With little fanfare, the Direct Marketing Association just published a "refresh" of its "Green 15" sustainable marketing practices first announced in 2007, via the good work of the sustainability team from the DMA Ethics Policy Committee.
There is no question that making the individual effort to be more environmentally conscious is a good thing. However, determining best practices can get tricky with corporations going public about going green, especially when it comes to transparency and honesty with consumers. “Green-washing” refers to the unethical practice of exaggerating or outright lying to consumers about the environmental-friendliness of a company’s practices, solely to improve the brand image. Consumers, once-bitten and now twice-shy, have become more skeptical about companies that make grand claims about the sustainability of their products or practices.
"Green washing" may be the dirtiest word in marketing. It's the opposite of transparency. But that's not responsible business, and in the long run, marketers who greenwash are only making customers more mistrustful and immune to their own messages, be they from marketing, PR, or the local green-eared painter. How can responsible businesses communicate what they're doing transparently, and should they even try? We asked some of the industry's top sustainability advocates, and this is what they said.
When marketers laud the advantages of big data, it's usually in the B-to-C marketing context. Sustainable fabric company Thread LLC takes a different approach. By using granular supply chain and social impact data, Thread helps customers improve brand integrity and increase the marketability of core products. For this special Earth Day blog
When it comes to how your products support the health of the planet, you want to create a social media buzz that stops your target market in their tracks. Of course you want to capitalize on "going green." Who doesn't? But treading into these waters calls for caution, especially now.
This is the year of "omnichannel" based on the amount of occurrences that I've heard this term. I've never been a fan of jargon—but I sure use it enough in some of my clients' communications, often at their request. When I comply, I usually advise that a short explanation may be in order upon first reference to help define whatever the term is and to set a marketplace expectation. So what does "omnichannel" mean to me?
Readers of my blog know my distaste for financial service companies, utilities and other brands that admonish me in my mailbox to switch to digital statements "to help save the environment," "save trees," "pay it green" and other marketing hyperbole with absolutely no scientific backing. I'm waiting for three things
The "Mythbusters" of Discovery Channel's hit show get to blow things up while putting myths to the tests of science. At the Direct Marketing Association's annual marketing conference, I paid tribute to personal heroes Jamie and Adam (the real TV Mythbusters) by blowing up some green marketing myths that have infiltrated both consumer and agency attitudes toward sustainable marketing practice. If left unchecked, today's common green myths can sacrifice campaign integrity, leave profitable sustainability solutions untapped, alienate consumers and contribute to environmental harm
In our previous post of "Marketing Sustainably," we introduced an expert discussion on whether or not recycling collection of discarded mail, catalogs, printed communications and paper packaging is profitable, and why this matters is an important business consideration for the direct marketing field. In this post, we continue and conclude the discussion with our two experts, Monica Garvey, director of sustainability, Verso Paper, and Meta Brophy, director of procurement operations, Consumer Reports.