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Monday, October 27, 2008

destinationCRM.com: A Green Light for Marketing

 

CRM Magazine

by Jessica Sebor

Friday, June 01, 2007

Ecofriendly marketing has gained popularity among companies in the past year, largely propelled by growing concerns surrounding noticeable climate changes and the depleting ozone layer. Organizations have found great success with ecofriendly campaigns, but many have discovered that once you go green, there is no going back.

"Within the United States today we're looking at a shifting political environment," says Emily Riley, an analyst at Jupiter Research. "As the idea of greener living in general continues, manufacturers and marketers will be part of that change and will reap the benefits of better efficiency and lower costs to becoming green." In a survey conducted in 2006, Jupiter found that 34 percent of consumers reported that they prefer to buy products that are environmentally friendly.

Marketing, with its constant direct mailings and piles of swag, has come under criticism for wasting of raw materials, and many companies have looked at ways to make their marketing efforts less ecowasteful. According to Stacee Matheson, founder and president of ecofriendly promotional merchandise and apparel supplier EcoBranders, in the past year her industry has experienced a great deal of growth, a momentum she hopes will continue. "I don't foresee companies giving up their marketing materials entirely in the name of being ecofriendly," Matheson says.

EcoBranders and similar suppliers offer choices to marketers that wish to make their companies' methods more environmentally responsible and to communicate this effort to customers.  "Our customers really appreciate those efforts and want to hear about them," says Meredith Restein, cofounder of Moonrise Jewelry, a jewelry maker whose designs and marketing materials are largely ecofriendly. 

One of the biggest mistakes a marketer can make with a green effort is for the company's actions not to live up to its promises. Microsoft has long touted its green efforts, but when the company announced in April a promotional plan to run free taxis in London, blogs and webzines immediately attacked the company for promoting private over public transportation. This may have damaged the company's work toward a green image.