LetsWombat Founder On Turning Product Sampling Into A Trackable Marketing Channel

When I think of product sampling, I remember the glorious days of wheeling around the grocery store with my mom and picking up every cheese and meat-laden toothpick in the building. My mom hated it. She was quite organized, and knew exactly what she wanted from the trip, while I was busy begging for the salami I just discovered or the special water crackers I sampled with a cube of Colby Jack.

She didn’t run off and buy the stuff I had sampled (probably because she never actually tried it), and I obviously wasn’t old enough to throw down cash for a box of crackers.

But clearly, product sampling can be big for a brand if it hits the right demographic in the right setting, which is exactly the business proposition of a new startup called LetsWombat.

The idea is relatively simple, though the tech and analytics behind it are far from it. In short, LetsWombat talks to a brand about the demographic they’d like to reach. Perhaps my new all local and organic beef jerky (can beef jerky be organic?) company wants to reach hungry, lumberjack style men between 18-35.

LetsWombat has a database of all the events happening all over the place, and can see that the annual Wing Bowl — an equally entertaining and disgusting show of food-to-mouth-to-belly talent — is going down next week. LetsWombat contacts the organizer and sets up my product sampling of my delicate and extraordinary beef jerky at the contest, offering up a natural and unobtrusive way for consumers to check out my product.

That, in and of itself, is fine and dandy, but I’d need some metrics on how the campaign worked. LetsWombat is able to track the social media conversation during and after the event for me through a mobile web app, which tracks impact including reach, feedback and ROI.

The startup just finished its pilot program with 10 brands, and will continue providing its service to various brands with a focus in the snack and beverages market.