Saturday, February 26, 2011
Prairie Nursery Gets It
Aren't you tired of all the hand-wringing about how companies can "effectively market themselves" in today's economy? Maybe you're not tired of that, but I feel like I hear this all the time, particularly with nurseries and companies in the general horticulture industry. How to utilize social media? How to engage a new generation of gardeners? Should companies sell pre-packaged, paint-by-numbers gardens for us lazy, technology-addled Generation Y customers? I don't claim to have the answers, but I can say that Prairie Nursery of Westfield, WI, got it right with a simple yet effective technique to get me buying plants.
And here it is: They're having bi-weekly sales that they're advertising through email, listing only two plants in each email along with their characteristics and growing requirements. These said emails come only once every couple weeks, not in a daily inbox-clogging barrage like some companies (Horticulture, I'm looking at you!!). The information is to-the-point and helpful. Sure enough, I read one recently and thought, "You know what? Campanula rotundifolia does sound like it will thrive in my north border. And it's on sale!"
Would this work with new gardeners? Maybe, maybe not. I've bought plants from Prairie Nursery before, hence how I came to be on their electronic mailing list. Also I know my site conditions well and was planning on buying plants for this border anyway. Maybe I'm just a sucker for sales and that explains it. But it seems to me this is a simple way to engage gardeners without elaborate campaigns. "Hey gardener, here's a cheap plant that grows in setting XYZ." There, was that so hard?
Please note that I am just a regular 'ole customer of Prairie Nursery. I did not receive any request or inducement to talk about them, and I paid for the Campanulas with my own money. And the photo is a shot of C. rotundifolia from the fabulous native plant website, Illinois Wildflowers, which contains botanical info for plants that range beyond just Illinois, I might add.