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Green Marketing: How To Reduce Your Carbon & Hype Footprints


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Whether your advertising a green message or not, Park Howell will show you how to create a more sustainable marketing program by easy ways to reduce your carbon and hype footprints.

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Green Marketing: How To Reduce Your Carbon & Hype Footprints

  1. 1. Green Marketing How to Reduce Your Carbon & Hype Footprints Park Howell President, Park&Co © 2009 Park&Co You don’t have to be a green brand to green your branding. Today we’re going to talk about how to “Reduce your Carbon Footprint” with ways you can make your campaigns more eco-friendly and sustainable...and save money in the process. The second part of our conversation will be about how to avoid the greenwashing hype if you are or are planning to use “green” as a core brand dierentiator. We’ll... 1. Take a quick look at the growing green market and why this burgeoning consumer base warrants your attention 2. Show you the three-legged stool we use for credible, un-wobbly green branding 3. Look at some disingenuous, almost laughable, greenwashing marketing 4. And finally, we’ll show you some companies that are doing a really good job dierentiating their brand through sustainability. So let’s begin with Part 1...
  2. 2. Green Marketing Greening Your Sales Marketing © 2009 ParkCo “Greening” Your Sales and Marketing. As I mentioned, you don’t have to use “green” as a brand dierentiator in your positioning to be a green marketer. You simply choose more sustainable ways to activate your sales and marketing campaigns. Let’s take a quick poll through this first section.
  3. 3. Green Marketing Green Poll Are you currently Greening your Sales Marketing Efforts? A. Yes B. No C. Plan to © 2009 ParkCo Are you currently “greening” your sales and marketing eorts? By this I mean, do you and your company have a strategy to reduce your carbon- footprint, and the cost, of your advertising, marketing, sales and training programs? And if so, do you feature your green eorts as models for your employees, customers and stakeholders to emulate? If you’re fairly new to this idea of making your sales and marketing work more sustainably, then let me applaud you by taking one of the first steps by attending this virtual conference. Think of the education your are receiving with no cost of travel and accommodations, with no unproductive downtime, and of course, with virtually no cost to the planet in creating carbon and consuming resources. So as you’re taking the poll let’s consider the question: Why does being even a little green matter these days to attract customers and keep talented employees? Let me just give you three facts from an excellent site called that spotlight the growing marketing for people, products, services and causes that are about sustainability. • 68 percent of consumers say that even in a recession they would remain faithful to a brand if it supports a good cause (Edelman PR) • Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today, even in the midst of the recession (Green Seal and EnviroMedia Social Marketing) • An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that safer, cleaner and more energy-eficient production are the most important manufacturing issues in today’s economy (Opinion Research Corp.) So even if you’re not positioning yourself as “green,” let’s look at a few easy ways to green your sales and marketing activities.
  4. 4. Green Marketing Digital vs. Digits © 2009 ParkCo The first, and perhaps most obvious way, is to reduce the use of paper, ink, CD’s, DVD’s and even VHS tapes by replacing resource-intensive materials with digital files. Digital appears on your computer screen, where traditional printed materials end up in your hands. That’s where I get my Digital vs. Digits. 1. Electronic versions are far easier to access for the masses, or for your select b-2-b customers, worldwide 2. You have no cost of printing 3. You use no trees or other resources 4. You have no shipping and handling costs 5. And you can update digital files realtime without having to discard pallets of out-dated materials I’ll show you in a minute how a company replaced their training video DVD distribution with iTunes online podcasts saving hundreds of thousands of dollars and ultimately getting their sales and marketing videos into more of their distributors’ hands worldwide in a more timely fashion. Finally, not everything you produce can be digital. For the foreseeable future, you are still going to need the digit stu, like training manuals, sales sheets, brochures, etc. Look for green suppliers that use renewable energies and/or participate in carbon oset programs. And always try to print on recycled paper using soy inks.
  5. 5. Green Marketing Buy Carbon Offsets © 2009 ParkCo Another way to green your resource-intensive sales and marketing campaigns is to buy carbon osets. There are a number of websites that oer calculators to determine the approximate amount of Co2 your operations or campaign are creating. You then purchase that amount of credits through the site, and your donation can fund everything from building new parks, to development of renewable energy, to planting forests. This helps you and your operations become more carbon neutral by osetting the carbon you create by investing in projects and programs that help green the planet.
  6. 6. Green Marketing Green Your Website © 2009 ParkCo Your website can become not only a carbon osetting machine, but a pulpit or mini portal from which you can promote your green eorts and encourage and educate site visitors to make a dierence. Here are three things you can start doing tomorrow on your site. 1. Relocate your web hosting to a green provider. They are typically powered by 100% renewable energy from wind or solar, and/or they oset any traditional electricity they use with carbon credits. 2. Join causes like Brighter Planet. When you place their 350 Challenge badge on your blog or website, they will automatically oset 350 pounds of carbon in your name. It’s another easy way to help fight global warming without costing you a dime, and the badge shows you care. 3. Another way to demonstrate your greenness is to have your site carbon-neutral by registering with an organization like It automatically calculates your website’s total energy consumption, helps to make it more energy eficient, and then purchases audited renewable energy from wind and solar farms to neutralize its carbon footprint -- all for a flat aordable fee of between $5 and $100 per month, depending on the size and trafic to your site. Again, you don’t have to have a major green brand platform to make a dierence with sustainability. We can all green our operations.
  7. 7. Green Marketing Tap Social Media © 2009 ParkCo David Ogilvy, one of the founding fathers of advertising, said that word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. That idea has never been more true than today with online social media. You no longer sell to customers. You converse with, educate, and hopefully create a life-long bond. Social media allows you to do this bigger and better than ever, and with as little of a carbon footprints as possible. Again, you don’t need to be a major green brand to take advantage of the sustainable benefits of social media, which includes 1. Your website 2. Your blog 3. Facebook page 4. LinkedIN profile 5. Twitter tweets 6. YouTube videos 7. Flickr photo albums ...and on and on... Your online and ofline social media strategy takes way more time than it does money, and it is the least resource-intensive sales and marketing you’ll ever do. Social media allows you to...
  8. 8. Green Marketing Identify Engage Empower Deploy © 2009 ParkCo 1. Identify your target markets by monitoring their online conversations and learn what they are looking for and how you can provide appropriate products or services. 2. Engage your customers in conversation through the various social media sites and learn what is really important to them. 3. Once the trust has been created you can empower them with relevant information. 4. You can deploy them as evangelists for your company or cause to share your information with their communities. I mentioned earlier about a company that isn’t necessarily in the business of being green, but leverages online social media to distribute their marketing and training videos to thousand of distributors worldwide, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in DVD distribution costs, and untold tons of carbon by not having to manufacture or ship any product.
  9. 9. Carbon Footprint Forever Living Products © 2009 ParkCo Forever Living Products is the world’s largest grower, manufacturer and distributor of aloe vera-based health and beauty products. They have more than 8 million independent distributors in nearly 130 countries. In August we launched, a podcast that delivers Forever’s high quality videos through iTunes, or can be downloaded and placed on an iPod or other MP3 player anywhere in the world that has web access. The launch began with a Forever channel on YouTube, where distributors could view and share videos. Then we introduced laser-inscribed 30th anniversary iPods at the company’s anniversary convention. Finally we threw the switch on, and Forever’s new product, marketing and training videos were instantly shared with the world, placing this powerful content in the hands of more distributors for virtually nothing the world over. Forever isn’t especially green, but they sure have greened their distribution and saved tons of money and carbon in the process.
  10. 10. Carbon Footprint © 2009 ParkCo From drinking aloe vera to coca cola, check out what Coke is doing online at Coke has taken it on the chin over the years, especially for their water consumption and waste in bottling plants around the word. They have taken a decidedly green approach to building community through It’s worth an exploration when you have a few minutes.
  11. 11. Carbon Footprint © 2009 ParkCo Finally, in greening your sales and marketing carbon footprint, I wanted to show just a handful of ways we promoted this presentation online, with no money spent on printing, advertising, direct mail, or fabulous parties. 1. We tapped our twitter network to retweet my blog post announcing this virtual conference 2. We included fan and event pages on our Facebook sites 3. Other blogs picked up the story and shared it with their followers 4. eNewsletters got into the act and promoted iG.R.E.E.N. Let’s take a look at our first poll to see where our audience is in greening their sales marketing. So now that we’ve shown you ways to reduce your carbon footprint with your sales and marketing, and you’re either already going after the green market, or think you should...
  12. 12. Green Marketing How To Reduce Your Hype Footprint © 2009 ParkCo ...let’s talk a little about reducing your hype footprint: How to avoid the dreaded greenwashing.
  13. 13. Green Marketing Green Poll Do you currently use green initiatives as a brand differentiator? [ ] Yes [ ] No [ ] Plan to © 2009 ParkCo Poll #2: Do you currently use green initiatives as a brand dierentiator? Yes, you’re currently branding green. No you’re not, or initiatives are underway and you plan to in the future. We’ll circle back in a bit on this poll.
  14. 14. Why Should You Care? Five Years Ago, Only 20% of Consumers Were Green © 2009 ParkCo So if you’re not currently branding yourself green, and are not planning to, why should you care? Here’s an interesting fact from the Natural Marketing Institute: Five years ago, only 20% of consumers considered themselves green and pursued sustainable habits and purchasing decisions.
  15. 15. Why You Should Care. Now 80% of Consumers are Some Shade of Green © 2009 ParkCo Today however, in just five years, 80 percent of consumers now consider themselves some shade of green. The market has definitely shifted, and the five market segments are worth a quick look, including LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, Naturalites, Drifters, Conventionals and Unconcerned, who, by the way, we won’t talk about because there is nothing you can do to change their minds. So let’s start by taking a look at the LOHAS consumer.
  16. 16. LOHAS 38 Million Consumers (17% of Pop.) A trend predictor Personal health + planetary health Values driven Price sensitive High influence on others Highest green buyers Information junkies Eco-lifestyle CSR seekers (and boycotters) Source: © 2009 ParkCo LOHAS consumers are highly motivated, more than any other consumer segment, to act in socially responsible ways. They are the early adopters and both vocal opponents and proponents, and consume the most green goods with little concern for price. You want the LOHAS on your side, and you do that through conversation, not proclamation.
  17. 17. Naturalites 38 Million Consumers (17% of Pop.) Driven by personal health and wellness High purchase of eco-consumables Healthy lifestyle Want to do more for the environment Credible CSR affects loyalty Attractive target for many Source: © 2009 ParkCo Where LOHAS attach their personal health to the health of the planet, Naturalites are primarily motivated by their personal health and wellness. They are a “lighter shade of green.” They are less likely to participate in environmentally-conscious behaviors like recycling, and need a personal incentive to transform their interest in self wellness into environmental protection. Messaging plays to their individual health and wellness and how that tan translate into creating a healthier planet.
  18. 18. Drifters 54 Million Consumers (24% of Pop.) Green attitude, but behaviors not deeply rooted Driven more by trends Limited sense of eco-immediacy Price sensitive More likely to be eco-concerned, but only if it affects them Lower green buyers, but like to be “seen” in Whole Foods Source: © 2009 ParkCo Drifters is the largest segment at around 25 percent. They are younger and are motivated by the latest trends. This impressionable group constantly shifts their commitment to various issues, including sustainability. They like to appear to be part of the eco-friendly in-crowd, even though green living is sometimes price-prohibitive to their young-professional budgets. They do tend to participate in certain LOHAS-related activities, such as boycotting companies with environmentally unfriendly practices, recycling, and other activities. The time is now to capitalize on Drifters’ interest in sustainability. Giving them a credible and long-lasting reason to believe in a brand or a cause will lead to a life-time of returns.
  19. 19. Conventionals 58 Million Consumers (26% of Pop.) Rooted in practicality “Municipal” behaviors: recycling, energy conservation Driven more by cost savings than environment Eco-benefits are secondary Source: © 2009 ParkCo Conventionals are on the fringe of the environmental movement with no plans to become further involved. They are motivated by practicality and frugality rather than an aim to protect the environment. Although they have some “eco-municipal” behaviors such as recycling and energy conservation, their motivation, like Naturalites, is more personally centered than focused on intrinsic environmental protection. Nevertheless, for green products that also make good financial sense (like CFLs), this is a segment worth marketing to.
  20. 20. Your Brand Approachable Believable Doable © 2009 ParkCo Earlier we talked about our three-legged green brand stool, to steal an old example to say the least. Hey, but it works here. We’ve found that your green strategy, initiative and messaging needs to be three things. 1. It needs to be approachable, no hysterics, saving whales, radical Greenpeace stu. To be eective, it has to be approachable and welcoming to the middle of the road consumer. 2. Secondly, it needs to be believable. Your environmental mission needs to be in lockstep with your company so the two relate in some way. I just saw where GMC is marketing it’s new hybrid Sierra pick-up truck to both treehuggers and loggers in the same ad. That’s just not believable on either end of the spectrum. 3. Finally, your initiative needs to be doable. Can both your company/organization and your customers do what you’re asking them to do? Are they engaged, empowered and deployable? Let’s put a couple of advertisers to the green stool test.
  21. 21. GreenWashing © 2009 ParkCo Starting with the Canadian fur industry. No oense to our northern neighbors, but it’s hard to believe that fur is green, even with its eco-fashion campaign. 1. It’s dificult to approach the fur industry for anything green. 2. It’s hard to believe that harvesting dead animal pelts is anything but red. 3. And given the price exclusivity of fur, let alone the repulsive nature of its manufacturing process, it simply is not a doable proposition to make the industry appear green.
  22. 22. GreenWashing © 2009 ParkCo Nestle appears to be so out of step with their green messaging, that they’ve inadvertently mobilized their opposition to create their own blog: Nestle’s is a double whammy: not only does their process use more water than it bottles, their plastic bottles are part of the more than 30 billion that grace our landfills every year. Plus their predatory business development strategies aren’t helping either.
  23. 23. GreenWashing © 2009 ParkCo Then you’ve got the “Clean burning coal” industry out there. Opponents have actually had a good time with their reality campaigns about the folly of clean burning coal. America’ is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek take-o on the coal industry. It’s a fun read and full of great facts. You know you’re in greenwashing trouble when your opposition can marshal the creative muscle of the Academy Award-winning directors, the Coen Brothers, to direct a spot on ‘The Power of Clean.” Let’s take a look. Role TV spot from YouTube.
  24. 24. GreenWashing © 2009 ParkCo
  25. 25. GreenWashing © 2009 ParkCo Finally, we end our cavalcade of greenwashing experts with Green Peace’s first annual “Emerald Paintbrush” award handed out to British Petroleum. The prize was oered in recognition of the company's attempts to greenwash its brand over the course of 2008, in particular its multimillion dollar advertising campaign announcing its commitment to alternative energy sources. Slogans such as quot;from the earth to the sun, and everything in between” and “the best way out of the energy fix is an energy mixquot;. The reality, you'll be unsurprised to learn, is somewhat dierent. Green Peace got their hands on internal company documents which clearly show that this year the company allocated 93 per cent ($20bn) of its total investment fund for the development and extraction of oil, gas and other fossil fuels.
  26. 26. Your Brand Approachable Believable Doable © 2009 ParkCo So as we said earlier. Your green messaging must be approachable, believable and doable. Now let’s take a look at some companies doing it right.
  27. 27. Green Marketing © 2009 ParkCo Sometimes when you’re creating or accentuating a brand’s position, you have to invent a brand trait and then back it up with real numbers. MINI Cooper has done this with its “Carfun Footprint” and outperforms its sports car competition. “Your Carfun Footprint is a measure of how fun your car is versus how much impact it has on the environment. Determined by using a real equation and real math, it is, in fact, a real number. And the 37-MPG MINI Cooper has the best Carfun Footprint on the road.” I ran my ‘04 Acura TL through MINI’s Carfun Footprint site, and found that the site is a gas. I was gratified to learn that I scored a 52, which means, according to MINI, I’m “relatively green and relatively fun.” Of course, not nearly as green or fun as MINI. They’ve done a masterful job of inventing a product dierentiator that supports its current brand position. And they’ve avoided the pitfalls of marketing hyperbole by backing up their Carfun Footprint claim with real numbers. One final brilliant turn in this brand strategy is the microsite (or should I say “MINI”site) that encourages you to participate by calculating your own Carfun Footprint. And they’ve done this green marketing mostly online and using some print advertising to drive you to the website. It’s certainly worth visiting
  28. 28. Green Marketing © 2009 ParkCo Kohler is another great example of green marketing that is approachable, believable and doable. They just launched a new water eficiency and sustainability eort called, quot;Save Water America.quot; The water conservation education promotion donates $1 worth of water-eficient products to Habitat for Humanity for every person who takes the short water quiz on their site. Their goal is to donate $1 million in water eficient products that will outfit about 600 Habitat for Humanity homes. This caught my attention because of our work in water conservation, and, you guessed it, Habitat for Humanity. Kohler's ultimate goal here is to sell water-eficient toilets. Here are the six things they're doing for their environmental promotion that are really smart. 1. Kohler is selling by educating: The quiz highlights the fact that nearly 50% of all toilets in America (about 100 million) are old school and waste at least two gallons of water with EVERY flush. 2. They found a fun way to talk about your toilet: How else do you engage customers about retrofitting their toilets than to literally have toilets rain down on you during the quiz. It's kind of cool. Plus, they direct you to toilet rebate programs in your state where you can turn in your old toilet for a new, water-eficient one through your town or city. 3. They oer a tangible and relevant approach to cause marketing: Teaming with Habitat for Humanity is a natural extension of the promotion. 4. Demonstrating industry leadership: Kohler products are inherently about water use, and now more than ever, water eficiency. By helping us all be greener (or bluer) through product demonstration, education, and cause marketing, Kohler is doing what an industry leader should: Providing the technology and education to make us all more environmentally sensitive consumers. 5. Singular focus on toilets: Too often marketers try to accomplish too much with any one promotion. Kohler could've also promoted low flow shower heads and faucet aerators as other important ways to save water in your bathroom, but that would've diluted their message. It's all about toilets.
  29. 29. Green Marketing © 2009 ParkCo And we end on the youth market. Even MTV is making green hip. Check out their incredible flash site at, and you’ll enjoy the multi media extravaganza that bombards the senses of even the most diehard World of Warcraft gamer with all things green.
  30. 30. Green Marketing How to Reduce Your Carbon Hype Footprints Contact Park Howell @: © 2009 ParkCo If you’d like to contact me after this event, please feel free to do so by email at • • On my blog at • Or follow me on Twitter at