Is Green Marketing Dead?
I have read several blogs and articles lately saying that “Green Marketing is Dead”.
To paraphrase Mark Twain – Reports of green marketing’s death has been greatly exaggerated.
It is the hope that green marketing will morph into every organization’s marketing mix so the word “green” can be removed–but, unfortunately, that date is far from here.
I would gladly remove the word “Eco” from my company’s name (Eco Marketing Solutions) when that day comes…and would celebrate it.
However, I would argue that now is the time for increased green marketing, not less of it.
It seems that most of the “low hanging fruit” has already been picked–and the die-hard “greenies” have pretty much jumped on the bandwagon. The easy green converts (or pioneers) have all been scooped up.
To them, green marketing serves mostly as a gentle reminder of the companies they will support with their dollars.
The next steps are twofold:
1) First is grabbing a larger slice of the business from the “maybe green” or “sometimes green” set.
These are folks that will buy green products and services–when it is convenient. They’d like to do more, but are not going out of their way for it.
This segment can be reached through greater green marketing in terms of outreach and education.
Companies that add more recycled content to their production/manufacture, improved corporate social responsibility and better promoting thee green aspects of the product stand the best chances of reaching this target market.
2) Reaching those who feel that Global Warming is an international issue–not necessarily their problem
These people are not hostile to global warming and are not global warming deniers. They can be persuaded through marketing campaigns designed to show how greener products can help stop expansion of the problems.
Unfortunately, this is a long-term goal, and can take as long as a generation to change behaviors, but the green marketing campaigns must be steady and consistent.
This should include greater out-reach and education-especially at the K-12 levels, as well as reaching senior citizens, who are most concerned about leaving a clean planet as a legacy to their grandchildren.
As far as the “brownies” or global warming deniers, they will eventually become a small minority if green marketing and outreach are effectively reaching the others.
Green marketing needs to step up in its role to shape public perception and increase demand for products that are truly green.
There are 4 P’s in Marketing:
1) Products: Products need to be manufactured with less energy and with more recycled or renewable ingredients.
2) Place: Green products need to become more widespread on retailers’ shelves.
3) Price: Prices need to come down as demand for green products increase, so the price differential is less noticeable–or disappears entirely.
4) Promotion: Promotion should include standardized international symbols pointing out what makes a particular product green. There should be a small set of symbols, not the hodgepodge of green symbols that are causing confusion and green washing–both intentionally and unintentionally.
Let’s make green marketing go away.
Unfortunately, it looks like it needs to remain for a long, long time.