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Marketing snapshot - Hortlink 2018, edition 2

Publication date: 30 June 2018

This Hort Innovation Nursery Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2018, edition 2.

Hort Innovation’s investment of the nursery marketing levy, through the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund, is all about the 202020 Vision – the movement to increase urban green space by 20 per cent by the year 2020.

As always, the 202020 Vision has been hard at work to maximise the exposure of the industry, enlisting a range of tools including press, print, social media and public relations. In this edition of Hortlink, we put the spotlight on some of the latest and exciting consumer-facing activities of the initiative, and provide an update with respect to the new five-year marketing strategy for the industry.

Plant Life Balance grows from strength to strength

It’s been several months since the 202020 Vision’s Plant Life Balance consumer campaign launched, with the program going from strength to strength and encouraging sales growth reported nationally. The objective of this campaign is to get more Australians excited and confident about styling their homes with plants, with science explaining the two fundamental benefits of green life in the home: improved air quality and wellbeing.

The campaign uses technology and social media to connect with a target audience of women aged between 25 and 35 years, with and without children, to help build their confidence and inspire them to get more ‘plant life balance’ in their lives. The strength of the campaign is founded on research (with the science behind it developed by the R&D component of the Nursery Fund program), as well as the world’s first augmented reality greening app.

This April, the Plant Life Balance app was recognised by the International Webby Awards. The Webby Awards recognise excellence in digital media globally across a number of categories. The awards are presented annually by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and this year the Plant Life Balance app was named the Best Lifestyle Mobile Site and App, and was also the Peoples’ Voice winner. Read more about the accolades here and see the award win on the Webby Awards site here.

With more than 46,000 downloads since launch, the Plant Life Balance app lets people experiment with over 145 plant varieties in their own indoor and outdoor spaces to see what works best, before they head out to their local nursery. Watch a quick video on the app here, and find it in the app store on your smartphone (it’s available for both Android and iOS). You can also see the consumer-facing Plant Life Balance website here.

To help drive awareness and consumer engagement, an integrated campaign across PR, media partnerships, ambassador activation, social media, digital activity and influencer engagement has been seen more than 60 million times since launch and was also activated to drive brand awareness and conversation. More than 550 local and international media pieces have appeared across TV, newspaper, digital platforms and through social media, with more than 21,000 new plant lovers having joined Plant Life Balance’s social networks across Facebook and Instagram.

Essential to the success of the program is the engagement with and promotion of the campaign through independent retail nurseries. Nine retailer training events were held around the country last year, with a recent webinar taking place to help nurseries run their own social media competitions to help attract customers into stores. Due to the success of the program, Bunnings have invited the Plant Life Balance team to promote the campaign and the science behind it at their upcoming expos nationally.

Independent nurseries are encouraged to get involved with the campaign and promote it through to customers and through the supply chain. A digital version of the point-of-sale kit and digital video assets to be used across your social media platforms can be sent to you. Just contact

A new five-year program built on cross-sector collaboration

With the Nursery Fund’s current marketing program coming to a close in June this year, Hort Innovation and the industry’s Strategic Investment Advisory Panel (SIAP) have spent the better part of the last six months establishing a clear understanding of the nursery marketplace and the key barriers to more urban greening, while also identifying the major barriers impacting on green space nationally. As part of this process, an independent evaluation of the current program was conducted. A key outtakes of the evaluation was that the 202020 Vision program should continue “to ensure the goodwill and positive awareness of the program to date is translated into measured benefits to the levy payers and program partners.”

To support the review’s recommendations and expand on existing industry knowledge and expertise, a strategic workshop was held in Melbourne this April, bringing together a group of senior green space decision-makers and influencers spanning government, business, health, finance, development and NGOs. Executives from Nursery and Garden Industry Australia, the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, City Of Melbourne, the Green Building Council, Frasers Property, BUPA, the National Australia Bank as well as a selection of key growers with national representation joined the industry SIAP and key Hort Innovation staff to help establish and steer the new five-year marketing strategy.

As soon as the new operating plan is finalised, the new marketing strategy and program will be shared with the industry. For any questions relating to Nursery Fund marketing activities, contact the industry's marketing manager at Hort Innovation – find the details here.


These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Nursery Fund