Portland, Oregon…The recent Oregonian story (12/20/2009), front page of the business section, told the world what the industry already knew…this is the worst of times. The stark reality was clearly shown in the graph of nursery sales in Oregon that accompanied the text. Sales have dropped from nearly one billion in 2007 to this year’s projection of less than 700 million. The future outlook is for more of the same with any real turn around probably several years off.
We believe the winners during this challenging paradigm shift will be those that continue to market. Cut production, then costs, and lastly employees, but keep reaching out to both current customers and searching for new ones. There will be fewer players, and marketing remains a key to being a survivor.
Sustainable Hort LLC is also a marketing firm. We offer a wide range of marketing services, from advertising to blogs, from catalogs to video. And, over the next few months, I will be adding some basic marketing information to this site to help nurseries consider their options and make concise, efficient decisions. It will be free for your use. Just don’t give up on marketing!
Another option…take or send staff to this winter’s Horticultural Marketing class (HOR257) offered by Chemekta Community College, Salem, Oregon. This Monday night session, 6 – 9 pm, is at the horticultural classrooms (#62-101) on the Salem campus. This class offers a cost effective, “fast start” to marketing efficiently. We will cover every aspect of marketing, starting with defining marketing, through numerous strategies and technologies, to evaluating what works with different segments and products. We know how to grow plants, but sometimes not how to market and sell them. For more information, contact the registration office at http://www.chemeketa.edu/started/register.html.; or start with the general college site at http://www.chemeketa.edu.