My Garden Center
Jan. 15, 2015

Success shortcut: Sell what the other guys don't
By Fred Berns
All too many green industry professionals play the same game of selling. They focus exclusively on selling more perennials and plugs, or more mowing and maintenance, figuring that strategy alone will help them substantially grow their profits. The problem is that virtually all of their competitors — including the biggest of the big-box chain stores and franchise companies — have the same idea in mind. Simply pedaling more stuff and more services may be one way to attract more revenue. But at a time when competition is so fierce, it's not the best way.More

Immediate sale, lifetime customer
Lawn & Garden Retailer
You’ve heard or read these topics discussed before ... What behaviors drive consumer purchases? What sets you apart from your competition, be it the big box down the street, another locally owned garden center in your community or non-hort venues or activities that compete for the consumers' time and money? How can you build consumption, both from your existing customers and from those where our products aren’t even on their radar?More

Liven up indoor and outdoor living with 24 new tropicals and foliage plants
Greenhouse Grower
Lush, tropicals and foliage plants are great for interiorscaping, home decor and landscaping. Many are versatile enough to move from indoors to out and back again. An array of colors and foliage textures add to their appeal for container combinations. Here are some of the latest varieties available.More

Dutch company harvests electricity from living plants to power streetlights, Wi-Fi and cellphones
A Dutch company harnesses electricity from living plants, and then uses it to power cellphone chargers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and now over 300 LED streetlights in two sites in the Netherlands. Plant-e debuted its “Starry Sky” project in November 2014 at an old ammunition site called HAMbrug, near Amsterdam, and plant power is also being used near the company’s headquarters in Wageningen. More

Carnivorous plant is clever even without a brain
Discovery News
Formulating a clever strategy doesn’t require a brain, proves a new study on carnivorous pitcher plants, which vary their bug-trapping techniques in order to obtain the most food. The discovery, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, demonstrates that evolved strategies can at times be just as effective as thinking through problems in response to certain challenges.More

3 consumer-centric trends your business needs to know
By Emma Fitzpatrick
Now that the New Year's bell has stopped ringing, predicted trends for 2015 are stepping forward to steal the spotlight. While your business is penning this year's goals, be sure you're moving in the right direction. In order to increase sales, customer acquisition and traffic, your business needs to be communicating with shoppers in the way that works best for them. Read on to learn the three biggest marketing trends to help you better connect with your customers and make 2015 the most successful year yet.More

How to dominate content marketing in 2015
This can be the year that you dominate content marketing. 2015 is a year that has some new challenges, but it’s also a year of incredible opportunity. If you know these challenges, then you’ll be able to successfully overcome them.More

Is your business making these common Facebook mistakes?
By Anna Wickham
Your business's Facebook page and your personal Facebook page may look similar, but they are a lot more different than you think. One of the mistakes we often see is businesses using Facebook as they've always used it for their own personal profile. However, posting on Facebook for your business requires a whole different set of rules, best practices and things to avoid. These common Facebook marketing mistakes could be costing you and your business valuable customers.More

75 percent of small and medium-sized businesses say Internet marketing is effective
Search Engine Land
In October-November 2014, BrightLocal conducted their annual SMB Internet Marketing Survey. This is an online survey of businesses with 1-50 employees in which they asked them about their attitudes and use of Internet marketing, mobile marketing and marketing services. More

The relationship curve: A different approach to marketing and sales
By Randall Craig
Have you ever felt that you were being "sold" to? Perhaps an over-the-top marketing campaign, or perhaps a slightly-too-pushy salesperson? If so, then you're not alone. The question, however, is why. And why do organizations so often encourage such off-putting activities? The main reason is because it works. But might there be another way to drive sales that is more aligned to how a prospect thinks? And might these other approaches be even more effective? The "relationship curve" client journey model provides some clues.More