It all started when I was interviewing for a job — you know that question, what is something you are improving about yourself.…the dreaded, no right answer question. I never had a non-cheesy answer. The answer was right in front of me…my number one weakness – patience. What better way to learn the value and rewards of this weakness than growing a garden. Think about it…you have to work hard, plant and nurture and WAIT to be rewarded.
Plus, when you think for a living, it is hard to end your day knowing what you produced. Gardening is extremely tangible and surprisingly, an amazing resource of wisdom even for your business and marketing activities.
Here are 6 things tending a garden will teach you about your marketing plan.
- Magic is in the balance. Water is necessary for all plants — the trick is just the right amount. Communicating with your customers is good business, but think about the balance of too much or too little. Consider your audience, the relevance of your message and choose wisely so not to overwhelm. **Don’t drown your customers in one directional message blasting**
- A little pruning goes a long way. Makes sense that a plant dedicates more nutrition to its ailing parts — trying to heal itself. Every good gardner monitors plants and tries to ensure it uses its finite energy well. Businesses must do the same. Take a step back from your day-to-day and review how your resources are being used. Prune old and ineffective methods to free up your resources and build new growth.
- Organic Is Always Better. Nature knows best. All natural usually means slower sometimes physically uglier plants, but if you dump chemicals on your plants, the consequences can be toxic fruit or death all together. As with your marketing efforts, always remember that it is the slow organic growth that is is genuine and sustainable. <…see that patience theme tricking in 😉 >
- Don’t Grow Too Much of One Thing. While I love a good tomato, one can’t live by tomatoes alone. My old southern roots teach us that crop rotation prevents depleting the soil’s nutrients. Too much of one effort is not only tiresome, but it gets old quick. Stay fresh, try new things and don’t waste all your resources all in one place.
- Fertilizing = healthy. Often novice gardeners plant and forget. They forget that after a season the plant has used up all its food. You must fertilize in order to keep them healthy. The same goes with your customers. You can’t just acquire and forget them. You must communicate and nurture them along the way. Feeding them value-added education and content is key for long-term loyalty and health.
- Create an Easy Path and Prevent a Muddy Mess. I had an area in my yard where nothing grew. Mostly due to a massive maple tree that sucked all the moisture out of the ground and flung its roots everywhere – so basically no decent plant would live near it. Anyway, to keep a mudslide free backyard I laid mulch down and created a path. Your customers need a clear easy path to your product. Your message should explain a clear path to your product or service and in doing so you will prevent a chaotic mess.
In a world of nonstop marketing ploys, what your customers really want is some insight. Customers want you to nurture them and through this you will grow their trust. Treat your business and marketing plan like a garden, embrace your new found patience and watch your business tangibly flourish.