The Scary World of Marketing


Marketing sending you into a spin?

‘Marketing’ is a word banded around by so many people and everyone makes it sound complicated like an algerbraic equation or something very expensive done by PR agencies which is out of the reach of small independent florists.

A little bit of relevant background about me (Amy):
After my life as a florists daughter and before returning to Strelitzia & Flowers by Nattrass I completed a degree in marketing and I spent my working hours as a Brand Manager for large grocery brands & the UK’s largest pub firm.

Here’s what I learnt about marketing.
Its not complicated, it doesn’t have to be expensive and YOU can do it. 
So, I have written some questions I think are relevent to a florist business and answered them. (I hope it helps)

What is Marketing?
Despite what you have read and in all likeihood not understood, due to abbreviations & jargon designed to scare you off, marketing is all about talking to your customers and getting them to engage (or react) to the content you’ve created.

The best place to start talking to your customers is email. I would also suggest looking into the scary world of social media (but I’ll save that one for another email/blog)


Who do I market to?
The first stop. Your current customers. It is much easier and cheaper to create regular customers than constantly find new customers. Capture a customer’s email address as you are taking an order and you have a brilliant marketing tool.

Raising your eyebrow & thinking no customer is ever going to give their email..?
I agree. If our team were to open a conversation with ‘Can I have your marketing email?’ most customers would run a mile. Our florist however has a database of over 4,000 emails. How do we get the data? Here’s how the conversation goes;

‘Do you have an email address I can take and I’ll send you a reciept with all your orders details on so you don’t lose them’
‘That would be great;’
‘We like to keep our customer’s up to date with what we’re doing, don’t worry, we only send out a couple of emails a month. Are you happy to be included?’
9 times out of 10 the answer is ‘no problem’

Now I know who I am marketing to, how do I do it?
The marketing module of Strelitzia allows you to download all of your customer’s email address & is complient with the new GDPR rules (not sure what GDPR is? read here).

You can import these email addresses to MailChimp and start creating emails. It is so simple to use and if you’re not sure we will give out free training to all Strelitzia Users.


What do I say?
That’s not the correct question. The first question is;
What is the result I want from this email?’ 
Possible answers & suggested content are below. You can have more then one  answered in an email but my advice would be to have one focused message

  • More website sales.
    • Include links to your website & images of your products
  • More people visiting your shop.
    • Include a 10% discount code only to be used in store or promote deals you already have in store. e.g. mix and match bunched flowers
  • More people phoning the shop. 
    • Include content such as: Not sure what you’re looking for? Give our team a ring on 01325 123567 or drop by our shop and one of our experienced florists will talk you through all the options.
  • Letting people know how much better your flowers are than supermarkets
    • Use customer reviews. Had a thank-you card recently? take a picture, type it up or if you use sites like, google or facebook reviews.
  • Letting people know about your new range
    • Take pictures and include them. All you need is a smart phone as pictures need to be small.

Throw back Thursday

Strelitzia Team

The internet loves a ‘Throw Back Thursday’ and a couple of posts on my (many) social media feeds got me thinking about what Strelitzia could post to join in.

It turns out it’s hard to fit our story into 140 characters but when I started typing I found it hard to stop. So, I’ve had to share it here instead.

I am sure you are not going to be fooled that every significant event happened on a Thursday, that would be too convenient for this post, but I have picked out a few Thursday’s from over the (many) years to share with you.

Throw back to Thursday 5th February 1959
Ronnie and Dorothy Nattrass (Mr & Mrs N) had been running Flowers by Nattrass for 4 days. It was the ‘scary’ beginnings. They took a grand old total of 7 pounds 14 shillings and 6 pence that week.

Throw back to Thursday 11th April 1985
Okay, so I am guessing on the exact date here, but this was the year Sally Nattrass (Mr & Mrs N’s daughter) and her (to be) husband Mark Bennett started working for Flowers by Nattrass.

Sally was awarded her ICSF this year & started competing at the highest level of floristry. It seems floristry ran in the family. It only took her 4 more years to gain her NDSF.

Throw back to Thursday 7th July 2005
Sally and Mark had been running Flowers by Nattrass for a couple of years. While Mr and Mrs N were having a quiet retirement making sure everything was still running smoothly in the three shops and garden centre.

They’d just experienced a nightmare Mother’s Day. Modernising had meant a new computer system which was fabulous until it crashed 4 days before Mother’s Day. By July they’d (just about) got over the trauma and Mark and Steve (IT specialist, friend and saviour of Mother’s Day) started programming the first version of Strelitzia.

Throw back to Thursday 9th February 2006
On this date Mark was convincing a very sceptical Sally the new system would be ready for Valentines… (?)

But true to his word; on the 12th February 2006 Mark installed Strelitzia into Flowers by Nattrass. What could possibly go wrong? The answer was thankfully nothing. Mark and Steve had created something pretty special.

Throwback to Thursday 5th January 2018
Skip 12 years, a lot of updates later and Strelitzia was now working in hundreds of florists across the world. Flowers by Nattrass was still one of the leading florists  in Darlington but had reduced it’s size to one shop.

Flowers by Nattrass & Strelitzia had a couple of new additions (well not so new by 2018). Katie, eldest granddaughter of Mr & Mrs N had joined the businesses as marketeer and florist. Floristry really does run in the family. Matt joined the business in 2014 and is now the first stop for all our customers with any enquiries, you may know him as ‘the voice’ of Strelitzia.

But… the problem with modernising (especially when working with technology) is that it never stops. So. Mark and the development team started developing Strelitzia, from scratch again.

This time we built it on the cloud with the latest code. So our florists can have the freedom to login and see how the shop is doing even when away from the shop. Giving them peace of mind everything is running smoothly so they can enjoy their rare days off. (I’m still trying to convince Sally a day off is a good idea)

Today 14th March 2019
I can think of a few insults for the Bennett’s but followers of the crowd is not one of them. However in August of 2018 I did exactly that and joined the businesses. I am Amy, youngest granddaughter of Mr & Mrs N. I am the first point of call for all new enquiries, unofficial diary reminder service for Mark, new system bug tester and chief eyes roller at brides (rose gold roses aren’t a thing.. yes look again.. they’re silk flowers on Pinterest…)

That’s our little story. Way more than 140 characters and but I hope you have enjoyed. Not a bad legacy for Mr & Mrs N hey!

The new system will be released after Mother’s Day. We’re really excited! If you could like to check it out please give us a ring on 01325 722398 & I’ll put some time in the diary for your own personal tour.