Is Green Marketing More Effective?

A newly-released report “Green Marketing: What Works & What Doesn’t – A Marketing Study of Practitioners,” says that marketers who have experimented with green marketing messages generally found them more effective than standard marketing fare.

The study is based on a series of surveys conducted by the trade publication Environmental Leader along with trade publications including MarketingCharts, MarketingVOX, and MediaBuyerPlanner.

Key findings:
•More than 80% of the 370+ respondents indicated they expect their companies to spend more on green marketing in the future. Among manufacturers, that number is significantly higher.

•Close to 30% of marketers surveyed think green marketing is more effective than other marketing messages, compared to 6% of marketers who think it is less effective. According to the study, management is even more optimistic, with 46% indicating a belief that green marketing is more efficacious.

•Companies 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 mediums for green marketing, as reported by respondents who have spent money on this technique, are the Internet (75%), followed by print (50%) and direct mail (40%).

•When split into groups that do or don’t measure advertising results, media-measuring companies tend to spend more on their green efforts, according to the survey.

•Marketers that track marketing spend and its relation to sales believe consumers will pay more for green products. When asked if customers would pay more for green products or to a green company, it was the direct-oriented media that showed the more positive results. 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.

•In terms of actual green actions, about half of companies reported that they are consciously taking steps to become greener. The most popular actions are conserving energy in operations, at 59%, and changing products to reflect greener values (such as changing ingredients, packaging or intended use), at 54%.

•Companies with decision-makers who have a low regard for green marketing tend to be those with the larger marketing budgets, especially in the 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. This indicates that smaller companies may believe green marketing to be more effective than larger companies do.

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