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October 26, 2007

Green Marketing

When was the last time you evaluated your marketing budget and scope? If it was more than 5 years ago you are likely missing out on some of the latest methods for getting your companies name out in the market. The internet of course is the biggest driver of much of this, but there is another. Social consciousness is the latest way for bringing new customers into the fold. Showing that you are helping the environment through your business practices can do as much or more than showing a 5% lower cost than a competitor.

LEED has been the biggest driver of this trend. Whenever the latest company decides to make their buildings and space LEED Certified it makes quite a few major magazines and news reports. Writing off this additional cost to the marketing budget is the best way to justify these decisions. GE is the latest driver of the Green Marketing trend with their announcement of expanding investment of the ecomagination lines. Right now those lines don't have as good of a return as others, but the press they are getting for it is through the roof which bolsters sales of their other lines as well.

Any good marketing director will know how to push your initiatives into the public eye (or at least in front of your customers). Adding a marketing page to all of your brochures and presentations is the simplest way to let people know how you're helping. Marketing to the community is the next best way. Communities love to hold up the companies that are working to stay involved and be socially conscious. It could be a way to become a community sponsor and open up new lines of business.

Why can't changing out light bulbs, adding motion activated switches or using environmentally friendly products be marketing? Thinking in new ways is how companies become leading edge. With the cost of marketing being offset from cheaper ways of mass communication and replication, it is a simple matter to allocate some money to non-traditional marketing. Make sure you are still doing right by your business and investing in things that will still have a return on your investment, after all you are in charge of making good decisions. Doesn't a quantifiable return on your marketing expenses sound good to you?

Start looking down the road five to ten years from now and try and see where your market will be. Will they care about being environmentally friendly? More than likely they will and they will want to do business with like minded companies. You can either be a leader by making the small steps now and taking advantage while the time is still good or you can play catch-up when the change happens. It happens all the time with technology like this. First it was computers replacing typewriters. Then it was email replacing fax and letters. Next followed the internet replacing dictionaries and research books. The future will be clean technologies replacing wasteful technology.

Technology equipment will begin using less electricity, buildings will feature sustainable and intelligent systems and every product on the grocery store shelves will have some green aspect to it. Green beans in cans from recycled materials, cereal in recycled bags instead of boxes and cleaning products in higher concentrations (which has already started).

Welcome to those visiting from the Carnival of the Capitalists. If you liked this post we have some other posts on Green design and thinking:

Green Design and LEED
Environmental Marketing Gone Crazy
Greening the Warehouse

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