Marketing your Flowers - Part 1, Know thy Audience and explaining B to C and B to B
It's that time of the year when the buckets of flowers are starting to roll in.
You're flush with blooms, and everything is looking fantastic.
Now is also the time of year when you're going to have enough material to start selling your flowers (sometimes we forget about that part, right?)
But it can be hard to know where to start.
Before we can sell flowers, it's important to know how to MARKET your flowers.
After all, people need to know you have flowers before you can sell them.
I know that sounds like a simple concept, but it's one that is overlooked a lot.
You can have the most beautiful and perfect floral material in the world, but if nobody knows that it's available for purchase, it's not doing anything for you.
So let's tell people about your flowers!
KNOW THY MARKET
Before you run out and start marketing about your flowers, you're going to have to know who you're selling to.
There are two terms in business that I want to familiarize you with, because it will make a significant difference in how you market your flowers. They're not hard to understand, but very important to keep distinct.
BUSINESS TO CUSTOMER
The first term is what is known as "business to customer". It means exactly what it sounds - your business is selling directly to the customer.
Simple enough, right?
Examples in flower farming would include you selling bouquets at a farmer's market (your business = business, farmer's market goer = customer) or selling your design services to a bride (your business = business, bride = customer)
When you have people talking about businesses in general, they may ask you what your model is - and you would answer for the above "business to customer" which can sometimes be abbreviated as "B to C".
I'll explain why this is so important in just a second, but just keep that distinction in mind.
BUSINESS TO BUSINESS
Now just as we talked about B to C models of business, there are also business to business models.
You're probably familiar with these models already. You as the flower farmer selling to a floral designer (your business = business, floral designer = business) or you as the flower farmer selling mixed bouquets to a grocery store (your business = business, grocery store = business)
The important thing to remember is when you're a business selling to another business, your style of business will be different from selling to a customer. A lot of this has to do with volume or type of item.
For example, when selling to a customer at a farmer's market, generally you may sell a bouquet on a weekly basis, but it can be rather inconsistent depending on the weather, how much cash the customer has on them and so on.
If you're selling to a florist however, you may be selling several buckets worth of flowers on a weekly basis - sometimes almost guaranteed.
NOTE THE DIFFERENCES
So you can see how your marketing needs would differ based if you're selling business to business as opposed to business to customer, and it's important to note that distinction.
For a customer, we would probably do something along the lines of marketing on social media - maybe an Instagram story or a Facebook post.
For a business client, we would be more direct - sending a text or email informing a floral designer what we have available.
We wouldn't advertise to our business clients the same way we would our customers, and neither should you - they are massively different, and it's important to note that.
You should also know the tastes of the demographic that you're marketing to as well.
Are you targeting a millennial who is very much a part of the local movement and follows all of the popular flower farmers on Instagram?
Are you targeting an older demographic who has expendable income but has certain expectations that are different from a millennial demographic?
Are you selling to a high-end florist who has very specific needs for their design work?
Are you selling to a wholesaler that is concerned about performance and longevity?
These are the questions that you should be asking yourself so your marketing can be in line with your customers, which should equal more interest and more sales!