Interview with John Clark

 

Interview with John Clark

What is the most challenging part of owning your business and how do you get through it?

The most challenging part is being tempted by full figure salaries with benefits, spending time comparing myself to other start up CEO’s with more traction than mine and of course the fear failure. What gets me through it is how much I’m learning by focusing narrowly on generating a profit. I also think I’m as some would say, a glutton for punishment. I recently crashed and burned the past year working on a contest/free sample service business (http://bostinnovation.com/2011/10/07/failed-startup-lessons-from-indivly-founder-formerly-messageamp/).But I’m still working on my own business and I simply refuse to give up. If I have to go to a developing country to continue to operate cheaply for a few months, I’ll do it so I can follow my dreams.

Why did you start your business and who was your first customer?

I started my business because I’ve always wanted to change the world as an entrepreneur.Since I was a kid, I worked for my toys and ran 2 small businesses in middle school.In college I realized that nobody was getting jobs in my graduate year (Babson 2009) so I figured it was left to me to find something. So I set up a deals/coupons and free samples sitehttp://yofreesamples.comto generate revenue for me and to help others doing what they could to get by. We are trying to take this site to the next level with a stealth project called Indivly right now and I’ll go into that later.

How does using sampling and coupons boost retail sales?

Throughout history, sampling is very important for boosting retail sales. Standard Oil, for example, gave millions of kerosenelanterns away to China in the 1890s and to keep the light on what do you need to buymore of - kerosene. This is technically complimentary purchases, but I think you get the point. Coupons follow the same concept but are more of an incentive and only used if someone has intent to buy or the coupon is so valuable that it will “make” them buy.They’re not as effective online unless there is some link to an opportunity to purchase and there usually isn’t.However online sampling, when done right, is a highly effective way to drive purchases offline and online.You have the “reminder” of the product right in your hand.

What are some of thebenefits of e-sampling for a retail business?

Some of the benefits are the same as with offline samples - increased retail purchases and brand recognition.But offering samples online gives retailers an easy way to collect contact information – especially emails – and you’re reaching a much wider audience.

How can e-sampling boost a Facebook and/or Twitter fan page?

You see a lot of free samples being given away publically by requiring a Facebook Like or Tweet. It can most certainly bring a massive following to your Facebook/Twitter pages. However in the long term making afree sample offering public is risky because you might be only getting “freebie seekers.”A “freebie seeker’s” intent isn’t to buy necessarily – it’s to get free stuff.That can get expensive mailing all those samples out and the retailer gets little in return. Offering samples offline is cheaper for sure, but everyone is online now. We are working on methods to make e-sampling more effective with Indivly.com. Retailers interested in offering samples online can contact me atjohn@yofreesamples.com.

Could you provide some current basic consumer retail trends.

Consumer packaged goods companies are starting to sell directly online. Private label goods are on the rise and CPG companies are also spending more than they have in the past on digital marketing. They’re looking for ways to use traditionally effective marketing methods online and samples are highly effective.There’s plenty of data to support that.

Why is sampling one of the better ways to market your company?

The consumer sees sampling as reducing their risk.Before they spend their dollars on something, they get to try it out first.Free samples are “interactive” – not just a bunch of words telling you to buy something. Consumers also get a sense that the company offering the product has a strong belief in it – that it’s good and they want everyone to try it.

The internet offers wider exposure for a product – more people to try.And it can be done efficiently and cost effectively.If you are interested in hearing how we can close the sample loop for your company send me an email atjohn@indivly.com.

Author:.

Hi I'm Evan and thank you for visiting my website! I love helping entrepreneurs! I also help brands connect with entrepreneurs.

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