In the past, shopping for a Mother’s Day gift involved calling a florist or going into a store and buying flowers, as well as a card. Now we have the Internet – which boasts free e-cards and websites solely dedicated to flowers, gifts, apparel, poems…and the list goes on. Since the economy is still looking dismal, Mother’s day spends were expected to drop 10% this year to $14 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. I noticed during the few weeks before Mother’s Day this year that flower companies had stepped up their marketing efforts with both traditional and interactive tactics and tools to drive consumers to select their brand over the competition.
Teleflora® ran a commercial where a mom receives a talking bouquet in a box, which basically shows no personalization or sincerity. When she opens the box, the flowers talk to her as her kids asking for an allowance, since they spent all their money on that bouquet. Teleflora touts their service as a top notch florist with hand-assembled and delivered products. Their marketing efforts saturated TV markets with brand messaging via cable commercials and a spot on HSN.
1-800-flowers.com took a slightly different approach by leveraging the internet and its social nature. The company launched a social media campaign with their Spotlightamom.com microsite , which featured inspirational stories about great moms, allowing users to post information and connect with others. This microsite also offered free Mother’s Day e-cards and a viral video component featuring celeb spokesperson Florence Henderson, which was circulated on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. People who submitted a story had a chance to enter an online sweepstakes to win a vacation. 1-800-Flowers also targeted bloggers, offering promotional codes to post for discounts.
While traditional marketing efforts can still be effective for businesses, now various online tools are available to reach out to new audiences and connect with them on a branded level, which will drive them to buy from a specific retailer for Mother’s Day based on the customer experience they offer.