Monrovia have been pioneers and craftsmen in the art and science of growing plants for nearly 100 years. Founded in Southern California, and boasting a network of separate nurseries in various regions across the US, they deliver plants throughout the country. They’ve always prided themselves on the quality of plants that they grow, offering a staggering 4,000 varieties for every landscape need and every region.
With a mission to ‘Grow Beautifully – Grow Confidently – Grow Responsibly’, they’ve honed their craft to perfection, and stand tall as one of the most respected horticultural organizations in the US. As far as creating a marketing strategy is concerned, we had to bear in mind that they have a very specific target audience – namely homeowners, aged 45+ who have a household income over $100k, across the US and who are interested in gardening and outdoor projects.
Historically, we’ve worked on demand-generation campaigns for Monrovia. In 2022, they conducted a brand study survey and noticed a slight dip in brand awareness after the pandemic rush in gardening, so they approached us with a different ask. They wanted to increase brand recognition and awareness, so our recommendation was a full-funnel approach with four campaign objectives:
1: Create awareness
2: Build preference
3: Drive demand
4: Inspire interest
Another key component of the campaign was that it had to take into account seasonality and the weather – factors we don’t usually have to take into consideration for the majority of our clients who operate within the B2B tech sector. But we’re always mindful of our client’s objectives and bring ideas to the table that help them achieve their goals.
We asked our Supervisor, Programmatic, at Just Global, Jessie Goff her strategy:
As a B2B agency, we’re accustomed to looking at things differently for our clients, which is why we came up with the idea of introducing a weather rail. This allowed us to layer in an extra set of targeting capabilities where the ads would only turn on when the temperature in a certain area dropped below or increased above a pre-set degree. We were able to upload these parameters and make the budget go much further as there was no wastage during weather temps when people are least likely to be gardening.
We activated the campaign by utilizing paid social tactics across all four of the above campaign objectives, with a substantial budget allocation that gave us a presence on multiple platforms: Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Paid search was used as an always-on tactic to capture active searches throughout the year and we leveraged programmatic display ad YouTube to support the primary and secondary campaign objectives. We focused CTV and programmatic video solely on the primary objectives.
When we approached the look and feel of the campaign, we had to consider that Monrovia is a high-end, premium, well-established brand, and although competitive, the world of flowers and plants traditionally has a more genteel approach to messaging than many other sectors.
In past years, the client ran the same creative executions across all platforms. But as we were proposing a full-funnel campaign this time round, there needed to be a different look and feel, as well as messaging, for each stage of the funnel, and the four campaign objectives. This was critical to ensuring success in a full-funnel campaign, which we call ‘creative modulation’. Each stage of the funnel had a unique look and feel that all family together to the master brand. This ensured ad fatigue didn’t set in, as well as keeping users engaged. If they saw the same ad at the next stage, they’d be less likely to click on it as they’d think they’d seen it before.
It was important that we featured Monrovia’s green pot, as it’s synonymous with Monrovia, which is why it had to be such an integral part of the campaign’s visual identity. It’s shown in all the creative executions, positioned with a garden landscape, as the goal was to show the audience what’s possible in their own landscape. In addition, we wanted to convey the quality of Monrovia’s plants without knocking the competition, and highlight the value of the product. That’s why we came up with the message, ‘A lasting landscape begins with Monrovia quality’, which emphasizes how good plants are, and that it will give you something that lasts for a very long time.
Given Monrovia sells over 4,000 varieties of plants, the second objective was matching the right plant to each customer. What we showed here was that quality is synonymous with the green pot, no matter which variety they choose. With their My Plantfinder database they have created a whole taxonomy of different varieties of plants and can offer the perfect plant for any environment. We came up with a specific creative that shows the breadth of plants they offer – from annuals to edibles, from ground cover to shrubs.
To make the budget go further we refreshed the creative from the first two objectives and replaced the messaging. The client wanted to drive a portion of foot traffic to Lowe’s, so we created bespoke ads specifically calling out Lowe’s. And for another subset, they wanted to drive customers to independent garden centers, so we made bespoke ads for that. We also highlighted their top-selling plants – Hydrangeas, Coneflowers, and Roses to subtly increase demand for these top sellers.
Although the peak season for Monrovia is March to May, to maintain brand awareness being on in pre-spring is important – not just advertising around this time. However, budgets meant that we had to devise a way that they could increase the frequency of their advertising around this peak season, while also maintaining a continuous presence. As people plan how they want their garden to look before they purchase plants, we suggested a campaign on Pinterest – the platform people use to plan things. To get people inspired and excited, Monrovia produced a series of Garden Design Guides explaining how to plan and create your perfect garden based on popular themes. This created a sense of excitement among the audience and grabbed their attention ahead of the peak season when they’d be ready to buy Monrovia’s plants.