March 15, 2014
Marketing program for members launches this spring
Professionally produced how-to videos from the GFL Marketing Program can be customized with your own store’s message.
Today green industry pros have more ways than ever to connect with customers, such as social media sites or electronic and print communications. The problem is, juggling content deadlines on top of your other responsibilities is just too much work.

Online marketing, social media, smart phones and tablets have all added complexity to a skill area that has never been our strength. Just a few years ago, as you planned marketing for a landscape or garden centre business, you only worried about newspaper, radio and the Yellow Pages. For those really good marketers, you had a catalogue. Today we layer into that collection not only a website but now social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and review sites such as Yelp ... it is a quickly changing environment.   

While most of these are “free” to use, there are many real costs of using staff time and energy to create campaigns for each platform. It is not just about creating some stories to post; you need to create interesting, inspiring and engaging content that will connect with customers and drive sales.

Landscape Ontario is launching a special subscription service, to provide compelling and timely content, so you can connect with your customers. Simply subscribe, and receive custom content created in Ontario by green industry experts. Then distribute it under your company banner. Your customers will love it!

The GFL Marketing Program is designed to offer professional marketing support for all LO members. The program takes the buying power of the trade association as a whole, and spreads out the costs of a full-service ad agency to allow members access to exceptional content and strategies. This marketing program is ideal for garden centres, contractors and other all other sectors. Choose from three levels of service:

GFL Communication Packets

Receive timely stories about plants, gardening, design, hardscape products and more. The GFL Marketing Program will send you the words, images and video you need to post to your blog, e-newsletter, website, Facebook page etc. Over the course of the year you get over 160 of these packets, daily during spring and weekly other times.

Every day in peak season you will receive a 500-word story suitable for a blog or web page, as well as a shorter version for your social media outreach, and images that will tie into the topic. Videos will be created on a regular basis for you to post or add to as needed. For an example of a video with a retailer tag at the end, see Spend a few minutes to customize the stories to your business, or post them as-is, save hours of work and keep your online presence current and relevant. The program is sold on a 3 month or 6 month subscription basis with prices running about $3 a day. Subscribe for only $349 for three months or $579 for a six-month term.

GFL Marketing School

Yes, we all need to go back to marketing school, as the curriculum really has changed. Now as part of the LO Professional Development program, GFL will run a series of marketing classes in Milton and online. Topics will include: how to write a marketing plan, what online platforms make sense for your business, how to do it yourself, how to use the Communication Packets, and how to use Pay Per Click. We will spend time on ‘why’ as well as on ‘how.’

Watch this magazine and LO’s Enews for opportunities.

Do-It-For-You Program

For some members, it may be better to have LO’s team manage and run the whole program on your behalf. This fee-based service could actually post to your social media sites, or go into your website back-office and update your blogs or images, or add your commercial at the end of each week’s video. The team could manage pay-per-click accounts, run e-letters or even offer traditional print support.

Sign up today, before the spring rush, to build your business this season and beyond. For more information visit