Green Marketing More of a Trend Than a Fad

Mediapost2 MediaPost presents some interesting finds from a recent Green Marketing study released by Environmental Leader and MediaBuyerPlanner. Some of the most interesting finds include: 82% of companies intend to spend more on green marketing in the future; 46% of those in Management and 28% of those in Marketing at companies, think that green marketing is more effective than other means of communications. More detail along with links to the summary and report itself, after the jump.

Posted Jan 4., 2010
By Jack Loechner, MediaPost

Environmental Leader and MediaBuyerPlanner
partnered to study Green Marketing through the audiences of five
industry publications to help determine if it's a staple or a fad. The
report found that 33% of respondents said green marketing was more
effective than their normal marketing efforts, with just 7% saying it
was less effective. The remainder either did not detect a
difference between their regular marketing efforts and their
green efforts, or did not know which was more effective. Additional
information from the Executive Summary is included for your perusal,
and purchase information is available from a link at the conclusion of
this Brief.

Companies that view themselves as the most green spend
the most on green marketing, observes the report, while those that see
themselves as least green spend just a fraction of their marketing
budgets on such tactics. Marketers are backing up their beliefs of the
company's level of "greenness" with marketing campaigns, rather than
creating green campaigns to be part of the trend. The research
suggests that management first buys into "greenness" and, later, green
marketing, rather than beginning green marketing efforts simply out of
a desire to appear green.

71% of firms indicated that they were
in the "somewhat green" to "very green" categories, but they tended to
believe their customer base thinks them less green than they really
arr. This belief is persistent among the respondents, and may indicate
why green marketing is on the rise.

Here are some of the key findings explained in the study:

of respondents indicated they expect to spend more on green marketing
in the future. Among manufacturers, that number is significantly
higher. At least half, if not more, of respondents plan to engage in
online marketing efforts in the future.

28% of marketers
themselves think green marketing is more effective than other
marketing messages, compared to 6% of marketers who think it is less
effective. Management is even more optimistic, with 46% of them
indicating a belief that green marketing is more efficacious. Just 23%
of those in operations think green marketing is more effective.

with smaller marketing budgets tend to spend more on green
marketing. Firms with a marketing budget of under $250,000 spend just
over 26% on green marketing, while those with budgets of more than $50
million spend 6% on green marketing.

The most popular medium for green marketing was the internet, with 

  • 74.2% of respondents having spent money online, followed by
  • Print (49.8% 
  • Direct (40%)
  • Outdoor (7%)
  • Radio and TV (7%)
  • Mobile (6%)

of marketers with budgets between $10 million and $50 million, and 25%
of those with budgets of more than $50 million, used outdoor, compared
to 7.3% for all marketers. 

Mobile was also a popular medium for marketers with the highest budgets:

  • 14% of those in the $10 million to $50 million budget category spent money on mobile
  • 16% in the more than $50 million budget category spent money on mobile
  • Compared to 6% for all marketers

firms that used the most trackable media are also those that said
green marketing worked better than the average marketing message.

  • 48%
    of respondents who employed direct marketing in their media mix said
    that it was more or much more effective, much like those who used
    internet (43%)
  • That contrasts with those respondents who
    had employed TV, 25% of whom said it was more effective than average,
    indicating that green marketing works better than those who don't or
    can't measure results think it does.

media showed the more positive results when asked if customers would
pay more for green products or to a green company:

  • Of the
    people who used the two least trackable media, TV and outdoor, only 29%
    and 25% respectively indicated that customers would pay more
  • That compares to 44%, 42% and 46% for internet, print and direct respectively

Larger companies are more likely to target employees rather than customers:

  • Companies
    with media budgets of more than $10 million annually showed a much
    higher proclivity to have their own employees as their target audience,
    with customers being targeted in only 70% of their efforts
  • Firms
    with budgets less than $250,000 were about 80% more likely to target
    customers directly, and only about half targeted their own staff

of marketers themselves indicate they have complete or consultative
control of green marketing, while 57% of PR folks say that have control
of the sustainability program. Sales and operations, on the other hand,
are skeptical that marketers have so much control of the sustainability
programs, with just 41% and 21% respectively saying control lies in the
hands of marketers. However, those in management tended to agree that
control of the sustainability program is in the hands of marketers, at

About half of companies reported that they are consciously taking steps to become more green. The most popular actions are: 

  • Conserving energy in operations, at 59%
  • Changing products to reflect greener values (such as changing ingredients, packaging or intended use), at 54%

the Executive Summary observes that nearly half of respondents said the
decision-makers at their companies hold green marketing in high regard,
compared to just 15% who hold it in low regard. Companies with
decision-makers who have a low regard for green marketing tend to be
those with the larger marketing budgets between $10 million and $50
million per year, where more than a quarter indicated that their
decision-makers held green marketing in low regard. Smaller companies,
concludes the report, may believe green marketing to be more effective
than larger companies do.

To read a brief summary, visit mediabuyerplanner here, or to purchase your copy of the report or acquire a data license, please visit here. 

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