Plants Marketing: Costa Farms is moving its marketing up a gear (or two) in 2022. Portada talked to Mari Carrasquillo, Senior Director Brand & Channel Marketing at Costa Farms, to understand how the largest ornamental plant grower in the world is working on new marketing initiatives.
In April Costa Farms, founded in 1961, is launching a marketing campaign, the largest so far for the company. “The main objective of the campaign is to generate awareness, for that reason we will be investing in digital leveraging social media, influencers, and videos,” Mari Carrasquillo, Senior Director Brand & Channel Marketing, Costa Farms tells Portada. Costa Farms is a third-generation, family-owned business that stretches over 4,000 acres globally and employs nearly 5,000 people. In 2017 Markel Ventures acquired a majority stake in Costa Farms.
According to Carrasquillo, the plant category for a long time has been very commoditized. However, currently trends are leading consumers to think more about plants as decoration accessories for indoor & outdoor. Costa Farm’s target group is the “audience who is interested in learning about plants, who are looking for opportunities to connect with nature, and those consumers who enjoy buying new plants and collecting different varieties.”
Plant Marketing: Partnerships with Retailers
Costa Farms activates partnerships with different retailers, including Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon, for digital retail media buys. “Starting two years ago due to COVID, we have been able to shift the support towards digital. Currently, we are investing in sponsored products at retail sites, brand pages and search,” says Carrasquillo. For Costa Farms 2022 is a pivotal year because we will start investing for the first time in a consumer campaign. In the past, even the investment we did with retailers was very low. We can provide a better response in the next two years when we can report back the outcome on the current omnichannel plans,” Carrasquillo adds.
2022 is a pivotal year, because we will start investing for the first time in a consumer campaign. … We will be able to provide a better response in the next two years when we report back on the outcome on the current omnichannel plans.
SESSION: BRAND PUPROSE AS DRIVER OF TRUST AND BUSINESS VALUE-
Portada Miami, March 31. Costa Farms is one of the most trusted brands in the U.S. horticultural market. It has earned the trust of consumers with a clear purpose of helping indoor and outdoor plant lovers pursue their passion. The goal of this discussion is to learn key lessons on how to use brand purpose as the driver of trust and business value. Participants in this session during Portada Miami will include Mari Carrasquillo, Senior Director Brand & Channel Marketing, Costa Farms and Seraj, Bharwani, Chief Strategy Officer, AcuityAds.
Plants Marketing: E-Commerce and D2C Expansion
Until recently plants Marketing used to be mostly a traditional marketing mix endeavor, but digital marketing, e-commerce and D2C initiatives are gaining ground. “Ecommerce is still a small percentage of our total sales, around 5%. Nevertheless, in the last 4 years, we have seen strong growth and sales spikes during and after pandemic,” Carrasquillo notes.
Costa Farms also has a D2C strategy through its own e-commerce site: https://shop.costafarms.com/. D2C sales have higher margins, and the company is attempting to grow at rates of 300% and more in the coming year. ‘The store is new, we launched it in May 2021. This year the plan is to invest in search and in top of the funnel activities to lead consumers to the site. We didn’t direct funds last year, so we are extremely excited to allocate money to generate consideration and more conversions,” Carrasquillo concludes.
We have seen substantial sales spikes during the pandemic.