State Fair Fries

Ah, I drove by the State Fair main gates last night and almost took a photo of the banner announcing 2011 fair dates. Yes, I know I could look them up online, but it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as seeing those dates in big, bold print when there’s 3 feet of snow on the ground (again.)

Maybe I should blame the spurt of 40s we embraced, pranced and capered about in for my spring fever.

But I’m not the only one.

The gardening people recognize the symptoms and have mastered Integrated Marketing Communications.

Weekly, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds emails me with helpful tips on growing plants from seeds at home, aka “content” in the vernacular of marketers. White Flower Farm sends me the most gorgeous paper catalogs every other month starting in December that make me pull out stickers and markers to note my favorites. The Friends School Plant Sale, my friend on Facebook, invited me to volunteer at the sale in May and submit photos of plants I’ve bought in the past — more great content.

Just when I realized that my garden desperately needed peonies because of my White Flower Farm catalog, I read in the Star Tribune event section about the Minnesota Peony Society’s Peony Celebration at Bachman’s on February 26th. But my new favorite store, Eggplant Urban Farm Supply is offering the class Urban Chickens 101 on the same day. And there’s still space available!

Gardening, plants, seeds, backyard chickens, and indoor greenhouse kits and how to use them are everywhere. But then that’s the point of Integrated Marketing Communications.

Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is a process for managing customer relationships that drive brand value primarily through communication efforts. Such efforts often include cross-functional processes that create and nourish profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messages sent to these groups and encouraging data-driven, purposeful dialog with them. IMC includes the coordination and integration of all marketing communication tools, avenues, and sources within a company into a seamless program in order to maximize the impact on end users at a minimal cost. This integration affects all firm’s business-to-business, marketing channel, customer-focused, and internally directed communications. 1

We all knew the February thaw would end and winter would return, but still, I saw grass on the edge of the sidewalk.

And I’ve got seeds sprouting.

1 Clow, Kenneth E.; Baack, Donald (2007). Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications 3rd edition. Pearson Education. pp. 9–10. ISBN 9780131866225.

5 responses to “Marketing Spring Fever”

  1. Roxanne Oswald Avatar

    That’s a powerful definition of IMC. It sounds (and is) so exciting to have systems and tools nowadays to facilitate this! My other thought is that marketing messages that carry the hope of spring are a little more welcome by consumers than other messages about, well, ice dams. They carry sort of a warm-fuzzy feeling that perhaps gets more attention from winter-weary Minnesotans.

    1. aelyngstad Avatar

      That’s a very interesting point, Roxanne! Being that my team is consulting with a company that does some of the not-so-warm-fuzzy snow/ice removal that is something that we should keep in mind as the winter drags on. Thank you for such valuable insight!

      1. Sara Kerr Avatar

        Maybe you need to make it warm and fuzzy. Preventing damage to roof, walls and building structure sounds pretty good to me. Of course it’s probably not the fun kind of work people want to do on their houses, such as bath or kitchen remodels.

        So maybe your positioning needs to be about prevention and investment.

  2. aelyngstad Avatar

    Sorry to hijack your blog for a moment. It is nice to think that we are not far from being able to plant those flowers. And I think it is brilliant of a company to start that marketing well before you can actually use those gardening tips. It definitely gets you in the mood so that the moment you can hit the garden you are much more likely.

  3. Sara Kerr Avatar

    Not a hijack at all! That’s part of what blogging is about — engaging your customers, which in this case is YOU!

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