INNOVATIONS: Successful Green Marketing

Sometimes it’s really exciting to work for SSC, and not just because we’re encouraged to work from home to lower our carbon emissions.  We get to engage on a daily basis with a gigantic world-class network of sustainability professionals.  As of today, the SSC Consultant Network has over 640 members and counting.  So not only do we get to draw on pioneering expertise when advising our clients, but we also learn about all the interesting projects our friends and colleagues are working on, around the world.  

To wrap up this month’s “innovations” theme, we’d like to share a recent report we received from Jesse Mayhew, a newly minted SSC Network consultant.  Jesse is a freelance copywriter who works primarily on CSR and sustainability initiatives.  He runs his company, CSRcopy, out of Northampton, Massachusetts.  Jesse and fellow social media expert Sean Wood, the Atlanta-based Founder and CEO of Freeworld Media, have written a brief but comprehensive tutorial on how to incorporate cutting-edge marketing techniques with new and emerging media to communicate and enhance your image, reputation, and triple bottom line.

Green marketing and communications is a fast-evolving field that many organizations struggle to grasp.  The issue is that firms still employ stale approaches to their CSR and sustainability marketing, either because they are not willing or don’t know how to change with the times.  These companies are at risk of being left behind by what Jesse and Sean call the “new consumer”. 

New consumers live fluid lives; technology, media, social and environmental responsibility, work, and purchasing decisions all exist in a single continuum.  If a company can’t communicate their values through a compelling, multi-platform storyline, new consumers are less likely work for them, respect them, or purchase and talk about their products to friends.  In fact, this generation is likely to resent proponents of the “old world” media – after all, if you’re not ahead of the curve, you’re behind the times. 

Jesse and Sean write that in order to align with new consumers’ core values, a company must weave its storyline into its CSR messaging and social media conversations.  By being honest, concise, and pertinent, your firm will be more likely to reach this nascent generation of consumers. 

Pretty simple, eh?  Well, there’s obviously more to it than that.  We strongly recommend that you check out the report.  It’s a fun, quick read, and we promise you’ll come away with some useful insight (unless you’re already way ahead of the game – if so, congrats on being so clever!).  You can download the report for free here

By the way…it’s important that you don’t read this and say, “Hey! If green marketing is so good, then we’ll just tell people that we’re the greenest company on Earth!”  See, that’s called “greenwashing”, and it’s a source of really bad press, and even worse Karma.  Look for an SSC white paper in the coming months that will do a deep dive into how to avoid greenwashing.

Of course you can download our Build a Customized Green Plan tool, watch our free webinar on creating green messages, and learn how to effectively communicate your CSR initiatives with our How to Write a Sustainability Report webinar.