Monday, October 15, 2007

Can Marketing Analysis help the Planet?

Today is "Blog action day" - a day when thousands of bloggers are going to cover one topic from a variety of viewpoints. So what has this got to do with marketing analytics? Marketing is often seen as the big bad wolf by many so called "tree huggers". We don't care that our junk mail gets thrown into waste fill, we "blight" the streets with billboards for stuff people don't need and we help damage the third world.

Basically marketing (and especially advertising) has a bad name when it comes to the environment...but it's time to stop and put this right isn't it? Whether or not you believe in "global warming" (and for the record I do), it is clear for all to see that we're living in an age when it's a key theme for a massive portion of the Western population and an increasing part elsewhere.

How marketers tackle this theme is crucial and I believe that one thing that people have really started to dislike is waste and inefficiency. Cutting these out is a start but in order to make marketing that works, we need to talk to people on a fair level. This means communicating as equals - not talking down to people. (side note - really interesting study on why humans are the only animals who have a concept of "fairness to be found here ->

This is actually a remarkably difficult thing for many businesses to get - or at least that's what it seems. How often do you see an ad which you know is stretching the truth to its limits. All those adverts for face creams which will "roll back the years", beer that makes you a more fun person, banks who are your best friend for live and animals playing drums!

Seriously, waste and getting the messages wrong are obviously bad. Getting the messages right and catching the mood is valuable. Environmental issues are something that many in the west now feel strongly about. If you can honestly incorporate these issues into your proposition (not just advertising material but what you actually do as an organisation) then aren't you more likely to catch the mood of a broad part of the public? Just don't go making false or exaggerated claims....

The marketing industry prides itself on taking a lead in consumer trends but for my part, I don't think it's done what it can as yet in this area. For many, the realisation that green issues are not just morally important but financially also appears to be taking some time to sink in.
For more on marketing and environmental issues, see an article by Nigel Hollis at Milward Brown ->
P.S. All ad revenues from this site today go to an environmental charity. Since a typical days ad revenues are normally pennies (I have canny readers who can't be influenced you see), you may wish to reconsider you usual browsing behaviour.

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