Read More

Three More Activities To Get Your Sales Gushing In 2018

“I stopped drinking on credit after the very first bill I received,” a friend of mine said, still visibly shaken from the memory. “I realised” he went on, “that I was overly generous when I wasn’t feeling the pinch of a cash transaction.” So, it’s sill January and customers aren’t buying. Resigning to fate is

Read More
Stay ahead in a rapidly changing world with Lend Me Your Ears. It’s Free! Most sales newsletters offer tips on “What” to do. But, rarely do they provide insight on exactly “How” to do it. Without the “How” newsletters are a waste of time.