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Marketing Pros: Time to Show Off

by | Mar 1, 2023 | Floral Industry News | 0 comments

The 2022 Marketer of the Year was announced at SAF Orlando 2022. (Left to right) Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI, founder of Design Master; Anne Stewart, vice president of North American Floral Operations at Smithers-Oasis; Amanda Jedlinsky, senior content strategist at SAF; and the 2022 winner, Ryan Black, marketing and media director at Jet Fresh Flower Distributors.

A floral distributor that put its employees front and center in company marketing. A television show about cut flowers. A retailer that created a brand just for weddings.

Those are just a few of the past winners of the Society of American Florists’ Marketer of the Year contest, which is accepting submissions for its 29th year. The contest is open to any Society of American Florists retailer, grower or wholesaler member who has executed an original, successful marketing campaign in the past five years.

“Considering the challenges of the past couple of years, people are yearning for connection — with each other and with their surroundings,” says Denise Patterson, director of corporate marketing at Smithers-Oasis, which sponsors the $5,000 cash prize. “Strong, creative marketing techniques empower floral professionals to tap into those desires. Marketing know-how helps businesses grow their customer base and their profits.”

Last year’s winner, Jet Fresh Flower Distributors of Miami, used employee-first marketing to propel the business. Other past winners include “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom,” a television show about cut flowers; Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in Fallbrook, California, which brought proteas into the national spotlight; Arizona Family Florist, which created a new brand specifically for weddings; and Certified American Grown, for its farm to vase dinner tour.

Ryan Black, marketing and media director at Jet Fresh Flower Distributors, says being named Marketer of the Year was significant because of the recognition that came with it. He was announced the winner at SAF Orlando, and his marketing tactics were shared in the September/October issue of Floral Management.

“For me and the many overworked floral marketers in our industry, there is really only one marketing-focused award to be won — SAF’s Marketer of the Year,” he says. “Awards like this generate competition and creative thinking which lead to great initiatives and developments within our industry.”

Judges — a panel of successful floral business owners and a marketing expert from outside of the industry — evaluate entries based on originality and success.

“I found that the entry that stands out the most entices you with their passion, innovation, energy and hustle,” says 2018 winner and past judge Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers. “They are risk-takers, ready and willing to try new things and typically lead the pack with their outside-of-the box mentality. Winners think big (even if they are a small business), set big goals, and focus on finding a solution.”

An important part of a winning entry is showing the judges the success of the campaign through metrics, such as sales, social media impressions, site visits and more, Roy says.

Black encourages all floral marketers to enter — even if they have entered in past years. He won in his third year of entering the contest.

“You never know if that year could be the year,” he says. “The recognition and accompanying prize are a fantastic honor.”

The 2023 Marketer of the Year winner will receive:

  • $5,000 cash prize, sponsored by Design Master, a division of Smithers-Oasis
  • Free registration for SAF Phoenix 2023, Sept. 6-9, at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Recognition during an awards ceremony at SAF Phoenix 2023
  • Cover story detailing the marketing efforts in the September/October issue of Floral Management

The contest is open until May 31. Click here for instructions on how to enter.

Amanda Jedlinsky is the managing editor of SAF Now.

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