A challenge of today’s small business marketers is to think creatively about sustainable development
Today’s small- to medium-sized companies are faced with a myriad of obvious challenges: making payroll, attracting and retaining talent, and planning and strategizing for future and long-term growth.
A more interesting challenge is not quite so obvious: does my current marketing plan focus on the newest form of competitive marketplace advantage; the 3Ps of marketing called ‘people, profits, and planet?’
How ‘Green’ Is Your Marketing Plan?
The term green marketing has been around for years and it is a philosophy which primarily advocates sustainable development. Ever since marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring was published in 1962 many consumers have focused their attention and purchasing habits on environmentally friendly products; Carson’s book and other writings are historically credited with advancing the global environmental movement.
According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), green marketing can be defined in three different ways.
- First, green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe (the retailing definition).
- Second, green marketing is the development and marketing of products designed to minimize negative effects on the physical environment or to improve its quality (social marketing definition).
- Lastly, green marketing involves the efforts by companies to produce, promote, package and sell products in a manner that recognizes ecological concerns.
The Marketing Plan
If you haven’t updated your marketing plan recently, now might be a good time to do so in light of the necessary changes you’ll need to make in competing in the green products marketplace.
To compete effectively, you’ll need to follow some basic guidelines:
1. Find a champion. Even in the smallest of companies, the owner, CEO, or president will need to serve in this capacity as if you don’t have the blessing of senior level management, you won’t succeed.
2. Revise the marketing message. To evolve from marketing and selling traditional products and services to those with more of a sustainable presence, the marketing message has to change to reflect this new orientation. The new marketing message will need to focus on the product itself as well as how it was made and transported. The marketing message also needs to describe not just the product’s features and benefits but how they align with the new 3Ps of the marketing mix: People, Profits, and Planet.
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About the author
Mark Robinson is the Executive Director, Americans for Fossil Fuels, LLC. America’s First and Only For-Profit Fossil Fuels Think Tank and Advocacy Firm. He most recently served as the Marketing and Communications Director for the Global Energy & Resources practice at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. During his years at Deloitte, Mark led many successful and high-profile global marketing campaigns using social media, conference sponsorships and executive-level appearances, which not only increased revenue but increased brand awareness. Prior to working at Deloitte, Mark served in an executive level position within Public Relations at Exxon Mobil Corporation. Mark received his PhD in International Business Management , with a focus in International Marketing, from the International School of Management. Mark provides Latin Business Today insights on energy and its impact on business.