sly : marketing

Relationship Marketing and The Greenhouse Effect

This is my brand new greenhouse:


And this is how it looks after I have added some soon-to-be vegetables, like eggplants, tomatoes, green and red peppers and a lot more:

a chair inside the greenhouse

And the chair, that’s where I’ll be doing my creative thinking while watching the vegetables grow.

Why am I telling you this?

… and showing you pictures of something personal?

I am doing it, because this is how me and you connect. I share something personal, something you can relate to, and then you’ll share something personal. When we both share something personal, that’s when we connect.

I am telling you a story about who I am. When we connect on a personal level, away from the corporate world, that’s when the true magic happens – and that’s what marketing is about.

If you’re fascinated by a Norwegian pizza-lovin vegetarian who spends most of his days in a chair inside a greenhouse watching his vegetables grow, well, you know where to find him.

Marketing is personal.

45 responses to “Relationship Marketing and The Greenhouse Effect”

  1. Love it Jens!

    If I were in your place, I don’t think I would ever be able to do anything except get lost in the plants and greenery all around! I just love plants and nature in general. I get my creative juices flowing when I go for my morning walks and connect with nature.

    I totally agree about getting personal sometimes, which is how great connections are made because that’s how we get to know more about each other. However, I never knew that is called marketing! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on your new greenhouse – it sure is a place to get lost for hours. 🙂

    • Hi Harleena,

      I hope I’ll get some work done, because the greenhouse is brand new. I got it just a few days ago, so I might actually get lost in the plants and greenery 🙂

      A lot is considered marketing today. A few years ago, advertising was more or less the only marketing we had, now we’ve more or less stopped doing traditional advertising. Things are changing 🙂

  2. I really love your greenhouse (it is actually green) and I think it is very refreshing to stay there and think creatively while watching the nature grow all around you.

    Now you show as another part of marketing, show something personal to create connections with the people visiting your blog. Thank you for sharing!

    • Hey Amanda,

      Yes, it’s actually green. I believe it’s the first greenhouse I’ve seen that’s actually green 🙂

      I just love to be outside when I’m thinking, and being in a greenhouse is like being outside (somewhere warm, and not in Norway). And that makes it even easier to be a creative thinker.

      To me, marketing should be a lot more personal. When we are personal, it’s so much easier to sell. We buy from people we like and trust.

  3. Jack says:

    We are in agreement about the importance and need for a personal connection. That makes a distinct difference.

    Norway sounds far away and exotic to me so I always enjoy the videos/pictures and insight.

    • Yes we agree Jack. A personal connection makes all the difference in the world as a blogger and for marketing purposes. A lot more businesses should start to understand this fact.

      Norway is very far away, and I still remember how I felt the last time I was on a plane to the US (it’s more than 10 years ago), it took forever to get there.

  4. Robert K says:

    I believe that the only way personal bloggers and online marketers can connect with their audience is by making the whole thing personal!

    If they see that you’re a guy next door, they find it so much more easier to see themselves in your position, and you’re right – that’s there the real marketing begins.

    Essentially it’s corporate vs personal and if we, personal bloggers and marketers, try to adopt the corporate look and feel to our blogs and websites, it’s not going to work anywhere near as well as when having this personal touch.

    • I absolutely agree with you. When I started out blogging, I tried to be more or less invisible. I didn’t want people to know my name, and I didn’t publish any pictures of myself. I still don’t publish many, but that’s because I’m never satisfied with the pictures.

      Now, it’s more or less all about being personal, but not too personal. I’m looking for a way to connect with my readers and my customers on a personal level without telling them things that are not relevant (it’s fairly hard because I talk about how much I love pizza all the time) 🙂

  5. Rahman says:

    All of us need some time away from our workplace to work better!!! I go fora walk in my weekends. I don’t have a greenhouse like yours, but I walk in parks trying to give my mind some rest. I come back home and relax, focus and note down what crosses my mind.

    I couldn’t agree more with your last sentence: “Marketing is PERSONAL!”

    Rahman Mehraby
    TraveList Marketing Blog

    • Yes. I do my best work away from the workplace, and I bet I’ll do most of my business thinking inside the greenhouse from now on.

      I love walking in parks as well. Do you use a device (or a notebook) to take notes when you’re out walking?

      I have been using Evernote a lot, but also Things (for my iPhone) to add all sorts of ideas that I get while I’m outside.

      • Rahman says:

        It may sound a bit strange, but I usually don’t write down things when I observe them developed in my mind. Once it gets plenty in quantity, I usually write it down on a small paperback notebook (I know it’s old-fashioned, but I love to write this way) or use Evernote on my Android HTC too if I need to take a snapshot.

        • It doesn’t sound a bit strange at all. I am usually just a bit afraid that I’ll forget things that I want to keep developing. And that’s the reason I keep adding things all the time. I add a lot, but I also delete a lot 🙂

  6. Hey Jens! Am I seeing tomatoes in there? Being a vegetarian also, the best part of summer gardening is fresh sun-warmed tomatoes! I love them with Vegenaise–YUM (do you get that in Norway??). Love this post, yes, be a person and be personal and be interesting. You manage to do just that.
    Two green thumbs up!

    • Hey Robin,

      Yes, I have lots of tomatoes, but right now, I have 8 plants in the greenhouse and about 10 more in the kitchen 🙂

      I just love tomatoe too. I have never tried vegenaise-YUM. I’m not sure if I can get that in Norway.

      Thanks a lot for the green thumbs up 🙂

  7. John Currie says:

    I am still quite new to the concept of connecting personally on the web even though I seem to have been online forever. I am enjoying the experience and although I don’t have a greenhouse, I am blessed with fantastic weather here in South Africa so I get out a lot.

    • Hey John,

      I want your weather. That’s the worst part of Norway. The weather is too cold, and it’s changing all the time (and it seems to be raining most days).

      I started out as the invisible blogger, and it took me years to understand how powerful being personal is, and marketing, because people are more or less immune to advertisements, is about building relationships and trust.

  8. Sonia says:

    That was beautiful Jens. I hope you can plant some onions and corn for me too. I like that you found a place to go where you connect with your inner thoughts and put pen to paper. We all need places like that to help free our mind of the daily stresses and other mental jabs we go through.

    My favorite spot is Barnes and Nobles or the Library. It’s so quiet, I can grab a dessert, drink and veg out with my thoughts. I am a book fanatic and I love to flip my hands through pages to discover new information that I can transfer over to my blog.

    • Hey Sonia,

      I have planted onions and corn. But since this is the first time I’ve done it, I have no idea if I’ll ever going to see a single onion or corn 🙂

      I haven’t brought my iPad or iPhone to the greenhouse yet, maybe I’ll go back to using pen and paper – I might get comfortable in my chair writing my new blog posts.

  9. Magnus says:

    Fantastisk post Jens! Fikk barndomsminner fra drivhuset til bestefar hvor jeg likte å sitte i varmen og kikke på grønnsakene. Jeg tror også at relasjoner som skal være verdt noe eller bety noe må dele personlige hendelser. Ha en flott lørdag i sola! Hilsen Magnus

    • Gleder meg til å sitte i varmen og se på grønnsakene. Akkurat nå er det mest jord jeg ser, men det er et par tomatplaner og squash som har kommet seg ganske høyt opp.

      Det vi deler må være personlig og relevant, det vanskeligste er nok akkurat hvor denne grensen med hva som er relevant er. Noen deler absolutt alt, andre deler nærmest ingen ting. Vi trenger noe personlig for, men akkurat hvor mye og hva, det er vanskelig 🙂

  10. Fab greenhouse; fab post. I haven’t been around and about as much as I’d like, having just returned from my “Ernest Hemingway writing retreat”. Wrote all about it, so I won’t repeat here. And I gave you a tip of the hat in my latest blog post, Letter R, so drop by if you get the chance. Love the look of your site. Very crisp and clean. Hope all is going well with your business. And yes! When we share of ourselves, we expand our friendships, associations and business. Cheers! Kaarina

  11. Eddie Gear says:

    Marketing or the aspect of hoping a product would reach millions of people such that millions of products can be sold has been spoken of in different forms. From network marketing to relationship marketing and many many more. For me it all comes down to marketing, and the niche your focusing at, some of these techniques work for certain niches and some dont. One needs to fine tune their strategy for their specific blog.

    Very meaningful post Jens.

    • Hey Eddie,

      I haven’t give niche marketing much thought, but in my mind, relationship marketing would be great for any niche… right now I can’t think of any niche that it wouldn’t work for.

      But, I do agree that we need to use different techniques to get great success in different niches. Not sure about relationship marketing though 🙂

  12. Chris Barker says:

    Wow amazing! I like your green house effect thingy and the vegetables that you’ve put it. I didn’t imagine that you’re very personal when it comes to this. I’m very glad that yyou’ve shared this.

  13. Jens,

    That is a nice greenhouse!
    Now I’m envisioning you sitting in there, in the moment, whispering to the plants 😉

    Here in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S., certain plants grow, grow, grow, but not tomatoes and peppers. Why am I telling you this, Jens? You’ve lived here 😉 You know. Plenty of similarities to Norway I guess. Just not as cold and dark in the winter, right?

    Anyway you really do need warm nights for those plants to grow well. Our yard isn’t the best place for a greenhouse, but I’ve been trying to talk my mother into getting one. She’s way into gardening and this might be her way to get those killer tomatoes. Let us know how your ‘maters come out.

    So with this greenhouse, I’m curious. How many hours of sunlight do you have at your latitude this time of year?

    Fresh tomatoes make me think of … pizza. You too, huh?

    • Yes, I have lived there. But I don’t remember much about the plants. I was just a young kid at that time, and kids are not that interested in plants, but men 40+ are 🙂

      The nights are not warm here in Norway, but I hope it helps to have a greenhouse. I don’t know much about it just yet, but I have talked to several people who have experience and I am reading books and blogs about the topic. When I get interested in something, I’m all in 🙂

      I have thought about starting a new blog about my greenhouse experience, mostly in order to rememer what I did, and when I did it, so I won’t do the same mistakes next year 🙂

      We have sunlight from about 5 in the morning and to about 10 pm.

  14. Carolyn says:

    Hi Jens, Your green greenhouse looks spectacular! I love your personal stories and how you relate them to your blog posts.

    In the winter can you grow anything in the greenhouse or is it too cold then? What happens when you go to your island for the summer? How do the plants get watered? Do you grow things in a greenhouse in the summer because it’s still too cold for the plants to grow outside?

    I am fascinated by this. At our girls’ school, they have a greenhouse where they grow vegetables to give to poor people. It’s a wonderful project that has won awards.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Thanks a lot. I love the greenhouse, and you should see it now, I have added many new plants and vegetables 🙂

      I can’t grow anything in the winter, it’s just too cold. I would need an oven or something to keep it warm. I probably won’t do that.

      The reason I’m growing the plants inside the greenhouse is that I can start earlier and I can grow things that won’t be able to grow outside in Norway, like grapes and oranges etc.. (and a lot more).

      I have been thinking a lot about the summer as well, and I’m not really sure what I will be doing. But I need to do something, that’s for sure. But, I’m not sure how much I’ll be at the island, because I’m going to be a dad again in August 🙂

  15. Alex Aguilar says:

    That’s a lovely garden Jens. I totally agree with your assertion that’s necessary to connect to your audience on a personal level without all the buzzwords and empty marketing speak of the corporate world. I try to do the same with my clients whenever possible. I hope you continue this feature and give us periodic updates on what you’re planting and how your greenhouse is blooming in the coming weeks and months.

  16. Becca says:

    I was thinking the first time I saw your green house, now i know because of the weather.
    I feel blessed that we have a fat soil and warm weather here in the Philippines to plant veggies and fruits.
    Anyways, thanks for the weekly emails. I learn a lot from you. Looking forward to your fruits of labor. 🙂

    • You can probably grow everything outside. I need the plants inside the greenhouse in order for them to survive. The climate here in Norway is a lot colder – but hopefully the summer will be nice and warm 🙂

  17. Ashvini says:

    Hi Jens,

    So now we are going to get Peter Drucker’s kind of thought evolving from man in that chair :).
    I love the taste of fresh vegetables and I am sure you are going to enjoy them :).

  18. Adrian says:

    Jens , you have said something much efficient and interesting! sharing something personal provokes others to share their insights at some level and hence that’s how a chain reaction of perfect communication among all of us! Thumb up to you!

  19. Vin says:

    Hah! This is some good stuff. I’ve been vegetarian/pescetarian for 10+ years and am totally jealous that you have enough space for a greenhouse!

    I’d be interested in seeing what that thing looks like once the plants are full grown.

  20. Okto says:

    Hi Jens,

    What a simple but strong message you give here. I have an experience as direct sales rep. in 2008. What you have said here is so true. When we can reach a personal level of communications, we will persuade consumers (magic happens)!


    • Hey Okto,

      Thanks a lot for the feedback. To me, the personal level of communication is very important, and we need to remember that a business is really just people. And we need to connect with them as if they are our friends (maybe not our best friends, but people that we can talk to on a personal level).

  21. Denise says:

    I find you as an inspiration in appreciating simple things in our lives. I used to maintain a vegetable garden in our home. I might consider to plant again this year, maybe by next month. Btw, I am really happy the way you share your activities to us.

    • That’s what I like as well. The simple things in life is often what makes life so wonderful. Today, I’ve been walking in the woods for two hours looking at nature, all by myself, and I got so many interesting ideas from my business from just walking 🙂

      I hope you’ll start your vegetable garden and share your experience with me. I am a complete beginner at this, and need all the advice I can get.

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