Being an Innovator in Social Media; 1800Flowers.com Experiences – an Interview with Lewis Goldman / 1800Flowers.com – Podcast Episode 2 of 2

ROI of Social media logo at StevenGroves.com In this episode Lewis Goldman of 1800Flowers.com shares some of the successes 1800Flowers.com has had along with some of the lessons learned.

The first is the booming growth in the adoption of mobile, their application for placing orders on a variety of mobile platforms is growing rapidly.  Today you can use your Blackberry, Android, or iPhone to place an order from the 1800Flowers.com Mobile Gift Center in several categories for personal or business.

1800Flowers_Logo[1] 1800Flowers.com has not been afraid to try out new ideas has often been a first mover in many areas to stay connected to their audience and they try a lot of things, sometime uncertain of the outcome; case in point was the effort in creating a 1800Flowers.com store in the 3D social platform of Second Life, which they discovered was not the right platform at the time to connect them to their audience.

A success is the development of the ideal customer model, which they have named ‘Tina’. Tina is the aggregate persona of the ideal 1800Flowers.com customer, which embodies the characteristics of the buying behavior they see in the market overall.  Lewis shows us how they referenced Tina in the ‘Spot-a-Mom’ campaign leading up to Mothers Day in 2009.

To begin with, you need to know that Mothers Day is one of the two largest holidays for florists all year – Christmas is a bit bigger in terms of number of people ordering flowers and Valentines Day is third.   I know some of this because my Mother was an award winning florist and we always knew that during the big floral holidays, we were not going to see Mom for the weeks leading up to the holiday.

For Mothers Day 2009, 1800Flowers.com wanted to make sure that there was ‘No Mom Left Behind’, that all Mom’s, regardless of how they came by the title, we’re recognized with a gift.   Leveraging the 1800Flowers blog by Floral Lifestyle Expert Julie Mulligan, and with support by their PR organization, they undertook an outreach program 6 weeks before the holiday.  In the effort, they identified several types of bloggers, reached out to them and gave those bloggers a reason to talk to their readership regarding 1800Flowers.com.   By the time the holiday came around, they estimate that they had touched around 6 million prospective customer, even before they started the formal advertising campaign, and the net result was increased sales and more sales earlier than ever before.

When we asked ‘What metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) does 1800Flowers track ?’, Lewis tells us that there are three primarily -

  • With sales revenue as a primary objective, they use promotion codes extensively.  A set of codes are given to partners, those partners can then provide them to their audience, and as an incentive for the consumer to use the code, it also provides a discount on a 1800Flowers.com order.
  • A second measure is ‘untagged’ traffic.  This is the number of visitors to the site that have not been referred or do not use a promotion code, and
  • the third is a ‘share of mind’ or the number of discussion going on about 1800Flowers.com vs. key competitors in the social media ecosphere

twitter_bird Twitter use is growing for them as well.  They have over 50 CSR on Twitter and part of their job is to look for people who have issues in their use of 1800Flowers and tweet some comment about it.  Lewis talks about how they set up the first-responder program, again just prior to the 2009 Mothers Day holiday and what their results were.  As a measure of the success of the program, they evaluated the tone and sentiment of messages in the week following the holiday and they found that of all the mentions on customers experiences around flowers and florists, around 2/3 were positive for 1800Flowers.com and in comparison, 3/4 of the comments made about a major competitor ranked negative.  A definitive measure?  No, but certainly it shows that 1800Flowers is listening and that the ability to provide a first responder capability can impact market perception.

Lewis wraps up the conversation explaining how they have implemented 3 Twitter channels, each focusing on a different type of conversation – one for communication / interactive (marketing & branding), one for customer service, and one as a discount channel.  The discount channel helps move perishable inventory at a savings for the customer and at a profit for 1800Flowers.com that might have been otherwise been taken as waste / shrinkage.

Play / Download Lewis Goldman / 1800Flowers.com Episode 2 Podcast Here

Our first episode with Lewis Goldman of 1800Flowers.com was well visited; here is the second and final episode, as well as the entire interview in a single podcast.  We’ll post the transcript as it becomes available – Guy Powell and I want to get the podcasts of the MeasureUp Conference speakers we were able to interview posted right away.  To get the updates to the posts as they happen, follow us on Twitter (@ROISocialMedia) or subscribe to StevenGroves.com via email or your RSS Reader.

To support the effort in uncovering the ROI question in social media, we’ve set up a Fan Page at Facebook, and a LinkedIn Group.  Come join us and let us know what the pressing issues are in your efforts to determine an ROI in your social media presence!


This is the final episode of the podcast with Lewis Goldman.  Guy Powell and I want to thank him; we appreciate his perspective and taking the time to share it with us in our podcast interview!

Here are links to material related to the interview that you may find useful; the entire conversation in one extended recording and soon, a transcript of the conversation (Update – 02/13/2010 – Transcript Posted)

Play / Download Lewis Goldman / 1800Flowers.com Entire Episode Podcast Here

View / Download Lewis Goldman / 1800Flowers.com Podcast Transcript at Scribd

We’re very interested in your perspective on the topic and, if you have a favored presenter or person who can add to the conversation, please let us know – we’re looking to interview him / her and put it up here!

Thank you again to you our listeners – hope you enjoyed the effort and work we put into it!

About the Podcast and Credit For Where Credit is Due – This transcript was developed from a live interview on Wednesday February 3, 2010 between Lewis Goldman, Guy Powell and Steven Groves on FreeConferenceCall.com.

The podcast interview was downloaded and processes in Audacity, which is available from SourceForge.com, and with ‘4toFloor.wav’ music loop from member ‘Rooks’ and posted at SoundSnap.com.

Introduction voice is Cynthia Propst.

  • designer flowers

    Hey I enjoyed your interview. It gave me a lot of valuable information. I like to read some more about it.

  • http://www.StevenGroves.com StevenGroves

    Designer, then you’re in luck! Check out the book tab and subscribe to the blog. We have a book coming out on the ROI of Social Media and Lewis was one of our contributors. Enjoy the rest of the blog or feel free to sign-up for our webinar,

    Thanks so much for dropping in and please, let us know how we can help!

  • Doorstepflowers

    An excellent blog on the leading florists. Please visit us http://www.flowersfloristsgifts.com