February 2021

Spring bulbs and stealthy marketing campaigns

2021 is fully here in all its glory and spring is on the horizon!

While true spring and summer are still a little far away - it’s so close to gardening time. The mornings are getting lighter, the snow drops are out, daffodils are emerging and the end of all this cold stuff is nigh. 

Here’s something you might not know: I’m a totally potty gardener. Mike is the horticulturist, I’m just the filthy casual that does the digging. 

Winter is a tough time for us gardening fanatics. The ground sleeps under darkness, frost and snow. Perennials die back to shriveled stumps leaving the borders looking like gaunt skeletons - sad fragments of memories taunting last summer’s warmth and vibrance. 

But winter has its purpose: it is time for preparation. Time to let the ground rest. Time to sharpen tools and prepare for the next harvest. 

For Mike and I, it’s time to pour over our labour of love - the veggie patch.

A few weekends ago we opened the seed cupboard, dug out the veggie patch plans, and started looking ahead to what we could achieve this year. 

Successful vegetable patches are carefully orchestrated. A small space garden like ours requires meticulous planning, crop rotation schedules, mindfulness on growing height and spread, obsessive pest control, and continual learning from your own ground. It’s hard work!

This is the time of year I plan and do new research to make sure I’m up to date and armed with the best information possible ahead of the growing season.

 And this year I found something new. As I threw myself into my usual frenetic research, one company kept coming up with helpful blogs and videos.

They were everywhere. Each new thing I researched - there they were. Soon I was seeking out their articles over other resources, and eventually I was just searching within their site. 

They drew me in by having the information I needed at every turn.

While feasting on all their content I couldn’t help but notice their product: an online garden planning app. 

We’ve always managed our plans on paper, and our seeding and planting schedule in spreadsheets… Automating my veggie patch? Yes please! I watched their video and read some articles about it. 

Apparently this app would: 

  • Automate my garden plan 

  • Tell me how many plants I can put in certain areas and how much space they need

  • Tell me when to sow seeds, when to harvest and when they can come out the ground 

  • Keep an eye on my crop rotation 

  • Keep a listing of what we planted last year, the variety and journaling notes


Holy crap. Literally everything that is hard work about planning - made simple. 

I was sceptical. I’ve had bad luck with apps and their promises before. But of course - they had my back: 7 day free trial, no credit card required. 

So of course I signed up. Opened up the app and…. got distracted and did nothing with it. 

#anticlimax. 

They weren’t done looking after me though. I got a lovely email with some inspiring gardens, a welcome video and a user guide. 

And then the next day another email covering which plants to grow with access to over 200 guides on optimally growing specific veggies. 

Then another on crop rotation methods. 

Then one maximising your space usage. 

Then a gallery of plans you can use out the box (some from celebs!). 

Then one on journaling. 

Then irrigation planning. 

And finally some common mistakes and the CTA to sign up because my free trial was expiring. 

They knew exactly what to send to me and why. They covered all my pain points. And you bet I sat for 5 hours that night and planned our whole veggie season out. 

And does it do everything I wanted it to do? 

Pretty much yes. I don’t need my spreadsheets and paper now. It’s in the cloud. I’m a happy modern gardener. 

Would I have tried it all without them poking me and showing up? Of course not. 

They lured me in with good content, snagged me with a lead magnet, and then nurtured me to usage. I’ve paid for the app and I’d happily pay more for it - it’s amazing.

This was a perfectly executed nurture based customer journey in action.

So here’s some nuggets we can steal from this fabulous process:

  • What’s a problem for your audience?
  • How can you show up relentlessly to help and build value?
  • How can you incentivise interaction?
  • How can you address those problems and nurture in a meaningful way while adding value?


We have our plans carefully laid out - and it’s time to start germinating. How can you help your audience do the same?

GrowVeg did something very cool in the journey they took me on: they changed the way my brain felt about them.

Two things were at play, the Mere Exposure Effect, and enhancing the Purchase Formula.

The Mere Exposure Effect is a cognitive bias that makes you like things more simply because you’re exposed to them more frequently. So by showing up everywhere I’m looking for information, my brain automatically builds a more positive association with their brand.

And they gamed the purchase formula by continually adding value. By educating me through value my brain will elicit a higher reward response, and I’ll be more likely to purchase from them than from anyone else.

“If the person you’re trying to change knew what you knew, 

would they want to change?”

Seth Godin

I’ve been pondering ethics in behavioural marketing - and it always comes down to this quote.

If your prospect knew as much as you do about your product and where you stand in the marketplace - would they still choose you?

Why?

I guess I’m an ice queen for having “Kind Regards” - though I’m tempted to change it to “King Regards” just to see who pays attention…

I loved Macmillians new ad - we’re tough, and we’re tender. They brought an extremely human experience into viewing an ad.

If you like a little bit of AI action, this blog on some of the ways you can use AI in content marketing and some of the apps that are available caught my eye.

I always love it when people say email is dead *insert giant eye roll*. I came across this great piece with some fabulous things you should get rid of in your email marketing. Mind the pop ups though!

If you fancy some ninja content, here is our most popular blog of 2021 so far: What is a lead magnet? We go in-depth to discuss:

  • Why lead magnets play a vital part in attracting prospects.
  • The reasons why some don’t always work > things to avoid!
  • 12 top tips to creating a really good lead magnet.
  • I hope you’re getting ready for a fantastic spring (or a nice cool Autumn for you antipodeans).

    Fancy a little email chat? Hit reply and let me know how you’re doing and what’s going on in your world 🙂

    King Regards,

    Join a tribe of epic businesses in the know…

    Sign up to become part of an awesome community of eggheads, and stay at the forefront of all things marketing, automation, buyer psychology & more....

    The Marketing Brainbox provides marketing and psychology-based content, straight from the horses mouth - or in this case from our Prime Ninja, Kenda Macdonald! This monthly email will keep you informed about industry trends, useful insights, strategy and much more.

    The Ninja Compendium is a weekly blog notification email - with a little extra thought-provoking information to boot. It keeps you in the loop so don’t miss out on data driven content, useful how-tos and strategic advice from the experts at Automation Ninjas.

    Scroll to Top