Stebner, S., C.R. Boyer, L.M. Baker, H.H. Peterson. 2017. Relationship marketing: A qualitative case study of new-media marketing use by Kansas garden centers. Horticulturae 3(1), 26; doi:10.3390/horticulturae3010026.
A primary factor limiting the expansion of many Kansas garden centers is marketing. Most of these businesses spend the majority of advertising dollars on traditional media (newspaper, radio, etc.). However, new-media tools such as social-media can be an effective method for developing profitable relationships with customers. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions and experiences of garden center stakeholders as they use new-media to market their businesses. Grunig’s Excellency Theory served as the theoretical framework for this study. Results indicate garden center operators prefer to use traditional media channels to market to their customers and asynchronously communicate with their target audiences. Stakeholders often have inaccurate or conflicting views of traditional media and new-media in regard to advertising and tend to approach new-media marketing from a public information or asynchronous viewpoint.