This Hort Innovation Turf Fund marketing snapshot has been taken from Hort Innovation’s Hortlink 2017, edition 4.
Hort Innovation is responsible for investing the turf marketing levy into a range of activities to drive awareness and use of Australian turf, under the Hort Innovation Turf Fund.
According to the latest research undertaken by Hort Innovation on behalf of the turf industry (summarised here in an earlier Hortlink), having access to a well-maintained, safe and practical outdoor space is a high priority for the majority of Australians – and turf is well positioned to take advantage of this need.
In October, the turf Strategic Investment Advisory Panel was presented the research and invited to provide advice on a number of concepts that supported its findings. This advice has formed the basis of the new industry marketing strategy, beginning implementation this summer.
What information sources consumers use, who they consult and ultimately where they buy is dependent on which of the three main reasons people have for buying turf: landscaping a new home; renovating an existing home; or patching a problem area. As online searching (driven mainly by Google) is still the starting point for most, having a credible and well-designed web presence needs to be a priority.
At the point of purchase, consumers are relatively happy with the buying experience, with people appreciating the service and advice from turf farms and nurseries. Interestingly, Bunnings is growing in popularity as a purchase channel, especially for smaller turf projects.
With all this in mind, the key strategies and activities for the next three years are as follows:
- Create and provide the tools, to streamline the process from research to purchase for turf consumers. Key initiatives for this strategy pillar will include creation of a new consumer website highlighting the benefits of turf for consumers and housing new consumer tools to aid selection, costing and designing, and locating a turf supplier.
- Demonstrate the value of turf, reinforcing the health, social and financial benefits of a quality lawn and outdoor space. Key initiatives here will include a new approach to social media including paid Facebook advertising to capture consumers considering turf as part of their new home or renovation; and partnering with the Real Estate Institute of Australia to influence and educate real estate professionals on the home value improvement benefits that turf can bring.
- Inspire the Australian Dream. This strategy area is about strengthening the presence of a quality lawn in the ‘ideal’ outdoor space of Australian homeowners. Key initiatives will include public relations (PR) and video content that showcases real Australians and their turf stories, and how important turf is to their families’ wellbeing.
The program will be rolled out over the next three years, with the priority being the set-up of the new consumer website and digital tools over the summer.
These marketing activities are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Turf Fund