Over the last few weeks, I’ve written a lot about marketing to Gen X and Gen Y. Here’s one last thought on the subject.
It seems to me that four main components are required for successful marketing to younger buyers: product knowledge, appropriate merchandising, technology know-how, and customer service.
Right now, nearly all marketers of gardening products are missing the mark in one, two, or even three of these categories.
Traditional nurseries and garden centers certainly have the product knowledge. Very few have adapted their merchandising to attract younger would-be gardeners. Most are shockingly behind in the times in the technology department. And while customer service was once the forte of garden centers, it’s been hard to maintain in the face of dwindling sales and resulting staff cuts.
Catalogers and online marketers also have the product knowledge, and many have the technology know-how and customer service. The missing piece is the merchandising – the types of things I’ve been discussing in my posts over the last few weeks.
Then there are brick and mortar retailers. There are plenty out there who understand how to sell to a younger audience and have the technological muscle to implement an impressive marketing program pretty quickly. Product knowledge is lacking, but that could be a pretty easy piece to buy.
So when it comes to capturing this growing market, it looks like the race is between catalogers and online marketers on the one hand, and brick and mortar retailers on the other. I’m rooting for the former, but I can imagine the latter making huge inroads very quickly. Time to get moving, direct marketers!