Today, marketing is more challenging than ever before. It's a hyper-competitive environment that forces businesses to compete for attention not just against other businesses, but against everyone and everything. To break through, businesses must transcend the transactional and focus on delivering useful resources and information to their customers and prospects.
A study by the Wharton School of Business of 7,000 New York Times articles (opens as a pdf) over a six-month period found that useful articles were 30 percent more likely to be on the "most emailed" list. Consumers value (and share) utility, a principle embodied by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.
Scotts is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, including the Scotts brand of grass seed and lawn fertilizers, and the Ortho brand of lawn and garden pest-control solutions. The company also has a robust services division that provides regular lawn care to commercial and residential addresses throughout the United States.
With the exception of the Miracle-Gro line of household plant fertilizer and nutrients, the majority of the company's products are used seasonally or circumstantially. Making sure customers understand which product to use in which situation, and when, is a major objective for the company, and they've embraced it in nearly every operating division.
The Scotts brand offers "Lawn Care Update," a monthly email newsletter that dispenses specific, useful and seasonal lawn and garden advice to subscribers. Operating since 2009, the update is produced in six different regional variations to ensure that the advice is relevant. After all, what Michigan residents should be doing to their lawns in October is far different than what Floridians should be doing at the same time. Beyond the regional editions, the update has even more customization capabilities, as subscribers can specify what type of grass their lawn includes, and other criteria that result in a highly personalized, instructive email delivered to them each month.