marketing your businessMarketing Your Business

I love my garden, but I actually don’t much like gardening.

It’s repetitive, it’s unpredictable and it needs patience – a lot of patience.

After a bank holiday weekend of weeding, lawn mowing and planting yet another species in that spot where nothing seems willing to take root it occurred to me that gardening is not so different from carrying out a marketing campaign for a business.

Firstly, you do the research, you find out the type of soil in your garden and maybe you add nutrients, compost or fertiliser to create the best possible environment for your plants to flourish. You also need to know what plants will grow where, whether they like sunshine or partial shade and how much care they might need. Then the dedicated gardener will make a plan.

In the same way you start a marketing campaign with a lot of research. You identify the potential customers or clients you want to target (your plants) and then you need to find out the environment where they are most likely to be found (Facebook? LinkedIn? Google+? A specific sector or niche?) and the triggers that will get a reaction (key words, incentives and invitations to act). A marketing campaign, too, needs a plan.

In gardening your objective is to grow a collection of thriving, attractive and colourful plants. In business marketing your objective is to grow a collection of thriving, successful and happy clients!

But in both cases you can’t be 100 per cent certain of results, you have to be prepared for the unexpected and you have to be patient.

It has taken me 20 years to find the right plants for some spots in the flowerbeds. There’s no logic to it or obvious explanation but right next to a patch that’s been happily thriving for years there have been the occasional “dead” patches where nothing would take root.

Perhaps plants are like people. What pleases one will be completely unacceptable to another no matter how right the conditions are in theory.

You plant a “seed”, a facebook post, a tweet, an email or a newsletter. You nurture it with water, food, follow-up information and persuasion.

Generally, some of your “seeds” will sprout on schedule to your plan’s timeline but there will always be some that resist your persuasion. Then, when you have given up all hope of that particular “seed” sprouting, there it will be pushing its little green head through the spring soil after lying dormant for months or even a year or two.

And that’s why running a content marketing campaign is like gardening.

To find out how we can save you time and help your business grow please call 01473 231067 or email


By Alison Withers, April 22 2014.