Marketing is a lot Like Gardening

Marketing initiatives require patience

Each spring, home improvement stores are bursting with everything the home gardener needs to establish a successful food source right in their backyard. Cartloads of soil, seeds, fertilizer and plants are purchased, with the hopeful idea that this will be the year the garden works.

If there is a new, must-have product for gardening, the novice gardener will often buy it simply because it is new. Sounds a little like the shiny new marketing tactic, doesn’t it?

Small business owners who want to market their business can learn some valuable lessons from a seasoned gardener. Grab some gardening gloves and find out why your business needs to develop a master plan, plant wisely, maintain the garden and finally, enjoy the harvest.

Marketing requires a strategy

The successful gardener knows that before turning over a single spade of soil, it is important to have a strategy for the garden.

The larger the garden, the more detailed the plan needs to be. Yes, plans can change, but best we have one. A well-developed plan will allow for plant growth, provide for adequate sun and water and allow for plants to be easily accessed as needed.

A successful marketing campaign, too,  begins with the development of a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy, much like a gardener’s plan, will identify the business’s strengths, what the goals are and desired end results.

It will also include an action plan based on the needs and desired outcomes of the business. Not every marketing technique will work for every business, just like not every plant will grow in every garden.

Tailoring the marketing plan to meet the specific needs of the business will save time, money and frustration in the long run.

Plant wisely, choose marketing tactics with care

Many novice gardeners want to skip the prep work and go straight to planting. Preparing the ground and adding fertilizer before putting in the plants may seem expensive and tedious, but are necessary for the garden’s success.

Knowing the needs of the plants and the limitations of the growing season will determine the plants that will be most effective.

A common complaint of small business owners is the lack of money to put towards marketing strategies. Laying the groundwork and investing in a well-developed marketing campaign may involve up-front costs.

The reality, however, is that most businesses can ill afford to neglect their marketing. The investment into a marketing plan will help increase the business’ chance of success.

Maintain the garden – work the marketing plan

Once the seeds and plants are in the ground, the gardener has to tend to its upkeep. Watering, weeding, monitoring pest control and adding fertilizer will require time and effort.

The business owner’s marketing project management requires similar effort. A constant survey of the methods used allows for changes to be made in areas that aren’t working, or to increase efforts in areas that are seeing success.

Enjoy the results

Pulling a home-grown tomato out of a garden, carrying it in the house and slicing it up for a sandwich is the pay-off after months of preparation and work.

Sharing the bounty of a harvest with family and friends can bring a sense of accomplishment, as well as provide nourishment. A garden that produces year-round harvest is well worth the initial investment and time.

For the business owner, the long term effects of a marketing strategy can be seen in increased awareness of your business, ramped up revenue, new clients and the continual growth of the company.

How is your garden doing?


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