Revisiting Collective Marketing

Our industry’s organizations have been talking about launching collective marketing campaigns for decades, but the stumbling block has always been figuring out how to raise millions of dollars to create national impressions through conventional advertising – television, print and radio. The popularity of interactive social media on the Internet has become a game changer in the marketing world. Financial barriers to entry are low. A hip and edgy small company can be more interactive than the most famous brands. It’s a level playing field.

The biggest investment would be paying for time and talent to cultivate online communities, one consumer at a time. The ideal marketing staff would be creative social media junkies who could find out who and where the influential bloggers and forums are to stimulate conversations and place stories inside and outside our industry. Yes, we want to continue to excite people who already love plants and flowers, but we also need to cultivate new people and future generations. We need to connect the dots in unexpected ways to match plants and flowers with their interests.

Facebook’s sweeping embrace by millions of people in all age groups has really gotten people excited, especially the sheer numbers in Baby Boomers and Generation Y. But I will continue to stick up for my generation, X. Sure, there aren’t as many of us and we’re really busy, burdened and financially strapped, but perhaps we need plants and flowers the most! We just don’t know it.

Most of this summer’s Seeley Conference at Cornell University in late June was focused on connecting with consumers in new ways. There also was a breakout workshop to brainstorm messaging that would be relevant to multiple generations. We can get started now if we can just agree on a message and get behind it. The message can be incorporated in all existing marketing efforts by supporters. An attainable pool of funds could be raised as seed money to get a grassroots campaign going through social media and public relations channels. Unlike traditional campaigns focused on numbers of impressions, this type would be very strategic and focused on building relationships and interactivity more so than impressions. It is also easier and more accurate to measure results from digital activities. It’s possible to know exactly who and how many people clicked on a story or responded. Metrics are measurable.

On the first day of the Seeley Conference, I will confess when some speakers presented social media as our marketing savior and were completely dazzled by Gen Y, I did sigh and roll my eyes. The World Wide Web is so vast. How are we going to target and engage consumers effectively and make a difference? Are we going to put up the next coolest video on You Tube that’s a viral, pass-along sensation? I was cynical. But then I did see some real examples that were encouraging and opened my mind to possibilities.

I was especially impressed with how far 1-800-Flowers has come in the digital world, even developing an application for iPhones featured in Apple’s ads. Now the company is trying to create the types of relationships florists used to have with regular customers in their stores but online. These customers have faces and personalities. So do the designers behind the arrangements. The “Spot A Mom” campaign encouraging consumers to praise all the mothers in their lives and buy multiple arrangements was a big hit.

Companies like Proven Winners are also ahead of the curve cultivating one-to-one relationships and inviting consumers in behind the scenes to help shape decisions.
The potential is definitely there. A grassroots campaign needs to be executed strategically and with passion. Just putting up a Facebook fan page and hoping people will come won’t deliver the results.
 

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories

April 26, 2018

ForwardGro Advances Medical Cannabis in Maryland With F…

Building on roots in agriculture, this new medical cannabis facility continues to implement process improvement to provide quality medical-grade product for the patients who need it.

Read More
Little-girl-with-monarch-feature

April 26, 2018

How Grower-Retailers Are Advancing Consumer Education W…

Greenhouse Grower reached out to a few retailers to ask what they are doing to drive consumer success, in the hopes that their ideas might provide inspiration for your business.

Read More
Zinfin-Doll-Hydrangea

April 25, 2018

March Was a Month of Awards for Spring Meadow Nursery, …

After taking home a best new variety award at a Belgian horticulture event, Proven Winners held its always-popular Shrub Madness tournament to coincide with the annual NCAA Championship.

Read More
Plant-Propagation-Material

April 25, 2018

What the APHIS Plant Import Rules Restructuring Means f…

The federal regulation covers imports of live plants and pretty much any type of plant propagative material.

Read More

April 25, 2018

Armitage Scholar’s Final Thoughts on the People a…

"This trip solidified my desire to breed plants. Every time I was able to have a discussion about plant traits, genetics, and germplasm, I felt a thrill of excitement."

Read More
Mucci-Farms

April 24, 2018

Mucci Farms Completes First Phase of its New Ohio Tomat…

The new facility, the company’s first expansion outside of Canada, encompasses 24 acres, with harvest set to begin in May.

Read More
Gomphrena Truffula Pink (Proven Winners)

April 24, 2018

Armitage Talks Favorites From Danziger and Proven Winne…

From annuals that look like they came out of a Dr. Seuss book to breeding marvels in perennials and shrubs, the visits to Danziger and Proven Winners at California Spring Trials were exciting, to be sure. Here are some of Dr. A's favorites.

Read More
Seed-Your-Future-Initiative-Release-3.3.16-1

April 24, 2018

Bloom Campaign by Seed Your Future Will Address “Plant …

BLOOM! connects young people to the power of plants to build a pipeline of future talent for the industry behind them: horticulture.

Read More

April 24, 2018

Proven Winners Reveals Marketing Efforts for 2018-2019 …

For the first time, the brand has generated one billion consumer impressions, and plans to keep that momentum going with a number of ambitious programs.

Read More

April 24, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Plant Intros from Pr…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Proven Winners and Danziger.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

April 23, 2018

Opinion: Why the Floriculture Industry Must Be Willing …

There is potential for our industry to provide talking points for growers to promote sustainable production efforts. It’s not exactly bragging — it’s simply and humbly speaking the truth.

Read More
Griffin-Massachusetts-Cannabis-Workshop

April 23, 2018

Griffin Hosting Cannabis Growers Workshop in May

The half-day program in Colorado will focus on several aspects of crop fertility and nutrition delivery strategies.

Read More
Philips-Lighting-rose-toplighting-recipe

April 22, 2018

New LED Toplighting System From Philips is Optimized fo…

Available for European rose growers, the GreenPower LED system features a light spectrum designed for cut rose cultivation, leading to bigger buds and heavier stems.

Read More
Bloomify Rose lantana cultivar

April 21, 2018

How Researchers are Building Better Lantana Plants

Genetic sterilization being used to help keep these prolific perennials in place.

Read More
AFE-Flower-Marketing-Videos

April 20, 2018

Your Weekly Chance to Market the Positive Vibes That Fl…

Each week between now and the end of the year, American Floral Endowment will post a new video promoting flowers.

Read More

April 20, 2018

California Dreaming Takes on a Whole New Meaning at CAS…

At California Spring Trials 2018, the Greenhouse Grower team witnessed the revitalization of a company, plus some awesome merchandising displays, and efforts toward automation.

Read More

April 19, 2018

California Spring Trials 2018: New Intros from Syngenta…

Check out the newest 2018 plant introductions from Syngenta Flowers, Hishtil, Jaldety, Cohen Propagators, Nir Nursery, Bailey Nurseries, and Sunset Western/Southern Living Plants.

Read More

April 19, 2018

CAST 2018: Dr. A’s Favorites From Syngenta Flowers, Bai…

From an exciting perennial to a new white begonia, Allan Armitage says these showstoppers deserve recognition.

Read More