Friday, May 15, 2015

Whether you’re a small company or a huge corporation, one of the surest bets in business right now is to have ecologically sound credentials. A growing number of consumers simply won’t engage with commercial entities that fail to minimize their carbon footprint, or conduct their business in ethically dubious ways. As a great frog once said: it’s not easy being green. What he neglected to mention was that going green after years of conducting business in the same way is harder still.

Older companies, established before eco-friendliness was a politically expedient attribute, often have a tough time transitioning their strategies towards a more sustainable model. And even after a green modus operandi has been implemented, your business still has to be profitable. Sure, your eco-credentials will ultimately be an asset, but the upfront expenses incurred during the process can be fatal. That’s why setting realistic expectations and devising a tight marketing campaign to let the world know about your green credentials are essential orders of business. Here are a few tips on creating a compelling, eco-friendly marketing campaign:

1) Work from the Inside Out
Before attempting to market your business to consumers, it’s imperative that every employee and partner is on board with the plan. This takes time. You must develop a new corporate mindset, centered around the belief that sustainability is important, that it’s the right thing to do. If you start from the cynical position of going green because it ‘looks good’ you are doomed to failure. If you provide company cars to employees, switch to hybrid vehicles. Implement a carpool policy. Update the infrastructure of your premises with efficient water and heating systems. There are countless ways to give your business a green glow, and you should adopt as many as possible before letting the world know how responsible your business is.

2) Get Certified The most credible way to show off your sustainable operation is by applying for green insignias and logos for your website, business cards, packaging and advertising materials. Examples include the recycling arrow logo, Energy Star Rating logo and membership insignias for organizations like the EPA and the U.S. Green Building Council.

3) Use Recycled Stationery Recycled paper is a good way to demonstrate your environmental awareness. VistaPrint is one company that provides business cards, brochures and flyers printed on recycled paper.

4) Go Mobile Even better, do away with paper advertising altogether and adopt a pure mobile marketing strategy. This obviously won’t work in every industry, but if you can announce your business as 100% paper free, it’ll work wonders for your green cred.

5) Invest in the Local Economy Partnering with other local businesses instead of outsourcing to the other side of the world is a core tenet of the green movement. Using and promoting local resources will reduce your carbon footprint. It’s a good way to win positive local publicity and grow your network.