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Bad Garden Product Marketing

The past couple of days have been pretty interesting for me and my gardening blog. I've been e-mailed in the hopes that I would blog about some gardening related products. One company was pushing an organic plant fertilizer, the rep for that company did a pretty good job in the e-mail. He gave me all the information I would need on the product and offered to give me a link on their website in return for my blogging about it.

But as I mentioned in the previous installment of Tips For The Garden Blogger, I have a degree in marketing and I'm a pretty savvy consumer. I know the value of blogs and links and ultimately advertising to a company or brand. If I'm familiar with something I don't mind blogging about it for free and normally I would have jumped at the chance for a link exchange for a blog entry. The thing is that there was little value to what I was getting for the offer. The importance on the web of the website for the company was lower than this blog, and the blog that would link to me in return had a even lower rank than mine. So not only would this company brand benefit from the free exposure to potential costumers but their site and blog would benefit from my links. And what do I as a blogger get?

Aside from buying advertising on a blog the least a smart marketer could do was provide a free sample for me to try and see if it was any good since I'd never used it or even heard of it. A brilliant marketer wanting to reach an audience interested in gardening would have developed a plan that included giving away free samples or whole products to gardeners who came across the blog entry. So, for underestimating my intelligence and for not really having a good marketing plan the organic fertilizer manufacturer won't even get a mention .

But the next case is a little different.

Today I got a spam e-mail from Abbe MacLise, who works with Jayson Home And Garden in Chicago, IL, informing me of all the new containers for container gardening are available for 2007. The thing is that I've never even been inside of Jayson Home And Garden, I've been by it and from the looks of it-it looks way, way too pricey. Since I've never even been in the store or expressed any interest I'm wondering how or why they'd spam me with their press release. Well I'm not really wondering because I'm pretty sure they got my e-mail through my gardening blog and sent me their "press release" in the hopes that I'd blog about it or who knows what.

But because you decided to spam my e-mail I've decided to write about Jayson Home And Garden in the hopes that when those Lincoln Park Trixies are looking for container gardening ideas or garden centers in Chicago and do an internet search they'll come across my blog and I can tell them that Target, Menards, Lowes, Wal-Mart and Home Depot probably have better prices and they can take the money they save and get their Jetta's detailed. I wouldn't recommend a garden center that spams me to anyone. If you're looking for a garden center in Chicago do try Gethsemane Garden Center where along with cool plants you may come across people like Carolyn who also garden blogs.

Now this blog entry isn't here to discourage any potential marketers who want to target gardeners from contacting me. On the contrary I just want marketers to be a lot smarter about how they go about doing things. Don't be fooled I'm smarter than I type.


  1. That's very wild! On the one hand, you're obviously a marketable quantity, right? On the other, what's with these folks?? Good for you for seeing through them.

    I bet it won't be long before you do start getting asked to test some stuff...and well deserved!

  2. Anonymous11:21 PM

    Hey GG,

    It would be cool to review stuff for real but it would be better if you could give it away afterwards if it didn't have a shelf life. Everyone likes getting free stuff.

  3. Thanks for the plug, Mr. Brownthumb. I've been consulting at Gethsemane a few days a week for six years now and really enjoy it. The customer is truly number one with us and although some consider us somewhat expensive, it really isn't for the quality and unusual selection you get.

    The old country saying that " You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything " really says much about your judgment and character. Good for you !

    I've been to Jayson's and got so sticker-shocked I could barely contain myself. I think they should change their name to Interior and Exterior Design For the Rich'n'Famous. It doesn't even smell like a garden center.

  4. LOL Carolyn,

    Don't those places that are suppose to be garden centers but smell like a candle shop just seem odd?

    BTW I just noticed your profile picture. It's great!

  5. Hi Mr Brown Thumb,

    I just saw this post on Jayson Home & Garden. You have my sincere apologies for any offense our press release caused you. We try to send information to places we believe might be interested in what we have to say. I am sorry I did that without checking with you first.

    I'd like to invite you to visit us at Jayson Home & Garden since you haven't been here before. I think you'll find we have a different assortment than Target, Menard's or Home Depot. I'd love the opportunity to show you around.

    I won't send you any more information but if I can ever help you with anything please let me know.

    Thank you,
    Abbe MacLise
    Jayson Home & Garden

  6. We send out an e-newsletter twice a month. It is permission based in that we only send it to people who sign up for it. Spam is bad and should not be practiced by any business.

    That being said I am impressed with Abbe getting right to you and explaining things. While they should not send spam they seem to be monitoring the conversation going on in the blogosphere and for that the get some credit.

    This is a great story about why its important to monitor the internet concerning your business. It’s better to be part of the conversation than out of it completely.



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