Closer connections with distance digital

12-05-2020    14:55   |    Greenhouse Management

The COVID-19 crisis has bumped up the demand for digital. Learn how to navigate these times while maintaining your connection with customers and clientele.

Yesterday my accounts manager and I moved our office setups to our respective homes to ride out the Dallas shelter-in-place order after we’d already practiced several weeks of working in split shifts at the office, and the recommended social distancing. The COVID-19 virus is bearing down and forcing businesses to go remote, furlough, lay off staff — or shut down altogether. This is not a fun time for any of us, in this industry or any other. I’m hoping that by the time this column goes to print, we’ve turned at least a small corner. In the meantime, many businesses and employees have been forced to create a new digital presence for their services and products. There’s no better time for the green industry to catch up when it comes to digital content and education.

Lean in

When times are tough, it’s a common knee-jerk reaction to cut marketing and advertising. Understandably, budget cuts are a reality in certain situations. However, giving up all your market voice during a crisis will often make your recovery that much harder. Leaning in at a time when many others are pulling back can give you a strategic long-term advantage. It’s crucial to stay front and center in your customers’ minds, so that when the purchasing drive returns, you are at the top of their list.

From my perspective, wholesale growers have a bifurcated responsibility for educating and marketing to both their industry retailers and end customer. At a time when social distancing is a must, digital communications afford you the ability to do both with relative ease.

The “Gardening isn’t cancelled” push this spring by our industry created an opportunity to not only increase gardening activities and plant purchases, but also activate a new generation of gardeners. Doing so effectively means employing digital platforms and social media channels, photos, videos, live stories and even podcasts. We saw more individuals and companies jumping on the webinar and virtual consultation bandwagon recently as well.

 

RESOURCES

Platforms such as GoToMeetingGoToWebinarZoomSkype and others offer opportunities for virtual sales, group educational meetings and staff training, buyer education and training, and consumer Q&As.

 

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Photo by Grzegorz Walczak on Unsplash


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