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Reaching People With a Creative Message

More than on a large financial investment, successful marketing depends on creative strategies and tactics that succeed in reaching the right target audience, communicating with them and helping them act.

When Caty Woodstrom wanted to get the attention of her market for her flower arrangements business in San Francisco, she demonstrated her abilities without breaking the bank.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, since it lead her to a real marketing discovery) she had no retail space or street level location, making it virtually impossible to spread the word about her floral shop and services using traditional means.

She then came up with the idea of decorating a popular park and some small cafes with creative flower arrangements. Each and every arrangement also included her business card to make finding and contacting her easy.

"It was a great way to get the attention of the young and captive audience, mostly dot.comers, that would take their lunches out at the picnic tables.

I find that pictures usually don't do justice when it comes to flowers. The small arrangements that I would put out with my cards allowed people to see and smell (and sometimes steal) the real thing. I thought it was a much more interesting and unexpected way to market.

People would call me and send me notes to thank me for adding beauty to the park and their lunch. Or they would call and ask me why I did it and then they would have to hear about my business!"
Caty's idea was simple:

a] Using her product as the marketing tool and message (her product actually was the marketing message - integrated and relevant to the target audience and the situation the audience was in when receiving the message);

b] Displaying her marketing message in the appropriate location where she reached her audience;

c] Reaching her audience in a welcomed and unobtrusive manner;

d] Making it easy to get more information by simply taking the business card from the product.

There is another moral to this story ?

People tend to respond less and less to traditional advertising, especially when it interrupts them or with aggression captures their attention.

By decorating the park Caty overcame this obstacle, actually spreading her marketing message in a way that people welcomed, since it made their experience in the park more enjoyable.

Her message did not interrupt, but rather enhanced the positive feelings people had in the park - it added value to eating the lunch there. These positive feelings were then attributed to her business as well, enhancing her image and creating a positive attitude towards her.

Always create marketing that gives value and does not take away the pleasure.

Lessons to be Learned

a] Marketing works best when your target audience and the recipients of the marketing message welcome it.

b] Successful marketing enhances the experience in a positive way, instead of taking from it (TV advertisements for example take away from the experience by interrupting the viewer while watching).

c] Make it easy for prospects to find you or contact you.

d] Results come from carefully adjusting your message to your audience and displaying it in the most appropriate context.

e] Try demonstrating your product if at all possible and whenever possible.

f] When running on a budget, it takes a creative idea to reach your target audience.

Story told by Caty Woodstrom, e-mail:


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