Why gardeners make the best marketers

Why gardeners make great marketers

Marketing is a force of nature, evolving along the same principles as any living species. A good marketer today thinks like a gardener knowing it requires the same discipline to grow a successful marketing campaign as a healthy garden.

The other day when I was out for a run I had one of those déjàvu moments where I felt like I had heard something before, but I was not sure where. I was listening to the Marketing School Podcast with Neil Patel & Eric Slu, on the 4 Fundamental Things You Need to Master in Marketing. If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that they were reading a chapter from a horticulture book on how to grow a good vegetable garden.

These two are a couple of the leading marketing practitioners when it comes to digital marketing. After listening to the 5 minute podcast it would not surprise me if Neil and Eric were not gardeners themselves. What stood out the most is how marketers today, like gardeners, need to consistently try new things, with a growth mindset. The ones that are data driven and develop a process keep their baskets and funnels full.


As Neil Patel put it, “I am not referring to staying consistent when it comes to marketing, but constancy when it comes to running tests.”

Doing the same thing over and over again will not always work. You know why? Conditions change.

Conditions can affect your marketing campaign just like they do a garden. It could do with a new predator, environmental change or competition. Whether it is in the form of weeds, or an algorithm update in Google, staying consistent and running experiments to see what works will keep you staying in front of the curve. You will soon learn that what worked in the past may not always work this time around.

Social media marketing becomes harder, paid advertising becomes more competitive, and your competitors end up using everything that worked for you in the past, relieving a lot of their baggage. The top growers know that to stay ahead of the competition they need consistently be trying new techniques to improve their results. It might be changing the schedule for the time of day their plants get watered or adding more to the watering schedule. Many of the experiments don’t work, but when they stay consistent, they find the ones that do.

Growth Mindset

As marketers we need to always be looking for knew technology or new ways to improves what we are doing. Just like gardeners are limited by budget and resources, marketers are often limited by the same things; they both must rely on technology and new discoveries to stay on top of their game.

When you are experimenting all of the time you need to have a growth mindset and not be shut-off by things that you do not understand. When growers use technology they not only increase their harvest but reduce their input.

As marketers we need to be constantly looking at others to see what is working and what is not. We need to use our own experiments with the information we are gathering from those around so that we can continue to grow.

Data Driven

Too many marketers look at a campaign and think it looks cool or amazing. Looking cool or amazing is not what matters, what matters are the numbers and are they data driven? The same can be said about a garden when it comes to a plot that might look cool vs. one that actually produces. Using data to see what works best, the when and where, will help you grow faster than just using your gut alone.

Marketing and gardening come down to numbers, you spent X dollars and you made X dollars. Or here is my design and it converts at A, or whatever conversion you have set. The bottom line is you have to be data driven, if you are not looking at the numbers you will not succeed.

The more data that you can keep track of, the better of you will be. Just like marketers, good gardeners know that the more data that they can pull from the better they do. With consistent experiments, a growth mindset and good data, they will always have the upper hand on the market.

The Process

A marketer needs to look at the entire process behind what it takes to get the job done. Look at a gardener that grows from seed to table. There is an entire process behind what is being done with specific tasks along the way. The seeds have a process to get the seedling. Then the elements need to change as it matures to vegetation. If a grower doesn’t find a way to systematize the process things can get out of control.

Once the process is systematized, many things can begin to happen. For example, other people can take over if you get sick or need to work on something else. It will also help with production, and promotion of your brand.

Everything in marketing and gardening follow a process and it just can’t live in your head. Marketers and gardeners that feel this way often have a difficult time growing due to the lack of order. There are a lot steps to completing each task and without a system important things get dropped or left behind.

Growers have to build a process; they have to build a machine as a way to scale their brand or production.

In Conclusion:

Just like nature, marketing follows a systematic process to help things grow. A marketer with a consistent approach to experiments, a growth mindset, data driven information and process will get results that surpass their competition. These are the fundamental steps to marketing as well as the four most successful growing habits for your garden.

1. “technology is a force of nature, evolving along the same principles as any living species” ~ Technologist Kevin Kelly
2.4 Fundamental Things You Need to Know About Marketing., on the Marketing School Podcast with Neil Patel & Eric Slu
3. Photo by Agence Producteurs Locaux Damien Kühn on Unsplash

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