What is Green Marketing? (Your Fundamental Guide)

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It’s easy to see that our planet is struggling to keep up with humanity. From more frequent forest fires and flooding to weather fluctuations and animal extinction worldwide, environmental issues are becoming more and more urgent. What’s more, customers are aware of it and are using their buying power to make a statement.

Of late, there have been all sorts of environmental movements run by charities, courses with a sustainable focus for students, and protests organized by activists to induce change in a variety of ways. Of these, many companies have taken up green marketing to appeal to the ever-increasingly socially aware customers and protect nature.

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What Is Green Marketing?

Essentially, green marketing is communicating with your customers the steps you are taking to be a more environmentally conscious business. Tags like “made from recycled materials”, “organic”, “locally sourced”, or “sustainable” are popping up on every product under the sun, helping customers make more eco-friendly choices and signaling the environmental responsibility that companies are taking on.

This is a surprisingly popular move; even when it means spending a bit more, customers are willing to opt for a more sustainable product. It’s one of the most effective ways to increase average order value and enable customers to make better choices for the planet. However, it’s not just a promotional stunt. 

Avoiding Greenwashing

This all sounds easy enough and maybe you’re thinking of sticking a few labels on the top of your “What is a non-fixed VoIP phone?” article, or perhaps even creating an eco-range. That should be enough, right? Wrong. Customers are aware of business practices and how these can be used to pull the wool over the public’s eyes. Green marketing requires intention, not for financial gain, but out of respect for the planet.

Several brands have been called out for preaching eco-friendly practices without fully following them through. This is known as greenwashing: presenting your business as environmentally conscious to cover up the continuing destructive processes in the background. This not only fails nature but also puts your business at risk of being boycotted by socially aware customers.

Effective Green Marketing – a How-to Guide

Green marketing relies on having principles and environmentally conscious procedures in place before you can highlight these in your marketing strategies. There’s no right way of integrating green principles into your business and, wherever you start from, the important thing is to keep learning and adapting to do the best you can. We’ve put together a list to get you started:

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Look at Your Materials

Start with the basics – what are your products made of? Evaluate what materials or resources you use and how sustainable each of these is. Where possible, swap out materials for sustainable, biodegradable, or recycled materials which cause a minimal footprint on nature, both when being sourced and disposed of.

When marketing, emphasize where you source your materials from. Locally sourced materials show support for the local community as well as an effort to reduce air miles. Similarly, recycled materials reduce landfills and encourage circular production processes, reducing the number of new materials used.

Ensure Production Is Green

Avoid overlooking the environmental impact of any stage of your company’s production. Consider eco-friendly solutions – rather than sending employees on long journeys to complete their robotic process automation certification with a specialist, provide access to online courses. Work to protect local wildlife areas. This isn’t just planting trees to offset carbon emissions, but preempting destructive habits.

Take a Stand

Hold your company and others like it accountable. When partnering with others, ensure they hold the same principles and practices that value the environment around them. It can be a bit tricky to find other green businesses or influencers, but by making a point of it and actively choosing environmental partnerships, others will work to reach the standard you set.

Create marketing campaigns and partnerships calling out environmentally harmful practices, and providing alternative methods. It shouldn’t be an us-versus-them scenario, but instead one of fostering an atmosphere of encouragement and collaboration among businesses to be environmentally innovative. 

Address Other Issues 

Environmental issues are not isolated – they interact with all sorts of other social issues in which your company has a role in too. If you’re selling eco-friendly products but not helping your employees stay debt-free, or not being inclusive in the design of your products, it’s going to be a bump in the road. Hold the same high standards for your business practice across the board.

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Let Customers Know

Of course, the aim of being a green business is to protect and nurture the environment; however, if no one knows you’re doing it, customers won’t be able to support you in it. Set yourself green challenges to better your company and let the customers hold you accountable by notifying them of your intentions. It helps to build a reputation of honesty and integrity within your brand.

User-created content can be a great way of verifying how you are achieving your greener aims, as well as providing honest suggestions and reviews of how to keep improving. Applying first call resolution best practices can greatly improve your customer services to answer more product-related questions and provide more information, encouraging new customers to put your products to the test.

Do More

Green marketing isn’t a box-ticking exercise where once you’ve done five things you can pat yourself on the back. There is always more you could be doing to protect and care for your local environment, from supporting litter-picking events, installing LED lighting in offices, to using local suppliers, as well as supporting global efforts to combat the climate crisis. Committing to constant improvement shows your customers you are serious about being greener.

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Go Green Today

Going green has never been so popular – even  hosted call center businesses are giving it a shot. Hopefully, we’ve been able to show you some of the ways your business can get involved with green marketing. From considering the materials you use to encouraging others to follow suit, it all makes a difference.

It’s no longer enough to simply spew out products without thinking about your impact on the world around you. Taking a bit of responsibility can be humbling, but will gain the trust and respect of customers and create a principled reputation for your business.  It does take a bit of additional planning and work initially, but the long-term results for both your business and the planet are worth it. 

Jenna Bunnell
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways.

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