I first tried to interview Gary during the run up to Mother’s Day. As you can imagine, things were pretty busy at Bloom & Wild - record breaking sales busy. So, we decided to reschedule. With Mother’s Day firmly out of the way, here’s what the Head of Acquisition for the UK’s leading flower delivery app has to say about work, life, and flowers.
Gary started his career whilst still a Mathematics student at King's College London, working in customer service for online restaurant booking platform, OpenTable. Still just a small platform at the time, he got to see up close how paid search, keywords and digital marketing were essential in growing an online business. 5 years later, it had grown to over 650 employees across the globe, and Gary was the Online Marketing Manager. It was time for a new challenge.
Along came Bloom & Wild. Gary was attracted to the lure of a small, founder-led company again. And floristry, perhaps? “We all have a love for flowers here, but we see ourselves as a tech company first and foremost. We just use tech to sell flowers brilliantly.” And it works.
Before Bloom & Wild, buying flowers wasn’t particularly easy to do. The choice for consumers was limited; a cheap bunch from a convenient supermarket, or worse, petrol garage, or from a florist, which can be expensive, hard to find, and intimidating for anyone who doesn’t know their hyacinths from their hydrangeas. And delivery is always an issue, but not when the packaging design solution is letterbox flower delivery.
Along came Bloom & Wild, who are not just convenient, affordable, and beautifully curated, but better quality too. "One of our big advantages is direct grower relationships with strategies around cut stage so that we send our flowers in-bud, to bloom on arrival for our customers" says Gary who’s main job is to provide customer acquisition solutions.
Facebook is Bloom & Wild’s biggest channel. Upon realising that flower delivery search terms were limited to just “flower delivery + london” and a handful of other terms, it was time to rethink their digital marketing plan. With Facebook, Gary tells me he is able to “reach potential customers before they’ve even started searching, cutting out search auction almost entirely”. Of course, this isn’t without it’s hurdles. “A large part of my job is to fight ad fatigue on Facebook, so we’re always looking for new ideas.”
One way of fighting ad fatigue is through great content. At Bloom & Wild, their team of designers are continuously seeking new locations for shoots, and brands and creators to collaborate with, such as Boden and The Londoner. “They’re always coming up with cool and unique ways to leverage the ad format that Facebook have. For example, our video carousels have worked really well. It’s about being innovative within the constraints of the format.”
So, with the big two flower delivery days out of the way - Valentines Day and Mothers Day - and sales records smashed, what does Gary think the future holds for marketing? “For the first time in a while, there are a few new viable channels emerging like Snapchat and Pinterest, and new technology breathing life into existing channels like Instagram and Facebook stories. It just feels like there’s a new buzz.” And, no doubt, another record breaking year.