Up until now, we have mainly talked about offering CPG products as a free trial in an attempt to hook new customers. CPG product trials can also be done to test your products and produce research your marketing team can use, and that's the kind of trials we will focus on in this article.
Another term for these kinds of CPG product trials is user experience (UX) research, and the most effective research depends on finding the right people to participate in the research.
Most experts agree that you don't need a large number of participants for a majority of UX trials. Even when you are looking to uncover a trend or general opinion, you can usually segment the trial into different demographics and use a small number of participants, maybe five to eight, for each segment.
For narrower research like usability problems or specific feedback about an aspect of the product, a total of five to eight participants has been proven effective in providing the data needed.
Ask the Right Questions
The best advice is usually to choose participants similar to your target users. The key to selection is to ask the right questions when screening participants for your trial. For certain trials, you may want participants that more closely resemble new or prospective customers or a different demographic that is significant to your market. Repeat customers is another demographic you may wish to target in a product trial.
Open-ended questions are usually the best ones to use. If you ask specific questions, it will be too easy to figure out what the trial is about. Instead of asking whether the participant enjoys chips, for instance, it would be better to ask what kinds of snacks they regularly eat and then select the participants that say they like chips.
Multiple choice questions can focus the answers a little more without giving too much away. You can also use "distractors," which are questions or answer choices that intend to distract participants from the actual purpose of the trial.
Get the Right Data
The reason you don't want people to know the reason for the trial is that it is known to skew their answers, and you will not get the data you need from the trial. This is particularly true if you offer payment or an incentive for participating.
If you're not sure about your ability to choose the right participants for your trial, there are organizations that can help. UserTesting is one such platform where you can input your criteria and get participants that meet them.