Capture Customers’ Gardening Passion With The “How Does Your Garden Grow … – Today’s Garden Center

10 Percent Project campaign 4 girl with veggies“How Does Your Garden Grow?,” the final campaign the marketing team created for the 10% Project: Expanding The Customer Base, is all about retailers sharing their love of gardening and helping customers capture your passion for themselves.

In this campaign, retailers show how they garden — they share their best tips and act as garden hosts at their stores on weekends. The key for this program is to get customers to share their love of gardening and post on the garden center’s marketing formats (social media, eMail, traditional marketing like radio and TV). In other words, retailers are enlisting their own customers to spread the word. Do so makes the “How Does Your Garden Grow?” campaign more objective compared to the traditional version of retailers pushing their own stores. 

Since the campaign is all about sharing successes and information, it relies heavily on social media. Consumers of all ages are using customer reviews and testimonials from strangers more than they are taking advice of retailers when it comes to products and services. This campaign is meant to exploit peoples’ desire to share on social media and to do online research before shopping and have local garden centers come up when they do that research in various places.

How to Tell The Story

Your garden center will build marketing processes for customers to share their love of gardening – online via key internet sites, social media sites and blogs – with other potential customers. Retailers should create programs using online techniques and ask customers to share their best gardening tips, tactics and memories
Goal of campaign is to remind customers how much fun gardening is, to share that online and for other potential customers to learn and see the passion that comes from gardening

Where To Tell The Story

  • Dedicated eMails
  • Create series of eMails asking specific how-to questions for gardeners to answer and list multiple places to respond (eMail, social media, website, in-store)
  • Social media engagement
  • Use Facebook to create a series of customer questions:
  • Ask customers for Best Of… tips/tactics, product reviews,
  • Use daily posts to share information, change cover photos with customer pictures
  • Run contests to get customers to post quickly
  • Traditional marketing (radio, newspaper, direct mail)
  • In-store signage
  • Local event blogs (featuring community bloggers)
  • Community newspapers
  • Highlight participation on store website

Delivering The Campaign To Customers In Store

There are several methods retailers can use in the store to encourage customers to participate in your contests and other interactive projects:

  • Create in-store signs to generate excitement
  • Use social media to market the event
  • Highlight participation by sharing notes, letters, pictures and videos sent in by customers
  • Create Pinterest page to photograph all hand written notes and put there
  • Run contest for prizes or gift cards
  • Use multiple contests during course of season attached to campaign
  • Best picture, best tip, best video, best overall garden

Collecting Data to Determine Campaign Effectiveness
Ways To Measure How Well This Campaign Is Working

This is one of the easier campaigns to measure, since social media has a lot of statistical information built in. Before you launch your campaign, begin measuring what is a normal range for your current digital efforts. How many of those who receive your newsletters open them? Click through to read stories? Visit your website?

Create a benchmark based on that historical data and use it to compare with the new campaigns numbers.

Here are some areas you can measure:

  • How many impressions via marketing messages
  • eMail opens
  • Reach via social media
  • Website clicks
  • Referral links
  • Return coupons from event sales

“How Does Your Garden Grow?” is a process-driven campaign that every store should be able to execute, even if it has a small presence on social media. After all, just about all stores use eMail for customer engagement and have reviews (notes) that customers have written on sites like Yelp.

The 10% Project: Expanding The Customer Base is funded in part by a grant from the Ohio Department of Agriculture and the USDA, which is sponsored by AmericanHort.


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