Marketing vs. Weeding

It’s finally springtime in the Midwest. I was starting to doubt Mother Nature, and whether the seasonality was something that we could count on, when sure enough, consistent 65+ degree weather has hit. Hooray! I promise, you’ll soon see how this all connects with marketing.

The gorgeous weather brings new life as seen by buds on trees, hearing constant bird chirps, and flowers blooming. Not all “flowers” are equal, as proven by the commonly detested dandelion.

Dandelions are funny little weeds. As a child, I remember picking the white ball-like flower and delightfully blowing it in the wind while making a wish. I didn’t know how invasive the seeds blowing in the wind were, what I was causing, and how many adults would be frustrated to see dandelions in their yards.

Once I moved to the burbs a few years ago, I learned that the highly permeating white ball was the evolution of the yellow flower. Now, when my own kids want to pick one, blow the seeds, and make a wish, I start to lecture on the consequences of their innocent actions. That’s how much I hate dandelions.

I have attempted to remove them one by one, using the proper tool (I’ve even broken a few tools), digging up the deep and surprisingly strong roots, before the yellow flower turns white. Last week, I spent 3 hours pulling dandelions and spreading weed and feed on my lawn. I achieved a green lawn for one large section in front of my house. It rained later that night and by the next afternoon, I noticed at least 20 more yellow flowers in the lawn that I thought was completed.

I was frustrated and angry; I wondered if I should just give up and attack with chemicals in the Fall as many have told me.

Then I thought of the process that I experienced: my hard work, a few conversations with people passing by who understood and appreciated the effort required for a desired improvement, and of course the noticeable difference in the aesthetics. I started to see a few similarities between weeding and marketing.

Change Is An Opportunity To Connect And Understand Your Customers

No matter how big or small the change may be, people take notice, especially when they enjoy the benefits. A fellow parent at the local elementary school stopped to talk weeds with me; she also fought dandelions, knew the hard work required, and reminded me that I’m not alone. An older gentleman who was walking by cheered me on by noting my impressive progress. If I remember correctly, last year he told me my efforts are futile and the dandelions will always win; I wonder what changed his perspective. I shared my progress on Facebook and many friends commented about their own personal battles with dandelions, even being so kind as to offer me the opportunity to make a difference in their yard. I connected with these people on different levels, but I felt that I was part of something, that we shared something in common.

Making connections through common experience, humor, or support, are great ways to gain a better understanding of your audience. Social media can be an effective platform to share changes with your customers to let them know you are listening and bringing new benefits to your business.

Set A Goal, Stick To It. It’s Okay To Tackle One Project At A Time

I knew my whole front yard would be too much at once (even on a beautiful day). I decided to section it off and tackle the section right in front of my home. This included a long stretch of sidewalk, one side of the driveway, and the path to the front door. In other words, a highly trafficked area. It’s good to focus on projects that will yield the highest impact. Sometimes, time or budget only allows for a smaller project. It’s still impactful, important and starting a smaller project will help you achieve your larger goal.

Time Flies When You Make Measurable Progress

I wasn’t intending to weed for 3 hours, it just happened. I was determined and focused, and I couldn’t stop with only a few feet of dandelions to go. That timelessness may be fueled by my OCD (which I’ve noticed is extra strong with yard work), but I embrace and accept it and use it to my advantage and make measurable progress. When it was time to clean up, I saw how many weeds I pulled, and enjoyed a green lawn without yellow dots. Your marketing efforts should be tracked, whether it’s leads generated, open rates, conversions, or site visits, there is always something you can measure and learn from.

Have Fun, Especially When Something Doesn’t Seem Fun At First

Part of the reason I completed my goal is the fun I had while listening to music, enjoying the sunshine and warmth, and finding peace while working. As a small business owner, it’s critical to understand your business challenge, how your customers are impacted, and develop a marketing strategy and plan to resolve it. The key to your business’ success is to keep your eye on the end goal, and understand the benefits that will come with this resolution. Marketing Mana is here to listen to your marketing business challenge, partner with you to develop a marketing strategy and plan to address these pain points, and connect your brand and products/services to the right customers. That excites my not-so-inner nerd and allows you to have fun doing what you love, and focusing on the reasons you started your business.

Data, Data, Everywhere: Analyze, Learn, Optimize, Repeat

Once you’ve put the marketing plan into action, it’s important to understand the marketing impact on your revenue and profits by analyzing the data, identifying learnings, and optimizing the marketing tactics. You may discover that a new message is needed. For example, I can focus on the positives of my overwhelming dandelion growth by saying I contribute to improving the conditions of local wildlife including bumblebees, butterflies and birds, by allowing dandelions to grow in my yard. Perhaps an alternate use creates a different target customer to attract. Did you know dandelions are herbal powerhouses? The roots, leaves, and yellow flowers have substantial levels of vitamins and minerals (be sure to stay safe and only use dandelions from yards that haven’t had any chemical treatments). The health-conscientious family may have different shopping habits than a family that values a well-manicured lawn. The data is rich and often plentiful, and Marketing Mana can help you sort through it to identify takeaways, optimize your marketing efforts and help grow your business.

Turn Your Wishes Into Reality

Now it’s your turn to blow the dandelion seeds into the wind and make a wish. Leave a comment below and let’s talk about the right customized strategy and plan that will improve your marketing efforts.

Marketing Mana LLC helps small business owners understand their consumers, data, and marketing opportunities to grow their business. With 15+ years of marketing expertise in various industries, including retail, CPG, travel & leisure, financial, grocery, and internet providers, Alexis’ experience ranges from Fortune 100 brands to small businesses, and has worked on marketing projects of all sizes and budgets from multi-million email subscriber campaigns to localized yard signs, and everything in between. Her experience includes target segments of Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers via digital and traditional advertising and marketing methods.

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