Updated: Feb 2
On Wednesday 3 Feb 2021 the My Green Pod Nature TV campaign went live, inviting you to temporarily throw off the shackles of 'COVID lockdown' and welcome hours of nature back into your life - for free - wherever you are - thanks to My Green Pod Nature TV. The campaign is the fruition of 6 month's work on positioning for ethical online retailers My Green Pod.
In summer 2020, I was approached by My Green Pod co-founder, Jarvis Smith. The 10 year old ethical lifestyle magazine had just launched its e-commerce store. They were also looking to scale their operation and wanted to map out their marketing opportunities to increase traffic to their site and grow their sales in ethical products.
Over half a year, we worked together to galvanise their output as a company.
In terms of purpose-led businesses - they don’t come more focused than My Green Pod. Founders Jarvis Smith and Katie Hill's agenda is to change shopping behaviour in order to save the planet. In short: shop less, and when you do, shop ethically - buying sustainable products.
To reinforce their message, they promise to plant a tree in the tropics for every ethical purchase made on their site. Their website offers 1000s of ethical products personally selected and curated by the founder owners, as well as an archive of 1000s of articles from their Guardian Newspaper distributed and critically acclaimed My Green Pod magazine.
After we had run my kick-off workshop, we identified the key areas that needed attention in order to turbo-boost their business and over the next 6 months we attended to the following:
1. Company and Strategy:
We looked at the forthcoming year and considered 3 over-reaching OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) - from management strategy to business goals for the first quarter of 2021. Each OKR had 4 to 5 actions. Progress on these actions was to be monitored weekly. A move away from reactive management to being more planned and strategic was considered, as was the appointment of a board with monthly board meetings and a weekly all-hands company-wide meeting. Company culture also came under scrutiny with a need for outward-facing and internal manifestos to enshrine MGP's core principles.
We also discussed roles and responsibilities within the company, the need for established processes and systems and the value of a CRO/COO/MD role to allow the founders to take the step back from the day-to-day company responsibilities and give them the time to continue to champion their ethical cause.
By engaging a leading Danish advertising agency and with the help of super-talented Zurich-based illustrator Katrin von Niederhäusern, the old branding was given an overhaul to become more friendly, supportive and easier on the eye. A fresh new colour palette was adopted, with an ‘organic potato block’ style print for their logo and headline font. This would be flanked by fun stylised illustrations and punchy slogans.
Making e-commerce their focus, and bringing ethical products to the fore, the website was given a re-skin, in keeping with the new branding. This involved implementing new designs for every page and delivering the re-styled site to coincide with the October 2020 edition of the magazine that ushered in the new look.
4. Audience engagement and activations:
Upon request, our Danish advertising agency delivered a series of astonishingly arresting routes to drive engagement. Several campaigns were planned for the following calendar year.
The Nature TV campaign was chosen as the initial activation to engage with the My Green Pod audience: a serious message with a 'fun' execution. It featured a short film introducing MGP's online store, while also championing the need ‘to get more nature’ into people's lives - especially during these times of lockdown restrictions.
It is widely recognised that exposure to nature benefits our sense of wellbeing. Informed by this insight and supporting scientific evidence, MGP invited anyone to visit the website and watch MGP's stunning 2hr films of uninterrupted nature: a rock in a field, a babbling brook and sheep grazing.
Once website visitors had experienced nature beamed onto their smart device, laptop or television, they could continue to celebrate nature by making their next online purchase an ethical one. Visit the Nature TV page here.
I project managed the entire film making process - coordinating the talents of the ad agency, film crew, director, animator and music producer - as well as our presenter, MGP's Jarvis Smith. This included overseeing all aspects of the production from script-writing to filming on location on the beautiful Broughton Hall estate, Yorkshire in November.
The campaign then needed to be housed on its own landing page and be supported by PR, email and social media marketing around the launch.
The Nature TV campaign was one of 3 campaigns to be executed in 2021. Two of which are still under wraps, but will see the light of day later this year.
5. Customer relationship management (CRM system):
With a supporter database of over 100,000 email addresses, MGP needed to optimise their email marketing. Working closely with an appointed CRM consultant, My Green Pod evolved from using Mailchimp to a more versatile science-based data-tracking CRM platform, Dot Digital, enabling detailed data-capture and highly-targeted messaging to drive sales towards their website. Each My Green Pod customer would now have a digital profile, allowing MGP to cater to their specific needs and respond accurately to their recent shopping behaviour.
6. Investor proposal:
Two comprehensive documents were prepared for potential investors: a business overview for and a summary of marketing activities. The overview presented the business case, financials and the team. The Marketing initiatives document collated all the activities that My Green Pod had planned in order to raise awareness of their e-commerce store and magazine.
7. Social media:
Having sought guidance from a leading Social Media expert in the ethical sector, a new structured social media strategy was implemented. Weekly timetabled posts and communications were planned months in advance, delicately balancing a need to inform on ethical issues, a reinforcement of their position as leaders in the ethical space and also prompts to check out the best selling ethical products across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Social media posts and images were given strict ton of voice and graphic guidelines to ensure brand consistency.
8. Pay-per-click advertising:
Working with a state-of-the-art proven-expert AI PPC agency, MGP embarked on carefully monitored A/B/C/D/E testing campaigns. All adverts consistently had their copy and graphics tweaked so that PPC messaging was optimised over a 3 month period, to maximise return on investment across adverts on Facebook, Instagram and Google Ad Words.
9. Public relations:
Introducing MGP to a PR agency instigated a sustained and focused PR push to raise awareness not only of the MGP brand and offering, but also of the founders, Jarvis and Katie, helping to cement their well-deserved position as thought-leaders.
The Nature TV campaign was pushed out to omni-channel media outlets: from TV channels (BBC and ITV) to Radio via broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, magazines, podcasts and blogs in time for its launch. This flanked Jarvis’ invitations to address organisations as diverse as The House of Lords and Deloitte helping to underline Jarvis' role as an expert in ethical retail.
“Tim really understood My Green Pod and helped to turbo-boost our outward-facing communications. He introduced us to and then managed a network of creative and tech-savvy talent, overseeing a comprehensive rebrand, a new website, our Nature TV campaign, a new data-tracking CRM system, an AI PPC ad agency and our communications strategy with a new PR agent”.
Jarvis Smith, My Green Pod
My Green Pod are on track to cement their place as the UK's leading ethical online store. They are building on rock-solid foundations: a great business model, strong leadership, clear vision, plans for growth, memorable branding, curated and data-driven email marketing, audience engagement initiatives, social media and PR.
One to watch - and next time you shop - shop ethical at www.mygreenpod.com
If you want to collaborate with a dynamic sparring partner, passionate about purpose-driven better business and creative solutions, I'd be delighted to find out more about your business and see how we can work together to get your company where it needs to be.
You can reach me directly here: email@example.com