Save the whales…collect the whole set! It’s a fun joke, but it’s utterly ironic in the face of the current “green” trend in marketing lately.
If you can claim to be eco-friendly in some fashion or another, you might boost your numbers. But how eco-friendly is your marketing strategy? Are you just saying you’re eco-friendly? Can you deliver what you promise?
Let’s take a few moments to look at what a real and sustainable eco marketing strategy looks like. And then we’ll see if your strategy stands up to the test. Scroll on to see.
1. The Three Legs of the Eco Marketing Stool
Stools are only as good as the legs holding them up. And if one leg breaks, the whole thing comes tumbling down along with its occupant.
The three legs of a sustainable marketing plan are these: Approachable, Doable, and Believable.
What do you imagine when you hear “approachable?” Do you imagine someone who is forceful about their beliefs to the point of exclusion? Or do you imagine someone who just wants to share their beliefs?
Being eco-friendly is founded on belief. It ties into a particular worldview. And this worldview is quickly becoming the norm in our society.
Two things you can do to make your eco marketing approachable:
1. Make it Inclusive
Plug into to how your customers and clients feel about the environment and how society feels as a whole. Don’t try and push extremes as those will push people away.
2. Make it Neighborly
Does the cause affect your clients and customers directly? If you’re not seeing the numbers, it could be a simple matter of thinking too big. Try and find a way to connect the cause directly to your clients’ situation.
How believe is your ploy to affect change? Are you trying to save a whole rainforest? That might not be believable.
Are you trying to raise money for an eco development non-profit organization? Some organization that promotes sustainable farm practices?
Are you donating money from every transaction to help biohazard cleanup in the nation’s rivers and streams? You have to remember that it’s the small believable things your customers will be willing to help out with.
Find ways to make your own business eco-friendly. And then, use those actions in your eco marketing plan.
If you can’t follow through with the promises you include in your eco marketing, how long do you think you’ll retain people’s loyalty? Promise the moon only if you can deliver the moon.
Don’t promise the moon and deliver the sky.
If you do promise more than you can deliver, you’ll sink your marketing ship and damage your credibility.
Instead, start small. Where can you donate funds? How can you change your own practices in your own business?
Are there eco-friendly businesses in your area with whom you can affiliate? From a coalition of eco-friendly businesses and offer customers discounts on each other’s businesses for coming to yours.
If you reach too high, you’ll end up looking like the over-zealous eco-pirates on Whale Wars.
Standing Out and Keeping Up
Whatever your marketing theme is, make sure it stands on all three legs.
Now is the time to evaluate your brand and its message. Once everything’s up and running the way you’d like, make sure it stays there and works for you — and the audience that’s listening.