Forrester Research’s Dave Frankland on Environmental Trends
The other important thing to highlight is the whole idea of recipient preference. The two could be linked in somebody’s mind. But it’s interesting when you look at the driver for any of the activities that could be seen to have a positive environmental aspect; the two lowest responses [in this study] were “environmental reasons” and “customer stated preferences.” This is the challenge, right? This is when things like Do Not Call come along, when there is no respect for that consumer preference.
Another thing worth pointing out from a what-should-marketers-do perspective is that the DMA has done a lot of good thinking in this area and a lot of thought leadership. There’s a lot of good advice out there … they can’t force their members essentially, but I think their members need to embrace what the DMA is recommending. [Learn more about the DMA’s leadership on environmental issues at www.the-dma.org/Green15/OverviewDMAGreen15.pdf ]
TM: What consumer signals should direct marketers be heeding on the green marketing issue?
DF: What we included in my report is one chart [from Forrester’s Technographics market research] that shows 65 percent of respondents said they’re concerned about the environment and global warming; 50 percent said they’re more concerned about the environment than they were a year ago; 41 percent said they would pay more for products or services that were environmentally friendly; and 24 percent said they believe the green movement is a temporary fad.
But if you look across the board, from Al Gore through the number of blogs and mainstream media picking up [on green issues], I think there’s every indication that consumers are increasingly focused on the issue.
A tip for marketers is to mine their customer service calls or complaint and comment letters, and use it as a benchmark; start tracking concerns that are raised directly to the company. See how it tracks over time.