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MARKETING DURING A TIME OF CRISIS

Updated: Nov 25, 2020




The business guru, Peter Drucker said, “Business has only two functions – marketing

and innovation”. Even if you come up with the greatest product and/or service, they

will be of no benefit if they are unknown to your market. You could either wait for

people to discover it, which rarely happens, or you can make your products and

services through marketing. Marketing is a process of promoting products or

services through different platforms in both offline and online modes. Marketing is a

key element that is used to derive a positive impact by communicating products,

services, and its benefits to a potential consumer. 


We all love flowers and admire them for their beauty, but very few of us know that

they have mental health benefits attached to them. In times like these, flowers are

not a luxury but a necessity to have in our homes to eradicate the negativity around

us and to bring us joy and reduce stress. Flowers and stress cannot live together.


For so long, the floricultural industry has tended to ignore marketing their products,

and they are still ignoring it. How can we help the business? How can we help the

end consumers? Companies in other sectors have marketing budgets and campaign

plans for the entire year. It is been historically proven that companies who do not

shrink their marketing budgets during a crisis, emerge as the biggest winners. The

traditional form of marketing is expensive, and not everyone can do that when times

are tough. We are living in a disruptive era, technology disruptions, disruption of

“The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” -Dale Carnegie


In the last decade, online marking became the norm and social media platforms are influencing buying behaviors. Creating advertisements on Google and Facebook is relatively cheap now, as all internet marketing platforms have reduced their prices due to the pandemic. We can now reach more people at a comparatively lower price.  This is the time for the floricultural industry stakeholders to come together and invest in online and offline marketing.


In the year 1993, the California Milk Processor Board and their advertising agency,

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, created the “Got Milk?” advertising campaign which

was received with great popularity and success. From film and television actors to

sports personalities, all became a part of this campaign. More than a hundred

celebrities promoted the “GOT MILK?” campaign. Elton John, Jessica Alba, Angelina

Jolie, Andre Agassi, and Muhammed Ali are amongst them. This had a huge impact

on people and revolutionized the Milk industry.


We need such a campaign for the floricultural industry to survive and thrive.

Flowers are beautiful products. Some organizations have taken steps to promote

flowers and have created campaigns like “Petal it Forward” and the “Hugs & Smiles

Bouquet”. These campaigns make people talk about flowers, they grab the attention

of the consumer, and they plant seeds of hope to produce remarkable results in a

difficult time. But these efforts need to be magnified. We need to be more

aggressive. We need more people coming together from all walks of life and sectors to promote flowers.


When things are difficult and challenging, it is crucial that we get our message right

in order to persuade the consumer to make a conscious decision to buy and send

more flowers. Marketing and promotions can work for the floral industry if we all

work together on the marketing and promotion of flowers.


Written in collaboration: Shabistan Khan & Sahid Nahim

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