Sampler.io - Marie Chevrier


I reached out to Marie, and interviewed her a few months ago, and I am so glad that I did. This business mogul, is so down to earth, and very kind. It was great chatting with Marie, on how she used her previous job experiences as an inspiration to building a thriving business operating out of the downtown Toronto district area. Sampler is a very innovate way of getting businesses to maximize on their returns, by making sure that their products get to the hands of the right demographics. Listen to full interview: iTunes + Spotify - Sampler.io

Who is Marie
I am an entrepreneur, originally from Montreal. I have a sister, who just had a baby, and that’s my greatest joy right now. I’ve been working on Sampler for years now, where we work with large package consumed brands like L’Oréal, to smaller emerging brands. We help brands find high value consumers, to deliver them the product sample in a digital way. Instead of just giving free samplers on the street or in grocery stores, which doesn’t tell you how many of those trying the samples are converted to (buying) consumers, we do it all online where consumers pick the sample items that they’re interested in, and from there we measure their behaviour to the point of purchase.

How did you come up with this idea
Back in school, I was always a brand ambassador. My first job, I worked for Mosaic Sales Solutions, like many of us did, giving out free stuff as part of my job. I remember one time on the job, giving out too many samplers of hummus, and there was not enough foot traffic. We were giving out so many samplers, and not caring about who were giving out these samplers too. I remember thinking to myself: What is the return on investment for doing this hummus company? Fast forward several years later, I worked in venture capital, agencies, and built my business acumen skills. So, I thought to myself, I am the best person to solve this gap. So, we just went for it by building a passionate team of sixteen, who are passionate about this space like I am.



How do you get to know consumers
You are a business, and you come to us and tell us that you want to reach groups of women, living in metropolitan cities, with two kids, just as an example. You can get very specific. What we do, we have a massive network from websites, to partners, that want to offer free samplers to their audience. We go through surveys to cut through the noise, and ultimately match your brand with the right consumers that you would like to connect with.

On Data protection
We work with multinational companies, so we must take data protection of individual consumers very seriously. We build our business making sure we comply. One rule of thumb when handling people’s data is to be transparent. You are giving this information to brands about people’s collected data, so that they can give out sampling products that match with people’s lifestyle. If you are very transparent about it from the beginning, and there is an incentive for the consumer to give you their data, and you handle it with care, people are usually really open to it. Be transparent, and always handle it with care.

On getting clients
We are a Canadian company, but we started in the US. Market because interest was larger in there, as well as larger budgets for testing sample products. We’ve operated in 17 countries, we can launch anywhere, that’s the beauty of it. But, we are stronger in North America. The consumer-packaged industry and retail is going through a major shift right now because of technology. Consumers no longer buy like they used too. Consumers are continuously moving further and further onto online. The new trends that they’re going after, everything is changing. This forces the retailers and the brands to rethink about the way they sell. Selling is now directly related to the way consumers buy, and the retailer needs to react fast enough to have it on their shelves, this dictates that the market has shifted. Sampler, we have created a clear understanding of what the consumers buys, and why.

Looking back, what advice you wish you were given
Make sure that whatever problem that you are solving, you are obsessed with it. I get asked about Sampler all the time, and every single time, I talk about it with the same passion. There are so many reasons to give up on your entrepreneurial journey, unless you’re obsessed with your idea and have a strong conviction on it, you will quickly give up. Another piece of advice would be, like this morning, I was having a tough day and I was freaking out. It’s important to remember that, frustration is part of the process. I try to find a way and place to always remember the feeling of the ‘highs’, to help me remember the good times over the lows. Try to always remember those highs, when things fall apart.

What legacy do you want to leave on this earth
I hope that people think that I was genuine. As a business you often put on this face of strong and powerful, but I also want people to know the ups and downs of building a business, so I just want to be me.

Three words to describe yourself
Wife. Daughter. Friend.

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