Keep Your Shovel in the Dirt: gardening tips from a not-so-green thumb


Farmer on local sustainable organic farmI’ve never been very good at gardening, even though I still try each year.  I till my little patch of land so that I can sow my vegetables, spending far more on plants and preparation than my meager harvest would ever come close to paying out.

Each year, my timing seems to be off.  Right around the time that my tomatoes are ripe for the picking, I’m typically out of town for my family reunion.  My house sitter says they are delicious, though. 

Last year I decided to try parsnips—maybe I am just really bad at above ground gardening.  Root vegetables might be the way to go.  Not one seed popped up, until a warm spell this past March. Want to know how I know that? Well, it wasn’t until I pulled out half of the parsnip seedlings, while getting a jump start on weeding, before I realized what they were.

Then there was the year I was so excited about a bumper crop of cucumbers, until my neighbor very kindly told me they were the pickling kind, not very good for salads and such.  I ate some anyway…

Interestingly, my lack of gardening success has shown me ways to make an integrated marcom program more effective.  The principles are the same, just with a different flourish.

  • If you stop digging, nothing is going to grow: You need to adapt your approach and look for the most applicable ways to reach your audience. Keep turning over new ideas and concepts. Some will bear fruit, some will not, but know what they are.
  • The sunshine still needs the rain: It’s a balancing act—you’re going to have both bright experiences and gloomy moments, and each has a set of insights that will help define your next approach. Learn from the murky ones as well as the sunny ones.
  • Recognize what needs to be weeded out: If a tactic is not working as effectively anymore, maybe it’s time to pull it from the mix and focus on newer strategies that are delivering results. Just like farmers that give a field a rest, maybe you can return to that tactic when it makes more sense.

Because of the number of ways a customer or prospect can be reached in today’s marketing environment, knowing the best combination of marketing tactics for your business does take some skill.  So, be a lifelong learner, continue to research different trends and opportunities, and make sure you always understand your audience, so you can make the best decision on which elements will be most effective for your business.  You reap what you sow…

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