During the sixth edition of the Floriculture Marketing Event, marketeers from the floricultural sector went on a journey to learn more about 'Experience Marketing'. What is it? What does authenticity have to do with this? And the key question: How can you create a successful experience for your target group?
Floriculture Marketing Event
The Floriculture Marketing Event is held every year under the auspices of NIMA, the Netherlands' best-known and most renowned marketing institute. This year, the event took place on the 29th of September.
As the name suggests already, this one-day event focuses on marketeers from the floriculture sector. Every edition there's a different topic and angle, with best practices from within and from outside the horti industry. This year, the focus was on 'Experience Marketing'.
Growing Interest in Floriculture Marketing
The fact that almost a hundred marketing professionals from a variety of companies were present, indicates the growing interest and urgency of professionalizing this part of the floral business.
Flowers and plants do not sell themselves (anymore for a long time). We all have come to know that there are many alternatives for buying horticultural products for any occasion. And the choices within the range of flowers and plants have expanded so enormously over the last decades that it has become an absolute necessity for floricultural professionals - from breeders and growers to wholesale traders and florists - to have a marketing strategy.
Experience Marketing - More Than Ever
In modern marketing, an important part of this strategy is to understand how your client or consumer experiences your flowers or plants, and how you may influence this perception.
The sixth edition of the Floriculture Marketing Event is titled 'Experience Marketing: Your Marketing Experience?' These days, the decisions of your client are not merely about the plain product or service anymore. It revolves around the experience of that product or service. According to modern marketing, we are no longer those 'just' consumers. We have evolved to much more than that: we are humans with a mind, a soul, and a heart.
In this world where crisis is piled upon crisis, it is important that people are taken along to a pleasant experience with a positive, yet authentic story. We need a positive vibe that prevents from everybody talking each other down.
Seduce and Inspire
Matt van der Poel RM, chairman and founder of the Experience Marketing Community within NIMA:
"In the past, shop windows mainly gave information about a product. That is no longer sufficient. To sell a product, you have to seduce and inspire."
Matt calls himself a CXO, a Chief Experience Officer, because the experience by itself is a vital part of making a customer happy and, one of the principles of marketing, to come back for more.
The audience of marketeers took well notice of his words, as appeared during the interval when this topic was heavily discussed in smaller designated groups.
Enthusiastic host of the event and affectionate speaker for this occasion Hans Blokzijl took the crowd on a journey to experience the sustainability of the state-of-the-art conference buildings and area, Bomencentrum Nederland in Baarn, Netherlands. If you take the time to open up, there is an experience in everything. Without leaving the room, he let the marketeers experience its authenticity, and what it is to build the sustainable center that he runs.
The final speaker of the day was a surprise on his own. Raymond Klompsma founded a successful company srprs.me that sold experiences by means of surprise travels. People did not know what they bought, but they trusted that the experience of the surprise would be better than the anticipation of an arranged holiday pack. And he proved it right, can you imagine?
It only works when you realize that people are not buying a product, but an experience. That counts for everything in life. Raymond stated that people do not buy houses, but a nice place to live, just like you do not buy a record, but wonderful music to listen to. If the experience matches the expectations, you and your customer can become friends for life. And who does not want to do business with a friend?
After a day of listening, the evening went on meeting with other marketeers, reflecting, and taking a bag of ideas home to work with, becoming a(n even) better marketeer.
Or, as Confucius used to say already 2,500 years ago:
"I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I experience and I understand"
Save the dates! In 2023 March 30, and September 28. Both are Thursdays, in weeks (13 and 39) when nothing else is organized.