MWRA 2006-2007 Writing Contest Winners

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2nd Place Winner, Grades 9-12
Erica Savage, Grade 10, Wilmington High School

Bay State Fertilizer Marketing Campaign

Bay State Fertilizer is a completely recyclable fertilizer made from solids found in the wastewater of Massachusetts communities. The fertilizer contains nitrogen that is initially insoluble in water and unusable by plants. However, microorganisms found in the soil slowly mineralize the nitrogen, transforming it into an inorganic form that is soluble in water and consumable by plants. Bay State Fertilizer is gradually mineralized from growing season to growing season. This slow process is extremely healthy for plants because it supplies them with iron, micronutrients, and a steady intake of nitrogen. Furthermore, it's healthy for the environment because most generic brands of fertilizer are not slowly mineralized and contain excess nitrogen. This excess nitrogen leaks into groundwater, enters the water cycle, and creates pollution. Also, the excess nitrogen can potentially burn and kill a lawn and its plants, creating a great environmental concern.

The benefits of Bay State Fertilizer make it a prudent choice for consumers. According to the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, Bay State Fertilizer "enhances the beauty of a lawn, breaks down slowly to last longer, won't burn lawns or plants, reduces the need for frequent watering, and supplies iron and other micronutrients to plants." The general public, however, does not necessarily know of these valuable advantages. Therefore, a marketing campaign needs to be implemented to enlighten Massachusetts' citizens. This marketing campaign, in my opinion, calls for an ambitious three-step plan.

The most informative and effective way to spread the word about Bay State Fertilizer is through commercials on local channels, which is the first step. Almost every American today watches television and absorbs the messages being portrayed. Though billboards and posters are nice reminders, the average person in today's fast-paced society does not take the time to stop, read, and consider written advertisements. However, if the advertisement is presented to people during their time of rest, relaxation, and leisure, it is a lot easier for them to actually pay attention. The commercial will touch on all the benefits of Bay State. The best way to do this is to compare Bay State Fertilizer to the leading brand of harmful fertilizer.

The commercial will start off by showing the damage that other fertilizers may entail (i.e. burning, pollution, and lack of nutrients). After the viewer's attention is grabbed by seeing the detrimental effects of other fertilizers, the advantages of Bay State will be presented. This part of the commercial informs the public of the unique process that Bay State Fertilizer undergoes and how this process improves your lawn and plants (i.e. the abundance of nutrients, reduction of watering, and long duration). To accompany all of this information, proof will also by provided. A healthy, attractive lawn that uses Bay State Fertilizer will be showcased and users of the fertilizer will be interviewed on their positive experience. A commercial is by far the most efficient and constructive way to spread the word.

The next part of the plan will involve written advertisements. Though the commercial is the main way to inform the public, written advertisements serve as useful reminders. In heavily populated areas of Massachusetts, billboards will be placed. The billboard will include only the necessary information, considering the limited space. The billboard will mostly focus on the name of the product, but will also list a few of the most appealing benefits and where to purchase the product (i.e. Morrison's Agway in Plymouth, MA). The billboards will be concise and alluring to the eye, just enough to make a lasting impression. Furthermore, brochures and flyers will be provided at the retailers with the same information, but much more portable. Flyers and brochures can easily be networked among people and escalate the reputation of Bay State Fertilizer.

The final step of this rigorous marketing campaign is to appeal directly to the people. This will be accomplished by having volunteers, retailers of Bay State Fertilizer, and representatives of the company visit numerous environmental organizations and clubs. In their visits, the spokesman will inform the clubs of all the benefits of Bay State, particularly emphasizing on the environmental advantages compared to other fertilizers. Many environmental clubs make it their main focus to campaign, advocate, and sell environment friendly products. Therefore, by appealing to these groups, the groups could potentially sell samples of the product at schools, put up posters, and verbally advocate Bay State Fertilizer. The members of environmental clubs at high schools might even be required to buy this fertilizer and serve as role models for their fellow peers. Environmental clubs are prevalent clubs at high schools and will serve as a large unifying support system.

The components of this three-step rigorous plan will successfully advertise Bay State Fertilizer and place the product on a pedestal. It will get the word out in virtually every possible way. The goal of this marketing campaign is to ingrain the idea of Bay State Fertilizer so deeply in people's brains that they buy the product. By following these steps, Bay State Fertilizer's status will surely spiral upwards and become a prevalent fertilizer here in Massachusetts.

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