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Response One, a leading data-driven marketing agency owned by St Ives Group, has launched Affinity Sampling, a targeted sampling service that helps brands directly reach their target audience.

Based on Response One’s in-depth analysis of consumer data, the service allows brands to pair with a trusted ‘carrier brand’ that distributes their product samples to individuals based on demographic and brand preference information.

Product samples are enclosed within orders placed by people who have been identified by Response One as being receptive to such promotions. For example, Maybelline wanted to target young, fashionable females with samples of BB Cream foundation. Response One matched the target profile with ASOS - the perfect carrier with its fashion-forward, on-trend and social media-loving customer base. Samples of BB Cream were placed into ASOS’s online orders and the reaction was monitored via forums, blogs and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Procter & Gamble, L’Oreal, Lindt & Sprüngli and Kallo (Wessanen UK) are among other organisations and brands which have already signed up to the service and are seeing successful results.

Recipients are encouraged to share the experience and their unexpected delight when the free gift arrives via social media competitions, tweeting about the product or liking brands’ Facebook pages. In tests, some brands have seen an increase in engagement of up to 6.4%.

Damian Coverdale, managing director of Response One, comments: “We developed the service with a test-and-learn approach, and now have a bank of knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. Through this new approach, sampling is truly multi-channel and is a cost-effective way of reaching and engaging with the right people.”

Published on: 10:00AM on 29th July 2014