Interesting question, no? You’re probably asking, ‘how on earth are they going to connect indoor plants to marketing?’. Well, we at Picos are garden enthusiasts. We believe in the power of greenery to bring fresh air, productive juju and calming feng shui into your space. But don’t take our word for it, there are millions of studies, blogs and experiments highlighting the positive effects of indoor plants on your physical and mental wellbeing. Before we take a closer look at the magical world of botany, we’d like to address the Elephant’s Head flower (Pedicularis Groenlandica) in the room. This year’s saga has brought us closer to things that really matter, the people in our living quarters and the realisation that many meetings could have simply been emails. It has underscored the importance of creating the right environment, suitable for work, play and rest. It is with this in mind that we present a brief overview of the similarities between investing in your online presence and indoor plants. Both contribute to the healthy functioning of your home and business and both create a fresh and welcoming space for guests. It’s kind of a big dill.
Say aloe to my little friend.
If you’re familiar with the ritual of welcoming a new plant into your space, you’ll know it’s a whole process. One cannot simply, in good conscience, drop a fern into an empty corner and expect it to maintain its lush, green verdure. It takes knowing a plant’s family tree (pardon the pun) and its natural habitat to create the right environment, conducive for optimal growth. According to plant whisperer, Jason Chongue, in his ABC interview revealing The Secrets to Keeping Indoor Plants Alive, microclimate conditions like warmth, humidity and airflow in your home, can make or break your plant’s development. So, to avoid the pangs of parental guilt many first-time plant owners feel after accidentally drowning their new green friend in too much water or sunlight, or alternatively drying it out next to a heater, you need to consider its biology and origin.
Adapt or die. Well, maybe not die, but wither and slump.
Like plants, businesses are often confronted with the challenges of adapting to seasonal change. In the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 and its unfolding events, this exchange is unmistakably evident. Business owners who traditionally focused their marketing efforts on the tangible aspects of their brand, including the bricks and mortar setting built around them, are now forced to join the competitive online marketplace. Digital advertising is essential to this process, along with social media marketing, eDM campaigns, community management and, of course, content creation. Like a vitamin D deficient plant that exhibits clear signs of malnutrition when moved to a shaded corner, your business model will struggle in a foreign online landscape without a digital strategy underpinning it.
The roots of misunderstanding.
“So, why should I invest so much time and energy into a plant? Isn’t it just another responsibility I don’t need? After all, it just sits there looking pretty. It’s purely cosmetic.” These are the words of someone yet to learn the many benefits of indoor plants in the office or home environment. This question is also often asked in the context of developing an online strategy like the one mentioned above. Why should a business owner direct his attention and finances towards something that requires ongoing investment and upkeep, without tangible returns? It’s easy to understand this hesitation. Without knowing, with certainty, whether better content, professional community management or a well-designed website directly generates higher traffic, visibility, conversions or sales, how can you gauge its success? More importantly, how can you justify its expense?
Pretty fly for a cacti.
The answer to both questions is that what you see on face value is purely cosmetic. The true benefits of plants and marketing strategies are working for you behind the scenes. It is no mystery that plants are good for you. Studies have shown that houseplants can remove up 87% of air toxins in 24 hours. Not only do they act as a filter absorbing polluted air, but they also produce fresh oxygen and act as humidifiers. What’s more, they are found to increase productivity, boost your mood and reduce stress. Cheaper than your average therapist, these little bargains carry great potential.
Your silent brand ambassador.
Back to marketing. Investing in your online presence may seem like a luxury for a business owner working within a tight budget. But it’s hard to estimate the cost of lost customers deterred by unprofessional marketing, cut corners or poor brand management. The reality is that if your competitor offers the same product or service as you do, but presents it better than you, they’ll likely escort your customer through their checkout system. Your brand image needs your attention just as much as the air you breathe needs purification.
Your online presence is like your living room.
Your primary customer touchpoints, like your website or social media accounts, host new visitors seeking to get to know your home or brand. They might even be there to purchase a product or enlist a service. At this point in their journey, guests will evaluate your welcome mat, choice in personal style and your commitment to quality and upkeep. For this reason, you can’t afford to let your website go. A poorly designed layout may confuse your online visitors and cause them to look elsewhere; unkempt visual aesthetics and UX (or lack thereof) may indicate a trade-off of utility over style; and outdated information sends a message of incompetence. For this reason, a thoughtful human touch, such as the introduction of life and colour to an otherwise static site, makes all the difference. Even more so when it provides a fresh perspective, oxygenating your brand’s image. Home and work are not defined by their physical infrastructure, but rather the feelings with which your guests are left.
We hope you enjoyed our brief ode to indoor plants and structured marketing strategies. Though they often go unnoticed, in some cases until they’re dead or overgrown, plants can act as little powerhouses, housemaids and therapists. Similarly, though you may not see the connection between Instagram engagement and online sales, your marketing strategy is working overtime boosting exposure, strengthening your brand’s image and converting visitors into paying customers. If you’re looking to introduce a fresh perspective, prune back old material and grow branches of opportunity for years to come, we’re your A-grade horticulturists.
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