When it comes to buying forestry seedlings, ArborGen headquartered in South Carolina stands out as the undeniable top choice. Known as one of the premier seed suppliers globally, their journey to success wasn’t always smooth sailing.

Just a few years ago, they were facing significant challenges with their marketing strategy, leaving them struggling to generate leads.

From increased sales to remarkable growth, discover how AborGen overcame these obstacles and saw results with our specialized industrial marketing services.


About the Client

ArborGen is a global agribusiness company based out of Ridgeville, South Carolina. They provide forestry seedlings and support to forest landowners, consultants, and tree planters in the Southeastern United States as well as Brazil and Australia.

With a mission to enhance forest productivity and sustainability, ArborGen has established itself as a key player in the forestry industry, offering innovative solutions and premium products tailored to the needs of its diverse clientele.


Challenges They Faced

Outdated Website:

Their website was not effectively communicating their value proposition or engaging potential customers. It was heavily company-focused and lacked a modern design or user-friendly interface, which failed to convert visitors into leads.

Lack of a Clear Marketing Plan:

ArborGen’s marketing efforts were not cohesive. They lacked a clear, customer-centric marketing strategy to guide their promotional activities and measure their effectiveness.

Unclear Marketing Message:

Their marketing message was unclear and not resonating with their multiple target audiences. They had a ‘one size fits all’ approach that only appealed to a small segment of their audience.


Our Solutions

To address these challenges, we implemented a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach:

Simplify Their Marketing Message:

Kicking off with a VIP Marketing Intensive, the Zafari team worked closely with ArborGen’s executive team to overhaul their marketing message. Based on a deep understanding of the pain points and needs of their various customer segments, we crafted  simple yet compelling messages that communicated the unique value and benefits of ArborGen’s products for each segment. These messages were incorporated into all marketing materials, including the website, brochures, email and social media campaigns and sales decks.


Web Redesign Based on StoryBrand Structure:





Based on the revamped messaging, we redesigned ArborGen’s website, using a StoryBrand structure to create a seamless and engaging customer-centric user experience. With our web design solutions, the new design feature a modern look with simple, intuitive navigation, making it easy for different types of visitors to find the unique information they need to understand the benefits of ArborGen’s products for them.

We ensured the website is mobile-responsive and optimized for search engines, which significantly improved its visibility and accessibility.

Crafting a Clear Strategic Marketing Plan:

We developed a strategic marketing plan tailored to ArborGen’s goals and market dynamics. This plan included a detailed analysis of their target audience, competitive landscape, and market trends. We outlined specific, measurable objectives and devised tactics to achieve them, including content marketing, social media campaigns, extensive segmented email marketing, and much more.

Coaching Their Team:

Recognizing the importance of internal capabilities, we provided comprehensive coaching to ArborGen’s marketing team. This training covered various aspects of modern marketing practices, including digital marketing techniques, data analysis, and customer engagement strategies.

The coaching sessions successfully empowered their in-house marketing team to execute the marketing plan effectively and sustainably on their own long-term.


The Results

The implementation of these solutions led to remarkable results for ArborGen:

Increased Sales of Premium Product Lines by $3 to $5 Million:

Our marketing strategies significantly boosted the visibility and attractiveness of ArborGen’s premium products, resulting in a substantial increase in sales revenue.

Sold Out Two Top Line Product Offerings:

The enhanced marketing messages and targeted campaigns drove demand to the point where two of ArborGen’s top product lines sold out, indicating a strong market response.

10x Increase in Leads from Website:

The website redesign and improved SEO performance resulted in a tenfold increase in the number of leads generated through the website. This was a clear indicator of the effectiveness of the new design and marketing strategies.

Exponential Growth in Request for Calls and Catalogs:

The improved website and compelling marketing messages led to a significant increase in the number of requests for calls and catalogs. This growth was a testament to the enhanced user experience and the appeal of ArborGen’s product offerings.

Increased Exposure in Print and Digital Advertising:

Our comprehensive marketing plan also included a mix of print and digital advertising, which greatly increased ArborGen’s visibility in the market. The integrated approach ensured that ArborGen’s brand was consistently represented across all channels, enhancing overall brand recognition and trust.


Client Feedback

“Working with the Zafari team has fundamentally transformed our marketing results. It has greatly increased our marketing exposure as well as our results. We have a website now that we get sales referrals from and we’ve seen that increase by the number of requests for calls from forms being filled out for catalogs and we’ve seen that grow exponentially we’ve also gotten a lot of exposure in our print advertising.”

  • Andrew Baum, CEO, ArborGen



Lessons to Learn

Our experience with ArborGen offers several valuable lessons for other businesses facing similar challenges:

Importance of a Modern, User-Friendly Website:

A well-designed website with optimized messaging is crucial for engaging potential customers and converting them into leads. Equip your website with easy navigation, appealing visuals, and SEO elements.

Strategic Marketing Planning:

A clear, strategic marketing plan is essential for marketing results. With this important element in place, you can make sure that your all marketing efforts are aligned with business goals and are implemented efficiently.

Effective Messaging:

Make sure your marketing message is customer-centric and crafted to resonate deeply with your target audience. A good marketing message conveys clearly how the unique value and advantages of your products and services solves a problem for the customer from their perspective.

Training and Empowering Staff:

Investing in the training and development of your marketing team adds long-term value to your company and saves you time and money in the long run. It will help them become more effective and self-sufficient.

Integrated Marketing Approach:

Combining various marketing channels, including digital and print, can significantly enhance a brand’s visibility and reach. An integrated approach ensures consistent messaging and maximizes the impact of marketing campaigns.


The Bottom Line

Our partnership with ArborGen demonstrates the transformative power of strategic marketing planning, messaging, design and coaching. By addressing their challenges with tailored solutions, we were able to drive significant growth and success for their business. This case study highlights the critical components of successful marketing strategies. Moreover, it provides a roadmap for other companies looking to improve their market presence and performance.

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