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
EFTE Film

January 18, 2017

Looking at Glass or Polyethylene for Your New Structure…

Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene, also known as EFTE, is a fluorine-based material that looks like a standard polyethylene greenhouse film but offers high light transmittance.

Read More
Nadia Sabeh, CEAC

January 18, 2017

Upcoming Seminars to Focus on Managing the Greenhouse E…

The seminars, which will also be accessible online, are presented by the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

Read More
Spring Meadow Nursery Fire

January 17, 2017

Two Major Growers Recovering and Rebuilding After Fires

The blazes occurred at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA, and Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, MI. Both companies say no employees were injured, and they plan to pull together and stay on schedule for the remainder of the year.

Read More
Dallas Johnson

January 17, 2017

Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Owner Passes Away at 78

Dallas G. Johnson, who started the company in 1985, is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children.

Read More
Joe Cimino, Sakata Seed America

January 17, 2017

Sakata Seed Names New Senior Sales Manager for Ornament…

Joe Cimino comes to Sakata with past experience at Sun Gro and Florexpo.

Read More
JinPin Flower Seedling Company partners

January 17, 2017

Ernst Benary Partners With Chinese Young Plant Grower o…

The partnership creates a new company called Jinpin Flower Seedling Company, which will focus on providing young plants to the rapidly growing Chinese bedding plant market.

Read More
PC-31 Transplanter (Visser)

January 17, 2017

Visser NA Rebrands as Bellpark Horticulture

The new name will equally represent not only Visser, but all of the brands Bellpark represents, including Mayer, Logitec Plus, and Drygair in North America.

Read More
Stephanie Whitehouse

January 17, 2017

Stephanie Whitehouse Takes Her Passion for Plants to Di…

Stephanie Whitehouse, who has spent the last seven years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, PA, recently joined Dickman Farms Greenhouse and Garden Center in Auburn, NY, as the company’s new Retail General Manager.

Read More

January 13, 2017

We Must Help Heal Our Nation, with Plants and Flowers […

No matter how you may feel — personally or professionally — about the outcome of the election, it’s likely that you realize our nation has some healing to do.

Read More
Effective pest control

January 12, 2017

Prevention and Early Intervention: The Keys to Biocont…

Advance preparation and starting out right helps you implement an effective biocontrol program that reduces pest pressure.

Read More
Dipladenia Sundenia

January 11, 2017

New Tropical and Foliage Plants That Offer Hidden Benef…

Tropical and foliage plants can offer extra paybacks to your customers in terms of health-promoting benefits such as filtering the air, reducing stress, and absorbing noise. Consider these new varieties, hitting the retail market in 2017, for your product mix.

Read More

January 10, 2017

5 Can’t-Miss Events and Activities at TPIE

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s Tropical Plant Industry Exposition (TPIE) is fast approaching. As you plan your trip, here are five can’t-miss highlights from this year’s show.

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
Two-spotted spider mites, adults and eggs

January 10, 2017

Pest Management Workshop to Take Place in Virginia on J…

Battlefield Farms will host the workshop, which is being coordinated by Virginia Cooperative Extension and will focus on new techniques in disease and insect control.

Read More
phantom-copter

January 10, 2017

Greenhouse Grower Quadcopter Sweepstakes Winner Announc…

Anne Bolser of Van Wingerden International was the Grand Prize Winner in Greenhouse Grower magazine’s recent Quadcopter Sweepstakes.

Read More
craspedia-golf-beauty-danziger-feature

January 9, 2017

Growing Tips for Craspedia ‘Golf Beauty’

Laura Robles of Mast Young Plants offers advice on ‘Golf Beauty,’ a novelty plant with can’t-miss yellow flower heads and silver foliage that blooms throughout the summer.

Read More
sakata-tour-de-fresh-salad-bar-donation

January 8, 2017

Sakata’s Participation in Tour de Fresh Race Results in…

On the heels of riding in the Tour de Fresh Race in July, Allen Satterlee of Sakata Seed America celebrated by presenting a new salad bar to Galt Elementary School in California.

Read More
Bride with wedding orchids.

January 7, 2017

How to Stand Out in the Orchid Market

With the popularity of the Phalaenopsis orchid growing and its saturation in the market, orchid growers are hunting for new ways to stand out from their competitors.

Read More