We have opinions and share them happily as we give visitors information and direction intended to help you make the best sampling program decisions.


... yet, we are but human and the marketing world is never static. So, if you discover something you think is in need of a fix - PLEASE SHARE it with us. This platform is intended to be community based and we will commit to doing the best we can. If you all help - well then we are assured that things will be better!


What? Doesn't everyone have multiple sides of themselves?

Larry Burns 

Principal Sampling Advocate

East coast born and bred today I live a contented life in the suburbs of Chicago with my lovely bride Cathy, a dog, a cat & a truly remarkable front porch.  I ran StartSampling, Inc., a product sampling company that helped establish the online sample request promotions market, from 1999 until 2015 when the company ceased operations.  My genuine passion for product sampling still burns as it remains a unique tool in the marketing arsenal, one that really helps connect people and brands in a very direct way which inherently lets people decide for themselves if they like what they try.

I speak about business and marketing based on more than 35 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods world – my early career spent in the marketing research discipline on both client side (General Foods (remember when?), Pepperidge Farm, Cadbury Beverage, Heinz USA); supplier side (Perception Research Services (PRS) and as Product Manager for InfoScan™(94-99) ; and most recently through my  15  years in the “digital marketing” space as CEO of StartSampling.

Former Co-Chair Sampling Council PMA (Now BAA); Various manufacturer awards for work at StartSampling; member key committees at founding of WOMMA; frequently quoted in trade press; contributing author of chapters in multiple publications about either sampling or marketing in general; frequent attendee at senior level industry events (NACDS, CHPA, etc.); have delivered webinars for multiple associations (CHPA, PMA, etc.); compelling speaker.    Served as guest speaker at multiple Universities via both seminars and individual class sessions.     B.S. (Chemistry) Alfred University; University of Miami Law School (Early admit, withdrew); Master’s coursework:  Montclair State (NJ) Education; Hunter College (NY) Social Research.  And finally far too many seminars and trainings to list.   In sum, a lifelong learner with a unique ability to educate without arrogance.

Reach Larry  JLarryBurns@SamplingWorks.com


Marketing and Information Explorer

Marketing & personalized data is here. So, I keep asking: what does this all mean for people?  Constant lifelong learner; Politics matter; Dad; Humanist.  I am endless fascinated by the pace and depth of the changes we are living through, wondering what life will be like for my 4 kids as they each go about creating their own lives … I still marvel at many things and I do believe:

… ultimately time is the only “resource” that is the same for all of us

… it is impossible to ‘keep up’ with everything, which is a very freeing realization

… education ought to be about learning, not testing

… those who curate information help humanity

… “the arts” are not a luxury, rather they are an essential part of being human

… in laughing, often and loudly

… in the power of love and that my generation when young got many things right in concept, however our execution has been far, far less than flawless

… "Oh the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling. It’s the unraveling. And it undoes all the joy that could be" 

 - Joni Mitchell (1971)            

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life

... it goes on. ”

 - Robert Frost  

 "Laughter is wine for the soul - laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness - the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living."     

- Seán O'Casey        

Reach Larry  JLarryBurns@Gmail.com