This is what Guerrilla Marketing is all about: If you are in the business of selling flowers, then it makes sense to put some energy into marketing your business in order to maintain or grow sales. Of course, if you are a small business, then you probably don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on your marketing efforts. Does this mean marketing is something you can’t do with gusto? No.
What it does mean is that you’ll need to find marketing methods that rely more on time, energy and imagination than they do on deep pockets.
What is Marketing Anyway?
But first – let’s take a step back and look at the word “marketing” itself, because I find that there is often some confusion surrounding the word.
Some people think of marketing as just being “advertising” which is understandable given corporate marketing’s emphasis on advertising over the last couple of generations. In fact, marketing is traditionally regarded as being “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services” (Wikipedia). So this means packaging and promoting the product as well as selling it.
However, in recent times as a response to the increasingly jaded consumer attitudes towards advertising and other overused marketing techniques, marketing has come to be defined more broadly as being something that must permeate every aspect of your business. So this means that everything about your business, from the quality of your product to the way you answer the phone is a part of marketing. You are looking for powerful ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and to engender customer loyalty by providing a great consumer experience as well as delivering great products.
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What is Guerrilla Marketing then?
So What’s All This Got to Do with Selling Flowers?
Well – nothing – or everything! It’s up to you – but here are some flower shop marketing ideas off the top my little marketing head. Take them, leave them, use them, abuse them…
1. Hand-addressed envelopes to your existing customer base with handmade flyers in them. In a world of email newsletters and glossy junk mail, a hand-addressed envelope is pretty certain to get opened. Try to make it worth opening though with some kind of thoughtful offer.
2. T shirt marketing – get some cool t-shirts designed and printed and give them away to your customers. Put something on the front that people would like to be seen in, and your business details on the back. Then why not run a competition where every person who sends in a photo of themselves wearing the t-shirt at work gets put into a draw to win something awesome?
3. Run a competition on Facebook. What? Idea three and I’m already repeating myself? Well, the point is, whatever the competition type, running it via Facebook is a great way to get loads more “Likes” and increased engagement with your business’s page. Why not try an in-house version of the Tesselaar’s wedding flowers photo competition that we ran earlier this year, asking your customers to vote for their favourite arrangement by you?
4. Hand-written thank you notes – Send a free bunch of flowers and hand-written thank you notes to special customers. This will go miles.
5. Fridge magnets – still a great option, I have called a couple of local businesses simply because their magnet was staring at me on the fridge right when I needed them. Even though we’re all about real flowers, it would still be pretty cool to get 3D magnets that consist of a huge cloth flower with your business details in the centre circle. Actually a big, 3D Gerbera or similar would be cool on a t-shirt too, come to think of it.
6. Picket your business – hire some local actors or uni students to protest how outrageously awesome your business is. (OK I didn’t think of this one but I like it.)
7. Team up with hair salons – give away a free flower with your business card attached with every hair cut. Lot of talking goes on in those places!
8. Pretty H&R Block up – Around tax time offer to put a free flower on every desk in the local H&R Block office with a card next to it telling people to ask for their “HR Block” discount next time they visit you. I used them last year and a) I spent a lot of time pretty bored sitting in a cubicle with nothing much to look at while some nerdy accountant pecked at his keyboard in slow motion and b) there were loads of other people doing the same.
9. Doctor’s waiting rooms – You could transfer the above idea into local doctor’s waiting rooms and cafe tables and the like.
10. Loyalty cards – but make them look different. You could make them in flower shapes and every time they buy something you rip in of the petals off and stick it in their personal folder or matchbox behind your counter. Then when they have no petals left (and you have the corresponding amount of petals in their matchbox under your counter) they get a free bunch or a box of choccies or something.
11. Be Fun Already! Challenge your customers randomly to games of rock, paper, scissors for prizes or ask them to “pick a hand”, left or right, to win a prize. Give them one of those joke flowers that you attach to your lapel (the kind that squirt water), do things to get people talking about your business in a good way (No doubt that after they squirt their mates, the next thing their mate will say after “Aghh! You cheeky bugger!” is “where’d you get that?”)
12. Wedding Window – Photographic (or live?) window display of recent wedding work – sure to catch the eye of any local brides to be or their bridal party. They will stop to look for inspiration and then it will be logical to hire you. Be sure to put a stocked business card holder out the front of your shop.
13. Wedding planning information – package up and give away some kind of wedding planning info for free, not just for flowers but for the whole event, but of course you’d be pushing your own flower work in there amongst the mix. Get their email in exchange for the information and their permission to get (useful) emails from you on a regular basis.
14. The Big Flower – This is my personal favourite – although I can find a florist shop called “the Big Flower” online, I can’t seem to see any actual Big Flower (as in the Big Banana, Big Pineapple, etc). Seriously – this is screaming out to be done! (Disclosure – it is a personal ambition of mine to build a Big Something before I die … *Cue wife rolling her eyes*). Here’s some Big Things inspiration.
What about you – have you used any creative Guerrilla Marketing ideas to sell more flowers? Tell us about them in the comments below.
Written by Seamus – Tesselaar’s website manager and marketing nerd.
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